Silver plastics, one of the leading German manufacturers of plastic packaging in the food industry, is now deploying a new solution to connect its machines. The connectivity solution is designed to improve the visibility and use of production data.
The Food Industry Promotional Agency of Korea Releases Video Lectures that Encourages the Food Industry to Accelerate ESG Management
- Carbon neutrality and eco-friendly packaging were introduced as a resolution that realizes ESG
- English subtitle provided for global food industry workers
The Food Industry Promotional Agency of Korea (FOODPOLIS) released 12 lectures of the 11th FOODPOLIS International Conference which was held in June to actively respond to the ESG trend in the food industry through its official YouTube channel.
We spoke with Mark de Boer (Technical Sales Manger) and Dino Boot (Sales Support Engineer), both working in Halfweg and responsible for the projects in the field of End-of-Line automation, and Milou Jansen (Marketing & Communication Manager). We asked them about the developments they see in the market and with which success formula Lan Handling is responding to this.
High variety of packaging
Mark de Boer: “We continue to innovate, because standing still in this sector equals going backwards. One of the developments we see is that our customers in the fruit and vegetable sector and supermarket suppliers increasingly have the desire to be able to handle a high variety of packaging (bags, nets, boxes, MAP trays) and these in or on various product carriers ( crate, box, pallet, dolly). Automation is becoming increasingly important in this. With a payback period of less than 2 years in many cases, where physical labor is replaced by a robotic solution, our End-of-Line automation leads to a more efficient process and a safer working environment. ”
Multifunctional machines, small footprint solutions
Lan Handling Technologies provides solutions that are often multi-deployable (for multiple product and crate sizes) and only require a small floor space. An example of this is the combined dolly / crate loader. Milou Jansen: “For example, a potato producer who has a contract with various retailers can provide each of them with a different product carrier without having to make a disproportionately high investment. When he wants to switch from crates to dollies, the system ensures that the robot arm automatically switches gripper. This makes the solution very interesting from a technical and operational point of view, because less movement on the shop floor is required, which increases the efficiency of the production environment.
Robot case packer for Heemskerk fresh & easy
Although Lan Handling Technologies relies on its portfolio with a proven standard, all solutions remain tailor-made. The entire engineering, assembly and development of electronics and software is in-house. Mark de Boer: “We are distinctive in the market in the field of robot integration. A good example in this area is our project at fruit and vegetable processor Heemskerk fresh & easy. They were looking for an automation solution for packaging 3 types of products, namely oval, square and hexagonal salad trays. Lan Handling Technologies developed a set of scale-specific grippers and a user-friendly exchange system for this packing process. Placing the salads is a very precise process, because these cardboard boxes ('display boxes') are smaller than a standard size box (600 x 400 mm) and also have overhanging top edges. We deliberately opt for a 6-axis robot arm instead of a delta / spider robot, because the former can perform more complex movements. And because we pre-form products in a smart way, we always achieve the desired speed. With this automation, Heemskerk can run 24/7, process more volume on a smaller footprint and better predict costs. ”
Switch between full and half crates at the touch of a button
In the fruit and vegetable market, the folding crate is very popular because of the considerable savings in transport and storage space. Dino Boot: “In addition, a fully automatic crate erector can generate enormous savings in labor costs and increase efficiency. Various European customers therefore consciously choose us. A crate erector from Lan Handling Technologies can process no less than 1,200 whole folding crates (600 x 400 mm) per hour. With half folding crates (300 x 200 mm) the speed is almost twice as fast. ” The crate erector can operate standalone or be integrated into a complete production line. In the latter case, Lan Handling Technologies automates, for example, the pallet handling towards the crate erector and then the transport of the empty, unfolded crates to case packers.
Remote AR Tool
Lan Handling Technologies recently expanded its services with a remote AR Tool. This has been widely used since the introduction of Covid-19. Due to travel restrictions, Lan Handling Technologies engineers also performed the initial installations and commissioning remotely. Via a simple link with a smartphone, the customer can, by using voice and screen pointers, quickly switch with a mechanic or engineer from Lan Handling Technologies. In the event of a malfunction, this reduces machine downtime and thus additional costs for the customer to a minimum.
This has led to an increase in sales for convenience products, such as ready-bake mixes, in the food industry, among other items. The US food manufacturer General Mills increased its sales of flour and baking mixes by 75% during the American lockdown.
THE BAKING CRAZE TOOK OFF BEFORE CORONA...
The baking craze might have ramped up during the pandemic, but the trend for home baking goes back further. One reason behind this is the desire for healthier food and the desire to use high-quality ingredients. If you bake your own bread, you have complete control of what’s in it. Baking mixes in particular offer amateur bakers an easy way to get into baking. Here, consumers who don’t have a lot of spare time are the most significant target group here. Singles, parents and students love biscuits, bread and cakes that are quick to prepare and almost foolproof to make.
People with allergies or food intolerances and/or coeliac disease can use gluten-free baking mixes made from corn, rice or buckwheat. Vegan baking mixes that contain no animal ingredients whatsoever and instead use vegetarian gelling agents and plant fats such as margarine are found more and more frequently in retail.
The population’s passion for baking is also demonstrated by the steady stream of new baking programmes, baking magazines, blogs and numerous social medial channels on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook with unique recipe ideas which chime in with the baking trend. In addition, baked goods manufacturers such as Oetker are hopping on the baking bandwagon, with more acting as publishers and bringing out recipe books to provide inspiration for baking.
Sufficient baking inspiration is also provided at the point of sale, for example via seasonal baking mixes like the “Winter Plum Cake” mix, with Christmas spices from Oetker. This is because baked goods manufacturers and retailers have recognised that consumers can generally be tempted into baking by attractive and high-quality baked goods packaging positioned directly in shops at the point of purchase. Due to the demographic change, the packaging units and associated baking tins in the convenience baking product ranges are also becoming smaller.
THE ADVENT SEASON IS THE PRIME TIME FOR COOKING
As the colder seasons sweep in, many households start to bake more and Christmas spices are available in baking ranges before advent. Whether you bake to give yourself a treat or to share goodwill with your fellow men, biscuits are a popular advent mainstay for many in the run-up to Christmas. The motto here is the more colourful, the better. Baked goods manufacturers offer their customers a wide variety of decorative ingredients to trim their biscuits and cakes. Ready-made biscuit sets are also in at the minute. Cutters and recipe suggestions or christmassy jute bags, a sustainable form of festive packaging, are also contained in the patterned biscuit tins or vintage tins, along with the baking ingredients.
New dimensions and products available from stock
In order to meet the high demand for Food Grade products in the market, we have now extended our extensive stock range of blue-coloured Food Grade products with further dimensions and products.
New dimensions: Round rods and sheets made of Polystone® M blue in RAL 5005
Round rods Polystone® M blue
Colour: RAL 5005
New in the diameters 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 120 / 130 / 150 / 160 / 180 / 200 / 250 mm
Sheets Polystone® M blue
Colour: RAL 5005
New in the dimension 2000 x 1000 mm with different thicknesses: 10 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 80 / 100 mm
New in the dimension 3000 x 1250 mm with different thicknesses: 10 / 12 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 40 mm
Many other dimensions available without a minimum quantity
New product from stock: Sheets Polystone® D FG blue in RAL 5005
Also new from stock are sheets made of Polystone® D FG blue in the colour RAL 5005, which is characterised by its very strong blue tone. The striking colour tone gives designers new opportunities for designing plant components that provide high visual contrast. This contributes to maintaining high safety standards in the food industry.
Sheets Polystone® D FG blue
Colour: RAL 5005
New in the dimension 2000 x 1000 mm with the thickness 10 / 15 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 mm
New in the dimension 3000 x 1250 mm with the thickness 10 / 12 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 mm
Many other dimensions available without a minimum quantity