A common trend in dog food is raw feeding. On the context of which the abbreviation “BARF”stands for“Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”. The nutrition is based on what dogs have naturally eaten for thousands of years: fresh meat, offal, bones, fur, plant components and fat. The sinewy and tough components pose a major challenge for the accurate-to-the-gram portioning within the production process.
The customer requirement was thus an automated, multi-lane and high- performance depositing station for filling chunky and sinewy BARF fresh meat directly into a thermo-forming packaging line. A team of internationally experienced technical experts worked exclusively for this Handtmann Customized Solutions at the Biberach and the Netherlands Amersfoort sites, developing a customized solution needed for this individual production process – from product filling and dosing all the way through to
packaging. The standard Handtmann DV 85-3 dosing valve featuring the patented “pulling cut function” already met these requirements very well and was the basis for the customised depositing station. In close cooperation with the customer, a customised 4-lane depositing station was developed, each lane with two dosing valves positioned in series. In one dosing process, eight portions are filled directly and synchronously into a thermo- forming packaging line. Portioning using a Handtmann VF 838 vacuum filler in combination with the FST 546- 8 flow divider enables precise and clean portioning at each of the eight dosing points. As a cost-efficient production starts with accurate portioning the basic process step of portioning remains the critical link in the process for cost-efficient production and the decisive criterion for the quality of the final product. With this in mind, the aim is to eliminate the unnecessary over-portioning and give- away of expensive material such as BARF fresh meat and to convey the processed product in a very careful way that retains its quality. The cost-effectiveness of production therefore depends decisively on the accuracy of the portioning process, which in turn depends heavily on the underlying conveying principle. Handtmann vacuum fillers work on the portioning principle of the vane cell feed system, which sets standards in terms of portioning accuracy and product protection. This weight accuracy remains the decisive feature in cost-optimised production, as every gram too much represents an unnecessary increase in production costs.