In discussions with customers and experts in the biscuit industry, Bosch Packaging Technology identified three main success factors for automation:
1. Scalability is the first stumbling point. For biscuit manufacturers who are new to automation or are testing new products and markets, fully automated lines might be a too high barrier for entry. It’s easiest to start off by automating primary biscuit packaging, combined with manual secondary and tertiary equipment. All other elements can be automated at a later stage, allowing producers to grow their production in line with sales.
2. Adaptability to various pack sizes, formats and materials is the second important point. For some manufacturers in emerging markets the ability to reduce or increase the number of biscuits per pack is a matter of survival against fluctuating raw material costs. For others, the opportunity to run seasonal promotions and adjust to consumer demands is a deciding factor. It is important to choose a system that allows format flexibility independent of incoming product supply, enabling to change the stack height as well as pack configuration without alterations of the production line. Another key element is easy, and preferably tool-less changeovers, that helps producers reduce operator errors and downtime through repeatable and programmable set-ups.
3. Compliance with legislative changes is the third most important concern for manufacturers, as they face increasing pressure to enhance safety in the food supply chain due to new global regulations. Automating production lines makes it easier for biscuit producers to meet specific hygienic requirements.
Be it through partial or full automation – meeting the rapidly increasing demands of the cookie and cracker market is no easy feat, especially in developing markets where manual processes are still the norm. To help tackle this challenge, at Bosch we talk through all aspects of automation with our customers and deliver reliable packaging solutions and services that meet their individual needs.
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