A leading North America human and animal food manufacturer was looking to exploit the capabilities of advanced secondary packaging technology to help bolster significant throughput and growth targets, which were the desired outcomes from a major investment program.
For this application, not only did Cama Group provide a highly optimised secondary packaging, but it’s packaging design team also redesigned the tray insert – which presents the cups in their shelf-ready configurations – replacing the existing two tray designs with a single version that was able to accommodate six single cups or five split cups.
Cama also noticed that the existing carton design used overlapping flaps, so suggested a design where the flaps butted against each other, not only reducing material use buy as much as 15%, but also delivering greater carton strength for vertical stacking.
In operation two forming units form open-lidded boxes, the sauce sachets, fed by two feeders, are then dropped into the box before the bags of nuggets or wings – delivered in two lanes from the floor above – are positioned into a racetrack before also being picked and placed into the open boxes. “It is not a completely 100 % automated process,” Davide Di Lorenzo explains, “as loose nuggets in a bag are a nightmare to pack, so an operator has to be on the scene the ensure there is no overhang.
“The second order for this plant adds extra downstream functionality and capabilities,” Davide elaborates. “The filled boxes are received by a case packer which closes them and then places them either into a case pack or a wraparound display pack, where they are placed into tray with a lid, before being passed to a palletiser.
“We replaced the original RSC configuration with a wraparound design that is not only smaller – and hence uses less material – but it is also lower cost and removes the real estate requirements to stock pre-formed RSC cases.”
The success of all these projects is not just down to technology. “Our people are one of our biggest selling points explains Davide. “Ask any of our customer and they will tell you that technology delivers the wow factor, but people deliver the trust and peace of mind. And it is the combination of these two factors that define the success in a huge number of a projects.
Indeed, these early successes with this customer in its petfood division resulted in Cama Group being invited to bring its expertise to a second petfood project, which will see cups packaged in multi-layer, multi-flavour packs in 3 x 2 arrays separated by a pad between the layers. In this instance Cama was able to illustrate its capabilities with a previous application, which can offer 3, 30 and 36-cup arrays.
Repeat order are special and multiple repeat orders are amazing, especially if they are from different divisions where the promotional work has been done by the customer’s own employees. “People are such an important part of the business equation,” Davide elaborates. “You may have the technology in the world, but if you can’t develop trust then you are missing a huge part of the ingredients.