Barry Callebaut, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cocoa and chocolate products, required a packaging system at its Eddystone, PA facility that ensured safe transport of the cocoa powder filled in paper bags and stacked on pallets. The packaging of the bag stacks must combine low packaging costs with sufficient weather protection and high stack stability during transport and storage especially when the paper bags are stacked on pallets of two different sizes. Barry Callebaut engaged BEUMER to develop an end-of-line packaging system for these specific requirements. Barry Callebaut AG with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland is a fully integrated company that masters nearly all steps from the sourcing of cocoa beans right up to the finished products sold on store shelves. As supplier of industrial and specialty chocolates, the company serves industrial and artisanal customers. The American subsidiary in Eddystone fills bags with cocoa powder, palletises and packages them. The bags are then loadedHigh requirements for the packaging system
To ensure that the cocoa powder arrives to customers in perfect condition,
it must be transported in a safe and protected manner. For this reason, the packaging system must work at a high performance level. The goals for Barry Callebaut were to increase automation and thus process reliability, improve the product presentation and use less packaging material. In addition, the packaging had to be able to protect the cocoa powder against high temperature and air humidity. As both the Euro pallet (800 mm x 1,200 mm) and the GMA pallet (Grocery Manufacturers of America) (1,015 mm x 1,215 mm) are used, the packaging system must be customisable for different pallet sizes. Barry Callebaut and BEUMER already cooperated successfully for a French facility. For this reason, the manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products once again engaged the intralogistic specialist.
Modernisation of the packaging line
As general contractor, BEUMER Corporation in Branchburg, New Jersey (USA) installed a complete packaging system, various conveying systems as well as a bagging system. With partner Behn + Bates America, a division of Haver Filling System, Inc., BEUMER equipped the line with the Integra system, a fully automated, completely premounted bagging system for bulk materials in the food industry. This system fills bags with cocoa powder and seals them. As part of the quality control process, the BEUMER belt conveyors transport the bags to a metal detector and a checkweigher. Here, bags containing metal or over- and underweight bags are rejected. After the palletising process, the stack press removes residual air from the bags, thus increasing the stack stability. When designing the packaging line, the handling of different batches on different-sized pallets was one of the challenges. For this reason the high-capacity BEUMER robotpac was installed providing excellent stack quality and load stability.
Commissioning of the high-capacity packaging system
The innovative BEUMER stretch hood is also part of the scope of supply. This high-capacity packaging system pulls a stretch hood over the palletised bag stack to protect the products against wind, rain and dust while providing ultimate safety during transport. The bag stack is completely packaged and transported to the take-away post. Thanks to the permanent
tension force of the film in vertical and horizontal direction, the bag stack provides high stability – even if the cocoa powder settles in the bags, thus reducing the bag volume. Sensors on the BEUMER stretch hood measure the height of the pallet. This automation allows for the calculation of different
stacking heights as well as the optimisation of film consumption . The film is then cut and sealed. The formed hood is pulled over the complete bag stack forming a stable unit.
More safety and less film consumption
Since the modernisation, the workflow at Barry Callebaut’s packaging facility runs without any problems. The products are protected against wind, rain and dust. Besides the packaging capacity, the stretch hood technology provides improved visibility of the palletised products thanks to the smooth surface of the film hood. The material costs for packaging have been reduced since five to ten percent less material is required, making this solution not only more cost effective for Barry Callebaut but an important contribution towardsafeguarding the environment.