We think the best way to truly understand what we do is to see the results we’ve achieved for our clients across a variety of industries. The following case studies provide an inside view of client projects, where we discuss the original issue the company faced, along with an overview of the solution we provided and the difference it made.
Need help with a challenging production issue? Ready to save labor, time, and money? Contact Creative Packaging Solutions
Freshpet engaged Creative Packaging Solutions to design a case labeling system for
the new facility being built on the Bethlehem campus, called Plant 2. Retail customers were requesting case product information to be visible on all 4 sides of the case. Many retail customers store product in their diary coolers and want to easily see the product information on the case, regardless of how the case is oriented on the pallet, rack or
Freshpet wanted a very robust and operator friendly system that would be easy to
change over and not be a burden on operators or maintenance. Freshpet knew
Creative Packaging Solutions had been involved with numerous case labeling
applications, so we leaned on their expertise to find the right OEM to partner with on the project. Creative Packaging Solutions has had a long relationship with ID Technology out of New Jersey and was chosen as the equipment manufacturer. The Freshpet Project Team was very busy with the construction of the new facility and relied on Creative Packaging Solutions to work through the finer details with ID Technology.
Freshpet was needing a custom interface with the label software and Creative
Packaging Solutions took the lead on getting it designed.
The system was designed with 2 ID Technology Model 255 label applicators with Sato S84-ex thermal transfer print heads. ID Technology designed the custom conveyor and Allen Bradley PLC control system. All steel components were stainless steel so to not have to be concerned with rust or flaking paint. The system also uses Cognex vision cameras to ensure labels are properly placed on the case and if there is a label issue, the case is rejected off the conveyor. Recipe settings for various case sizes are accessed by operators through an Allen Bradley HMI for ease of change over. 2 lines are installed in Plant 2, requiring 2 case labeling systems.
Creative Packaging Solutions attended the FAT at ID Technology with Freshpet to
ensure the labelers worked as designed and expected. Creative Packaging Solutions
assisted with the equipment installation and performed the start-up and commissioning. Without Creative Packaging Solutions involvement in the project, it would not have been a successful project.
-Michael Hieger, SVP Engineering
“The starter conveyor project has been installed and been working to expectations for the last
three- four months. The process from concept thru final install and commissioning was a very
thorough and professionally managed project.”
-Terrence M. Spisak (President)
Prior to working with Creative Packaging Solutions, five to six operators would spend the day before production manually forming cases, sealing the bottom with tape, and inserting pre-made bag liners into each case. The empty cases were stacked on the production floor until the next day, consuming about 500 square feet of floor space in that area.
During production, the cases would be picked up and placed onto an unpowered roller conveyor. The operator would roll one case under the manually operated filling system where it would be packed with frozen vegetables. The operator would look at each case to determine if it had the correct amount of product in it and push it down the line to the weighing station.
The next operator would place the filled case onto the scale. If there was too much product, it would be scooped out of the case. If the case did not have enough product, it would be topped off by taking a scoop of product and dumping it into the case.
When the correct weight was accomplished, the case was rolled to the next operator. Here the operator would fold the bag liner over the product, close the minor and major flaps on the case, and put it into the tape machine.
The primary goal of this project was to reduce the amount of labor needed to make and fill the cases with frozen product. After collaborating with the client, Creative Packaging Solutions determined that utilizing a fully automatic case erector with concurrent bag inserter and a linear vibratory weigh-filler would meet their goal.
The operator loads the case erector in feed with a stack of case blanks. The erector pulls a case blank, erects the case, inserts the bag liner, and seals the bottom of the case with pressure-sensitive tape. The case indexes forward under the weigh-filler. The filler doses the lined case with the accurate weight of the product. The case is then discharged onto an unpowered roller conveyor, where an operator folds the bag liner into the case, folds the major and minor flaps, and pushes the case into the tape machine.
The new system eliminates the need to make cases the day before production, significantly reducing labor costs. Valuable floor space is now available as well since it is not occupied by waiting cases. Erecting the cases inline, directly before they are filled, greatly reduces the possibility of contaminants being introduced into the case. Automatic weigh-filling eliminates the need for an operator to control the filling system and subsequently eliminates the need to have an operator weigh each case.
The new system meets the client’s primary goal of reducing the cost of labor to package their product. Other benefits of the new system include more consistent material usage and less waste. Automating the case erecting and bag inserting portion of the process reduces the likelihood of injury caused by repetitive motion.
The top of each spool was labeled manually. This was accomplished by peeling the label off the sheet and placing it into a jig. The operator would then take the spool, flip it upside down and press it into the jig to apply the label.
Next, a shrink band was manually placed over the spool, before placing it on the conveyor.
As the spool traveled down the conveyor, it would pass under the heat tunnel to shrink the band around the spool. The spool would then be discharged off the conveyor into a catch bin. At this time, the line speed was ten spools per minute.
Next, an operator would take each spool out of the bin and pack it into a case. The packed case would be moved to a different area where two to three operators would take the spools out of the case and place a label onto the side of each spool by hand. Each spool would then be repacked into the case and stored until it was shipped.
The goal of this project was to reduce the number of touches that it takes to package the spools and to increase the overall production capacity. After working closely with the customer, Creative Packaging Solutions determined that the best course of action was to utilize an automatic sleeving system with a heat tunnel, two print and apply labeling systems, and a custom puck conveyor.
With the new system, the operator picks up a spool and places it onto the custom puck conveyor. As the spool moves down the line, the shrink band, side label, and top label are automatically applied.
At the front end of the line, we eliminated the need to peel the label, place the label into the jig, press the spool into the jig to apply the label, and manually place the shrink band onto the label. The new system also eliminates the need for the secondary process of unpacking the spools and manually placing the side label. Additionally, the new system will increase File-Tec’s production capacity by 100% or more.