Breaking News on Confectionery & Biscuit Processing

Versatile infeed systems cut total cost of ownership and downtime

By Rory Harrington , 30-Sep-2010

High production volumes, a reduction in the total cost of ownership, flexibility and a speedy delivery time are benefits claimed by Bosch for its new range of infeed systems launched this week at FachPack in Germany.

The German-based company said its Pack Feeder 4 portfolio has been designed in response to the trend for shorter product lifecycles. They include both in-line and crossed belt infeed systems which can support high production volumes with belts speeds of up to 120 metres per minute. The machines are targeted at packaging bakery and confectionery items such as biscuits, chocolate and bar-type products, as well as products in plastic, cardboard trays, and pharmaceutical goods.

Total cost of ownership

The equipment can be operated 24/7 even at high output levels thanks to its reliability and robust construction, Daniela Thiele, Bosch global product manager for packaging machines told FoodProductionDaily.com

“We have incorporated a number of features that reduce the total cost of ownership, maximise uptime and optimise the efficiency of the system,” she added.

A gear-free belt drive system simplifies maintenance while the hingeable sides enables easy of removal of product jams. Parts such as belts, nose rollers and deck plates can dissembled without the need for tools which allows for trouble-free cleaning.

“This benefit is especially useful for lines handling allergy-prone products that must meet stringent hygiene standards requiring rigorous cleaning of all food contactable parts,” said Bosch.

Fast delivery times

Thiele said the system’s modular design meant the expected delivery time on the system had been cut by around 50 per cent. The product manager added the company had also achieved a “substantial” price reduction on the Pack Feeder 4 line compared to its previous systems but declined to provide further details.

The design of the equipment had been tailored to enhance flexibility and allow product manufacturers to meet the ever-increasing demands from their customers, she added. The systems can perform numerous functions including turning, grouping, buffering, stacking, and cardboard feeding. Top and side guides can also be rapidly adjusted without tools to ensure quick changeovers and minimal downtime. The systems are available with conveyor belts in various layouts and lengths to meet individual production needs, said the company.

The new infeeder has standardised interfaces so it can be easily integrated into its existing wrapper systems – which allows for lower start up costs and lead in times, added Bosch.

"The new Pack Feeder 4 portfolio allows enormous production efficiency and flexibility, helping companies respond to the industry trend toward shorter product lifecycles and increasing variety in packaging styles and formats," said product manager Marcel Volk, Product Manager, Bosch Packaging Technology.

The system is currently available in Europe. It is due to be launched in North America in November and Asia from the beginning of 2011.

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