Our meat processing series is almost coming to an end but we couldn't end it without tackling one of the very last steps of the supply chain - packaging. The procedure is as follows: deli sausage is generally packaged in plastic bags, a machine vacuum-seal and date-stamps them. They are then chilled and frozen to a maximum of of -4°F or -20°C. The product temperature should be monitored during the vacuum-sealing process to ensure better shelf-life and eliminate bacteria. Packaging is an operation that requires the implication of various types of equipment. We've highlighted a few for you.
The slicer is critical equipment in the value process. Extended downtimes can compromise the sanitary condition of the equipment and have the potential to waste a lot of product.
Common brands of slicers include Weber, Cashin, Groete, Formax.
Thermoformers have a key role in product packaging, since they impact finished product aesthetic, shelf life and quality. Extended downtime can compromise the sanitary condition of the equipment and this has the potential to waste a lot of product.
For this type of task, Multivac, Repack, VC999, Ross, Supervac figure amongst widely used brands.
Baggers have an important role in product packaging, since the packaged product is impacted aesthetically, designed shelf life and quality. Extend downtimes can compromise the sanitary condition of the equipment, with the potential to waste a lot of product.
Popular brands of meat baggers comprise of Ilapak, Toyo Jidoki, Barry Wehmiller, Hayssen, Zip Pak, Pacific Packaging.
Box erectors and case packers, semi-automatic or fully automatic, allow a smooth flow of packaged product to be palletized. Downtime and Uptime on these machines means the work order is completed on time, or not.
The labeler, printers and all equipement identifying packaged product has a dual role: it adds a label to easily identify packaged product, and it also provides a bar code (or equivalent identifier) so that the packaging can be traced in inventory management software. Labeler downtime penalizes timely work order completion and can compromise correct accountability of finished product.
Brands such as Videojet, Imaje, Markem can be seen for labelers.
Metal detectors are used near the end of the value chain, once the product is ready for final packaging. Downtime on any metal detector means all packaging operations upstream must stop.
Frequently seen metal detectors are from brands LOMA, Ceia, Fortress.
Key Performance Indicators
As per the previous articles, here are some KPIs that can be followed at this stage:
- Packing line uptime
- Throughput in terms of speed
- Giveaway relating to checkweighers
- Quality (with metal detection)
- Reduction of downtime costs at the end of the line (direct labor cost)
Learn more about real-time data collection in your factory right here.