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  • Bosch’s new VFFS test lab in New Richmond, WI.

    „ $850,000 expansion facilitates full integration and testing of vertical bagging lines with secondary packaging equipment

  • „  Temperature and humidity control to simulate production conditions
  • „  In-house training for customers provides familiarization prior to installation

The expansion of our state-of-the-art vertical form fill seal (VFFS) test facility in New Richmond, Wis was recently completed. The $850,000 vertical expansion, which started in  May 2012 and was completed in  December, helps us accommodate two full VFFS packaging lines that include secondary packaging, such as case erecting, loading and closing. With the expansion, we can now offer optimal product feeding to VFFS machines for extended runs, as well as temperature and humidity control to simulate each manufacturer’s specific factory environment.

Manufacturers across multiple industries, such as fresh and frozen food, as well as confectionery, utilizing our expanded  VFFS test facility can be assured that their line is fully functional prior to installation at their production site. From engineering, parts fabrication and assembly to line integration, testing and trouble shooting, Bosch offers its customers a full range of resources when using the company’s VFFS line testing facility in New Richmond.

Customer equipment training

Via this expansion, we enhance our ability to provide customers access to equipment training and familiarization, which results in a smooth start-and ramp-up of their production. Training can range in complexity, from simple hands-on operation during the Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT), to in-depth Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI)-certified classroom training for operators and mechanics, including PMMI-certification testing at the end of the training modules.

“Bosch’s New Richmond test facility provides customers with the assurance that their vertical packaging line has been fully tested and is ready to go,” said Eric Aasen, vertical product line manager, Bosch Packaging Technology. “This demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our customers achieve maximum efficiency and profit.”

VFFS line featuring delta robotic case packing at the expanded test facility.

Global product line, local support

The expansion is part of our strategy of offering a top notch global product line with local support. We supply a wide range of VFFS technologies to suit various market needs, including both continuous and intermittent vertical baggers with its SVE and SVI series, as well as heat and ultrasonic sealing technologies. Our vertical baggers have the flexibility to produce numerous pack styles, including pillow, gusseted, stand up, full four corner seal block bottom, and doy bags; as well as special bag styles and various opening and reclosure aids, on a single machine without adjusting machine height. This allows manufacturers to quickly adjust to changing market demands. We also offer secondary packaging equipment that can be integrated into fully automated lines specific to customer applications, known as Module++.

Sustainable design

We also made sure that the expansion included several sustainable elements, such as windows with low-emissive (Low-E) glass, which reduces energy consumption by allowing light to pass through while reflecting heat, as well as T8 fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts that produce more light per watt, run cooler and last longer. In addition to meeting building envelope insulation requirements, we also incorporated its highly efficient point-of-use water heater. Other sustainable features include variable frequency drives (VFD), used to further reduce energy consumption for the crane and hoist system, and the high efficiency combination air handler and air conditioning unit.

Bosch’s New Richmond facility serves North America’s various packaging sectors, including the confectionery, bakery, fresh food, frozen food and pharmaceutical markets, and employs more than 270 people. In 2004, Bosch acquired the facility from Doboy, Inc., whose roots in food packaging begin in the 1870s.

We invite you to walk through our Pack Expo 2012 booth in a new 3D interactive website (www.BoschPackagingBooth.com). Our new “Virtual Booth” technology makes it feel like you are right on the show floor with 3D machine views, video from the show, and the ability to download brochures and contact Bosch.

See what you missed at our booth, or share with your colleagues the exciting new machines you saw.  The virtual booth includes 17 different displays that you can interact with.  Navigating the booth is easy.  Simply click on the left or right arrows to move around the booth and then select the machine or kiosk that is of interest to you.  It’s a great way to explore new packaging technology without leaving your office!

Select a machine or kiosk to see a close-up view like this with descriptive text. Buttons on the bottom of the screen allow you to watch a video, go to the product page on the Bosch website, request a quote, contact Bosch, or request a brochure.

To increase outputs or lower manufacturing costs, manufacturers are often challenged with the decision of selecting between robotics or product distribution conveyors when opting to automate their lines. As a supplier of robotics, conveying technologies and integrated packaging lines, Bosch discusses the criteria in selecting an optimal feeding solution in a new white paper – “Packaging Line Automation – Robotics or Product Distribution Conveyors?”, recently featured on Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery. The white paper provides unbiased advice for manufacturers and highlights key considerations for choosing between robotics and product distribution conveyors for feeding.

For example, the paper advises on different pack configurations, such as for a simple bar package or a more complicated cookie stack. For more information, click on the link above.

The confectionery industry places a premium on package style and appearance.  Often an impulse purchase, confectionery products must stand out on the shelf to grab customers’ attention.  As a result, confectionery manufacturers need to be able to quickly react to new packaging trends and styles.  Bosch helps confectionery companies react quickly by providing flexible machines that can be easily reconfigured to run different bag styles.  An excerpt below from PMT’s March/April 2012 article titled “Candy Everybody Wants” explains more about what Bosch is doing in this area.  Click on the previous link to read the entire article for more information.

At Bosch, Jansen has seen an increase in the need for package style flexibility and configurations, with an emphasis on shelf-ready displays. “Confectionery customers are being driven by retailers to meet various shelf-ready requirements and are partnering with Bosch to create flexible lines that can address multiple retailers’ demands across their various product lines,” he says. “As an example, we have installed numerous packaging lines in the confectionery industry that combine one of our V/F/F/S baggers with a delta robot for secondary packaging. The Bosch V/F/F/S bagger has the flexibility to package confectionery customers’ products in everything from standard pillow bags to four corner sealed bags and doy bags. These various package styles can then be picked up and placed by a Bosch delta robot into a wide range of secondary packaging configurations, including shelf-ready displays that many retailers are requiring.” Jansen also notes that Bosch has received many requests for technologies to top load vertically-produced bags in cases or cartons, and that Bosch is working to meet the demand from consumers for more packagage style flexibility.

Product Distribution Conveyors feeding two horizontal flow wrappers

Product distribution conveyors feeding two horizontal flow wrappers

When manufacturers opt to automate their lines to achieve increased outputs or lower manufacturing costs, they often are challenged with the decision of selecting robotics or product distribution conveyors.   Both technologies have their place in modern packaging lines.  As a supplier of robotics, conveying technologies, and integrated packaging lines, Bosch understands the criteria needed to select an optimal feeding solution and can help manufacturers take a holistic and comprehensive view.

In a recent white paper, we identified three characteristics of your packaging line and product to evaluate when choosing between robotics and conveyors:

  • pack configuration
  • product characteristics
  • operating environment
Robotic Feeding of Horizontal Flow Wrapper

3 arm delta robot feeding a horizontal flow wrapper

First, manufacturers must consider the complexity of their pack configuration, as well as the number and orientation of products within a package.  Conveyors offer speed advantages for simpler pack configurations like single candy bars while robotics are better suited for more complex styles like multipacks.  Next, product characteristics should be evaluated when investing in new automated feeding equipment, including whether the product is delicate and needs to be handled gently or more rugged and can withstand harsher conditions.  Finally, the white paper discusses how sanitation, floor space and other environmental factors in the manufacturing facility affect the choice between robots and product distribution conveyors.

Download your copy of our new packaging automation white paper from the Bosch website: http://www.boschpackaging.com/nrd/automation.

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