We are seeing an increasing demand for case packing on-edge bags and stand-up pouches driven partly by the desire for high on shelf visibility as the large flat front of a pouch can be used to advertise a product. Case packing these bags or stand-up pouches on-edge presents more challenges than rigid cartons. Bags are floppy, not rigid, they can be slippery and difficult to handle (especially when the product is fresh) and they do not have consistent dimensions. In common with non-bagged products, efficient case packing requires the ability to perform quick changeovers to allow packing of different case sizes, case types, pack formats and product changeovers on the line.
R&D to respond to respond to this requirement includes development of our patented vertical infeed system, development of the optimum picking head and research into how best to present the product to the picking head. The newly developed vertical in-feed system is key as it efficiently packs on-edge, with the flexibity to pack in any configuration. Traditionally, case packers either used two robots to achieve this orientation (increased cost) or flipped the box to achieve on-edge packing (as so increase footprint required.)
Our bag packing capability includes stand up pouches, doy packs, stabilo and pillow packs. Bags can be packed vertically or on-edge into standard FEFCO 0201 cases or into multiple configurations. The ability to pack into the FEFCO 0201 box is significant as it is the most common and economical case but a wide variety of cases and case dimensions can be used including small count cases.
In addition to bags the case packer top-loads bags, cartons trays and sachets in any configuration into cost effective standard cases and other cases specified by the customer including shelf-ready packaging (SRP).
This new infeed system is now in operation on a system installed at a food manufacturer that uses stabilo packs and pouches for a wide variety of product.