Weetabix chose a pair of Kliklok’s ECT500 top load glue erectors, to run 5-pack and 10-pack Alpen bars. The machines were modified to suit its factory requirements including customised electrical specification, Panelview 1000 touch screen, Nordson hot melt glue application and powered carton hopper.
The ECT500’s were also designed to incorporate a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system for trending, diagnostic data, and management information such as scheduled maintenance procedures and logistics.
Weetabix’s standard 12-biscuit wrap
Graham Holbrook, area sales manager, Kliklok International, told FoodProductionDaily, the relationship with Weetabix came from a collaborative project with another machinery supplier CKF.
“Together we established a proposal for a complete line for Weetabix and were delighted when they gave us the go ahead to complete the project,” he said.
“We provided two automated lines for wrapped packs of Weetabix biscuits. Each line included Kliklok’s Celox cartoner, running at speeds up to 200 cartons per minute, and incorporating Linx laser coders, a low level carton hopper for ease of loading, plus 2-dimensional size change capability directly from the interactive touch screen.”
Each Celox was integrated with a twin infeed TRACi loader, Kliklok’s automatic collating and stacking system. Both lines were configured to pack four formats of Weetabix’s standard 12-biscuit wrap; a 24 pack, a 48 pack, a 36 pack and a 72 pack.
“The initial order for the Celox cartoner and TRAC units was placed in January 2014 and delivered in June of the same year,” added Holbrook.
“It took three to four weeks to install, commission and train people how to operate the machinery to a proficient level. It has now been up and running for almost 12 months and the Weetabix team are happy with its performance.
Rotary Transfer System
Holbrook said due to layout changes in one of the other packing lines at the Kettering site, Kliklok is now working on another project for Weetabix, to automatically accept wraps of biscuits arriving “on edge” from a buffer storage unit and rotating them through 90 degrees, prior to being cartoned.
Kliklok is designing two modified versions of its Rotary Transfer System (RTS) to achieve this.
“This is a continuous motion system that uses a series of turret arms which rotate in a cam track, the arms then lower and close a ‘pocket’ around the product to provide a gentle 90 degree transfer at speeds up to 220 products per minute,” he added.
“The two RTS units are scheduled for installation over the coming months and we are currently working on a bag-in-box production line for another cereal product.
“The Rotary Transfer Systems are high speed product handling devices capable of running at speeds of 200 cartons per minute, whilst handling the product gently without damage.”