Chicago — One of the world’s largest processing and packaging shows, Pack Expo 2016, annually showcases the latest and greatest innovations for candy and snack manufacturers.
Attracting more than 2,000 exhibiting companies and 50,000 attendees there is plenty to see, including the NCA-sponsored Confectionery Pavilion, where 41 suppliers to the industry are revealing new technologies designed to improve productivity.
Representing a range of verticals including chocolate, confectionary, gum, snack, bakery, pharmaceutical and pet food industries, Sollich North America, LLC and its subsidiaries will be on the floor displaying its latest machinery.
Sollich KG, the german branch of the company, will have its latest enrobers, tempering systems, cooling tunnels, and bar forming equipment on hand for confectioners. The company’s new Thermo-Flow 820 KK cooling tunnel, which incorporates Gullwing PU-Covers, is the latest innovation from the subsidiary. Using stainless steel and other non-rusting materials, the tunnel is designed to reduce bacterial growth through an easy cleaning process.
Several improvements and innovations have led to the development of Sollich’s Minicoater MC 420 enrober, which is a small scale version of the company’s popular Enromat M5 1050 CIP full-scale enrober, according to the equipment supplier.
Sollich KG’s sister company Chocotech GmbH will also be at the expo displaying confectionery solution for caramel, fondant, aerated products, jelly, hard candy, fruit snacks, binders, brittle, and Halwa producers. The company’s Princess ECOGRAV continues the energy saving legacy established by the original hard and chewy candy producing ECOGRAV, which was introduced in 2011. With an integrated gravimetric weighing unit and dissolver, Chocotech claims less water vapor is wasted due to the increased solid content percentage obtained.
FInally, the French subsidiary Dumoulin is introducing the LogiC 252 Automatic Coating Pan. The company claims this smaller, fully automated chocolate coating and varnishing pan offers maximum flexibility at an optimum price-performance ratio.
Starch Mould, Process Lines Feature Heavily In Tanis Presentation
Specializing in the design and manufacturing of process equipment for sugar confectionery, Tanis Confectionery will have a 3D model of its Tanis T-Gel Moulding line. The system offers a new approach to starch based gums and jelly depositing, according to the company, which it says results in increased line productivity and improved dosing accuracy.
The company’s T-Gel process lines — kitchens, dosing systems for additives (ABS), moulding lines (mogul), conditioning rooms, coolers for finished goods, oilers and sanders — demonstrate a depth of knowledge of gums and jelly manufacturing. In its R&D facility, Tanis Candy Innovation Centre, the company is able to develop and produce a broad range of products on a small industrial scale.
With the popularity of tube packs still powering on, Multipond America, Inc. says it has a packaging solution to the congestion problem that is too commonplace among manufacturers.
The longer, narrow packs have become a staple of checkout lines and gas stations as products such as candies, nuts, dried fruits and various cereals experiment with these kinds of packs. The small diameter of the format tube causes blockages at high speeds, which often makes lines inefficient.
Multipond is introducing a new timing hopper at the expo, which the company says fixes this congestion problem. A new mechanism increases the diameter of the timing hopper, which enables the pre-formatted product to more reliably transfer to the tube pack. The new machine permits nominal filling weights of up to 100 grams at an output of up to 110 weighings per minute.
Since Egan Food Technologies introduced the first USA-made slab-bar forming line in 2012, the better-for-you nut and protein bar segment has exploded with numerous new products. Now the company is unveiling a new line of slab forming equipment targeted at entrepreneurs and start-up bar manufacturers.
The move comes as Egan Food is seeing a greater demand for affordable, locally manufactured bar forming equipment. The new line affordably automates many of the process that small-scale manufacturers are currently doing by hand.
The line uniformly presses rolls to varying degrees of thickness across a 16-inch wide belt. A guillotine device cuts the slab every 24 inches, and a retractable conveyor places the cut slab into baking pans, which can be cooled or baked prior to cutting into unique bar lengths and widths.
“Just like our original slab forming line, this entry level version is designed to form more fragile products, such as nutritional bars, granola bars and crisp rice and other cereal bars,” says Mike Sherd, managing partner of Egan Food Technologies. “We’ve engineered our original technology in a way that keeps the price low on this equipment, but still allows a growing business to automate.”
Conveyor belts are immeasurably important to any manufacturing process, but when confectionery and snack products are constantly being enrobed, drizzled, sprinkled and dusted with other toppings, cleaning can become quite the task.
Dynamic Conveyor Corp. claims it has the solution with the unveiling of its easy-to-clean metal mesh belt system. The company says manufacturers will be able to coat, drain, wash, dry or rapid cool their food products from snacks to confectionery. Belts are also suitable for baking items and meat products. This is the first metal design in the company’s line, which it says is known for reducing cleaning times by half. The advantage of metal, Dynamic Conveyor says, is its ability to make tight transfers and ease the movement of fragile items.
Its open design ensures there are few to no areas where bacteria and other particles can hide and there are no tools required or small losable parts for disassembly.
Flow Pack, Gum Solutions on Display
Appealing to the premium packaging market, Loesch Verpackungstechnik GmbH will introduce horizontal high-performance F-Series platform for packaging chocolate, biscuits, chewing gum and more in flow packs at Pack Expo.
The company says its short format changeover times make it easier for companies to compete in multiple food and snack categories given the new machine’s compact modular design. Flow Pack machines are designed from beginning to end for time efficiency, whether that’s fewer stoppages or maintenance accessibility.
Loesch claims the flow wrapping machines are easy to integrate into other companies’ machines including buffer, feeder, secondary and tertiary packing.
The supplier’s booth will be rounded out by a wide ranging presentation on all aspects of packaging chewing gum. Technical animations, videos and a number of packaging solution examples will be on display. Loesch’s GW05 and GW06 high-performance chewing gum packaging machines will be there as well for prospective customers.
Turning Belts Designed to Meet Complex Challenges
Intralox, LLC says it designed its 2300 Flush Grid Nose-Roller Tight Turning Belt to meet the demands of smaller packages and compact footprints.
“Prior to development, we surveyed a wide range of customers in order to frame the market needs for side-flexing belts,” said David Weiser, engineering manager for Intralox. The result is the S2300, which delivers small product handling with enhanced operator safety and extremely long life in high-load, high-cycle applications.”
The company says it uses belt speed, load distribution, and turn and width severity to live up to the difficulties of today’s complex radius challenges. Benefits of the turning belt include Improved load sharing, enhanced belt life, minimized unscheduled downtime, layout flexibility and increased safety.
With demonstrations, labeling equipment and processing machines all on hand, TNA North America, Inc. plans to make this Pack Expo its biggest yet.
This is the first show since the company acquired the labeling assets of Unique Solutions, and a lot of time will be spent demonstrating how manufacturers can better integrate the new technologies into their lines.
“The U.S. packaged food industry is one of the most competitive markets in the world and — with a 40 percent market share — snacks are leading the way,” says Mark Lozano, sales manager at TNA. “With our flexible labeling and inserting technology, however, manufacturers can now add immense value to their existing product range. Whether it’s a small toy in a bag of candy or a seasoning sachet to add some extra spice, the possibilities to stand out on those crowded supermarket shelves are practically endless.”
A number of machines will be on hand to interact with including the Robag 3ci, Intelli-flav 5, Roflo 3 and FOODesign Cryo-Jet 5. These turnkey systems are designed to pack at high speeds for a wide range of products from loose sugar-coated fruit sweets to pre-wrapped chocolate-covered hazelnuts.
“Our business is growing rapidly and we’re excited that this growth is allowing us to bring new systems and solutions to the show every year,” says Patrick Avelange, general manager for the Americas at TNA. “With the additions of FOODesign, Florigo and Unique Solutions to the TNA group, we now offer a complete one-stop shop for food production equipment and solutions across a wide variety of applications. Whether they’re looking to speed up their snack packaging line, expand their potato specialty product range or boost the output of their French fry business, our cutting edge technology covers all their processing and packaging needs.”
Robert Bosch GmbH’s Packaging Technologies division is putting a bigger emphasis on testing jellies to allow manufacturers to experiment with designs, shapes and formulas before launching a large roll out.
The company will have its laboratory depositor and drying room on hand, which allow manufacturers to accurately test the product while amping up production for a national release. The equipment has applications in functional gummies but largely focuses on the pharmaceutical sector with items such as cough lozenges, omega-3 and mineral-enriched products.
“We see growing demand for functional and medicated jelly in the U.S. Jellies are seen by both producers and consumers as an ideal carrier for vitamins, supplements and active pharmaceutical ingredients,” said Frank Jansen, product manager at Bosch Packaging Technology. “As a result, manufacturers require a constant development of new recipes and products that can be tested with minimal upfront investments, while providing accurate results. At Bosch we are committed to delivering easy-to-use laboratory solutions, as well as complete production lines for jellies.”
Appealing to confectioners looking to make high quality small batches of hard candies, soft candies and lollipops, Baker Perkins Ltd. is introducing it ServoForm Mini depositing system at Pack Expo.
The company says the depositor has the same process and control technology as the high output ServoForm series and can reach outputs of 120lbs/hr. The company adds that the mini is ideal for medical and healthcare uses as well as established confectioners looking to experiment in small batches before launching a full national line.
Jellies, gums, caramels, fudge and fondants can all benefit from depositor technology as Baker Perkins says it makes a more uniformly shaped and flavored product than is possible via other technologies such as die forming, starch mogul and cut-and-wrap.
New Technology Makes Flowpack Fills Faster
Typically, more efficient packing speeds indicates greater complexity and maintenance cost, but Gerhard Schubert GmbH claims its TLM technology allows for high-speed flowpack fills with reduced electronics.
The company’s booth will demonstrate the new technology on cylindrical wafers packed in top-down flowpacks. Those packs will be placed in display cartons using an F2 closing robot, which the company claims can process 300 flowpacks per minute.
Even though the process uses robots, GerHard Schubert has developed a decentralized control architecture for TLM robots, which requires no electronic cabinet. This simplified system will allow for faster and cheaper maintenance through fewer specialized personnel, the company claims.
TLM won’t be the only robot on display from GerHard Schubert, the company’s Transmodul single-axis, rail-based robot with contactless power and data transmission, will also demonstrate its transportation power tow safely deliver products between other Schubert machines.
The nearly century old machine packing company Cozzoli Machine Co. will demonstrate filling and closing equipment including its Versa-Fil Rotary Time/Pressure Filler, and the RPF Rotary Piston Filler.
The RPF Rotary Piston Filler can handle most textures, but it’s standout quality is its versatility to meet the needs of small to large manufacturers. Different sizes and models allow four to 36 filling nozzles, the company reports.
The Versa-Fil Time/Pressure Filler is especially suited to handling items with a heavy viscosity such as peanut butter. The company’s latest nozzle technology allows for accurate and speedy fills of notoriously difficult thick products.