Pack Expo 2017

Chocolate candy companies set to benefit from new pouch machine, claims Nortech Packaging

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Confectionery and snack manufacturers make up 20% of Nortech’s business.  Pic: Nortech
Confectionery and snack manufacturers make up 20% of Nortech’s business. Pic: Nortech

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Contract equipment manufacturer Nortech Packaging says its new inline pouch machine has a faster changeover rate than the rotary version in the market.

The fill-and-seal equipment, called ROO 100, typically takes pre-made standup pouches and provides an in-line operation on its own, the company told ConfectioneryNews at the recent Pack Expo in Las Vegas.

ROO 100 is able to produce up to 45 parts per minute depending on product type, pouch size and in feed type, according to Nortech Packaging.

“Changeover and footprint offer a significant advantage in this machine,”​ David Showman, Nortech’s CEO, said. “The whole machine is servomotor based, so everything is adjustable through the HMI (human machine interface).”

“We can accommodate anywhere from a 6-inch wide and below, up to an 18-inch wide pouch,”​ he said. “With our footprint and the speeds that we’re doing, the rotaries can’t compare. As a rotary gets to an 18-inch size pouch, it becomes a monstrous machine to be able to handle in the radius that’s required for that size of pouch.”

“As for a rotary machine, a pouch travels horizontally with their thin sides leading,”​ Showman added. “Our pouches will transfer in line with wide sides leading. So when we have that changeover from 16 inch to 18 inch, the pouch doesn’t travel any further.”

Part of standup pouches movement

Showman claimed ROO 100 is a “good fit”​ for chocolate confectionery, oatmeal and trail mix manufacturers for its flexibility, price range and quick automation.

“What we are seeing in the industry is that there are a lot of startups and young companies… We feel like this machine will give us an opportunity to explore the small- to medium-size confectionery segment,”​ he added.

The overall on-the-go trend in the snacking space also has been pushing more and more companies to adopt standup pouches as their primary packaging, Showman said. “We want to be part of that movement.”

Showman said confectionery and snack manufacturers currently make up 20% of Nortech’s business and the company is evaluating some of the natural product shows across the US to increase customer base in the segment.

Nortech has developed many products around secondary packaging and custom automation during the past 18 years in business. It acquired Tishma Technologies two years ago to expand its end-of-line packaging portfolio, such as cartoners and case packers.

“We have a lot of projects booked into next year… and we’re looking at double-digit growth, around 20%,”​ Showman said. 

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