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PACKAGING FEATURE


IT’S A WRAP AT FOX’S A packaging line success story


New flow wrapping, bagging and weighing equipment, supplied by ILAPAK, ensures supermarket shelves are fully stocked with goodies such as Fox’s Biscuits’ Rocky bars and Party Rings


F


ox’s Biscuits, part of the 2 Sisters Food Group, has made a seven figure


investment in new flow wrapping, bagging and weighing equipment for its Rocky and Party Rings biscuits, as part of a strategy to drive efficiency by replacing legacy equipment. The project includes six Vegatronic 6000 baggers, six Weightronic multi-head weighers, two Eagle flow wrappers and a Delta over- wrapper, which has all been supplied by ILAPAK. To keep


supermarket shelves fully stocked with Rocky chocolate biscuit bars, Fox’s has four lines operating 24/7 at speeds of 600 bars per minute, at its factory in Kirkham, Lancashire. Last year, the company identified a


need to replace some of this equipment with new technology that would deliver greater flexibility and higher speeds. ILAPAK was already one of 2 Sisters Food Group’s strategic partners, and had recently helped Fox’s Biscuits out of a potentially crippling downtime situation by airfreighting a DSA Eagle flow wrapper from the US when one of the biscuit manufacturer’s flow wrappers succumbed. Therefore, when it came to making further planned investments, ILAPAK’s name was high on the list of potential suppliers. “We try to work with partners who


understand the challenges we face with our customers. We have worked with


ILAPAK elsewhere within the Group and like the way they operate as a packaging equipment supplier,” said Matt Soden, category manager, Equipment and Machinery, at 2 Sisters. “We’d also been pleased with the performance of the Eagle flow wrapper - there are very few flow wrappers on the market that can be relied upon to deliver the speeds we require.” This time, Fox’s was looking for a


complete line solution for flow wrapping individual 21g Rocky biscuit bars and then over- wrapping them in packs of eight. ILAPAK proposed a complete line solution comprising its DSA Eagle flow wrapper, feeding into a sweep system for collating the bars and a Delta over-wrapping system. Engineered


for 24/7 production environments and speeds in excess of


1000ppm, the DSA Eagle incorporates features such as automatic splicing and expanded touchscreen diagnostics for efficiency. Heavy duty construction and the design of its feeding system are also key to the flow wrapper’s performance at high speeds. “ILAPAK’s proposal delivered everything


the site wanted strategically in an attractive package. It supported us with the challenges we face and met our timescales. In addition, ILAPAK was flexible enough to revise parts of the project when needed,” said Soden. As well as producing over 10 million


Rocky bars every week, Fox’s Kirkham factory makes 10 million party rings each week, and Fox’s was keen to modernise the packaging process for bagging Party





Sealing the deal: sales and marketing manager Tony McDonald (left), with Matt Soden, category manager, Equipment and Machinery at 2 Sisters


The DSA Eagle flow wrapper wraps individual Rocky bars, feeding into a sweep system for collating 8 bars, and over-wrapping with the Delta system


Ring Minis into both individual bags and multipacks. “We wanted more flexibility in terms of


multipack formats and our existing equipment was no longer able to deliver the output we needed,” explained Soden. Again, ILAPAK put forward a proposal


that Soden said supported Fox’s “timescales, needs and challenges”. Four Weightronic 16-10 multi-head


weighers would feed four Vegatronic 6000 bagmakers with 21g weighments of Party Ring Mini biscuits to create portion sized pillow packs. These would then be collated and packed into multipacks containing 6 x 21g bags via two Weightronic 14-50 multi-head weighers linked to two more Vegatronic 6000 bagmakers. The continuous motion Vegatronic


Four Weightronic 16-10 multi-head weighers feed four Vegatronic 6000 bagmakers with 21g weighments of Party Ring Mini biscuits to create portion sized pillow packs


6000 bagger promised Fox’s greater versatility as it can produce the full range of vertical bag styles, including pillow, block bottom, Quattro, EasyPack and Doy-style packs. Thanks to its Ethercat electronic platform and jaw profile, the advanced bagger can match the performance of rotary jaw machines on this type of application, achieving speeds of up to 200ppm on small pillow packs. ILAPAK’s ability to offer both flow


wrapping and bagging equipment as well as integrated line solutions also had a major bearing on Fox’s decision to work with ILAPAK on this project. “Being able to use a single supplier for


all of our flow wrapping, weighing and bagging equipment needs is an attractive proposition for us. It makes everything easier - from training our operators through to holding spares and carrying out servicing and maintenance. We also favour single-source full line solutions, as one supplier is responsible for the efficient operation of that line, and there are no ‘ownership’ issues,” said Soden. The bagging lines are being installed


now, and the flow wrapping equipment is scheduled for delivery this month, with FAT (Factory Acceptance Testing) currently underway.


Ilapak www.ilapak.co.uk


PROCESS & CONTROL | JUNE 2019 15


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