For biscuit makers crackers about flexible flow wrapping

The Carrera 6000 flow wrapping platform optimises overall equipment effectiveness

The Carrera 6000 flow wrapping platform optimises overall equipment effectiveness with one machine able to switch between packing biscuits in various configurations

Nearly every household in the UK - more than 99% - purchases biscuits every year. Most on a weekly basis, some as an occasional treat. Worth around £2.4 billion a year, the category, which includes sweet biscuits and savoury crackers continues to adapt to changing consumer tastes and rising awareness about health.

This is prompting manufacturers to introduce new formats, most recently thins, nibbles, bite size and snack packs.

With many brands already offering multiple formats, among them original sized, family sized, lunch packs, mini-bites in addition to a biscuit portfolio aimed squarely at hospitality, travel and vending sectors, flexible packing specialist Ilapak has designed an innovative flow wrapper system designed to accommodate ever changing portion and format sizes.

The Carrera 6000 flow wrapping platform optimises overall equipment effectiveness with one machine able to switch between packing biscuits in various configurations, without compromising on presentation and product quality.

The wrapper format changeover from one type of biscuit stack to another can be executed in just minutes, thanks to interchangeable product guides, a removable stacking device and an interchangeable sealing head.

From slug packs to individually wrapped biscuits, twin-packs with biscuits stacked singularly to packs of four biscuits in two pile stacks, the Carrera 6000 reaches speeds of up to 500 biscuit units per minute.

To date, Ilapak has supplied more than 40 Carrera 6000 systems, with customers – ranging from biscuits, bread, pizza, tacos, chocolate and rice cake factories – heralding its flexibility and hygienic, modular construction.

“The ability to switch swiftly between individual, two-by-two, two-by-four stacks, in addition to more conventional biscuit flow wrapper formats like slugs, without having to install multiple machines within a factory has already proven to be a massive game-changer for biscuit manufacturers,” comments Tony McDonald, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ilapak.

“Not only is packing space at a premium for many of our customers, biscuit makers are looking to achieve a faster return on investment and optimise machine productivity.”

With biscuits being such delicate and highly perishable items, the wrapper incorporates in-built quality control for detecting and rejecting broken products prior to wrapping. It also features a ‘no product no bag’ function as standard. To maintain productivity and avoid machine downtime, there’s automatic reel splicing.

For speedy recall of pack formats, up to 128 product shapes – from round, square, rectangle or shaped – and stack formats can be stored within the machine database. It can also accommodate seasonal demands and special promotions, for example Easter bunny biscuits, delicately decorated ginger breads at Christmas and sporting or commemorative gift biscuits.

The machines ultra-hygienic IP65-rated construction enables full wash down capability, even of the sealing elements.

Users can customise their machine by selecting the modules they need.

McDonald explains: “As production requirements evolve, additional modules such as such as film auto-splicing, gusseting, and even a completely new jaw set up, can be added. The machine’s modularity also makes maintenance quicker and easier, as individual sections can be removed rather than having to dismantle the entire machine.”

“Rather than sticking to one pack format per biscuit line, the Carrera 6000 offers a highly flexible and cost efficient alternative with quick format switchover to optimise packing productivity. As consumer tastes and preferences evolve, so too does this flow wrapping machine,” he said.