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Biscuit manufacturer prefers leading innovative solutions

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Arnott’s Biscuits Limited, one of the largest food companies in the Asia-Pacific region and supplier of biscuits to more than 40 countries around the world, has installed a FlexLink solution for handling of the household name “Shapes” biscuits.

The project was part of an upgrade of the packaging facilities at the Huntingwood plant in New South Wales. The system has improved product quality and flexibility and increased the efficiency of the packaging process.

Increase in product demand

Due to constantly increasing product demand, Arnott’s was required to update and restructure their biscuit manufacturing process. Modifications were needed to accommodate the changing demands of Australian customers and pressures from society. This resulted in the redevelopment of the packaging process including re-routing of existing conveyor lines and installation of new equipment provided by FlexLink.

“The purpose of the system was to convey the ‘Shapes’ biscuit boxes to the case packing stage of the production process, ready for transporting to the central warehouse,” explained Peter Schier, Continuous Improvement Coordinator, Arnott’s Biscuits Ltd.

One major consideration for Arnott’s was that the design needed to accommodate the rotation of cartons. The ‘Shapes’ cartons needed to be rotated 90º, from a flat facedown position to standing up on their side, at a consistent packaging speed of 150 boxes per minute without any stops in the production flow.

FlexLink offered a complete solution incorporating alpine and twist conveyor

FlexLink offered Arnott’s a complete solution for integrating their packaging process, comprising of alpine elevator, incline, decline and twist conveyors.

“FlexLink Systems, suggested a twist conveyor, which addressed a challenging carton turning requirement, and has worked extremely well, far exceeding our expectations”, said Peter Schier.

The alpine uses a compact spiral configuration to elevate the cartons 2m above the floor, at a 15º angle. The ‘Shapes’ cartons are transported around two 180º plain bends at a fixed speed of 55 metres per minute. By raising the packaging line, FlexLink have created a safe walkway for operators and enhanced valuable floor space, hence, it has improved access to the production area.

A twist conveyor starts at a high level and declines at a 15º angle, transferring the product to the operator level. The conveyor is designed to flip and transfer the cartons in conjunction with another twist conveyor. This rotates the product ready for the final transfer into the case packer.

FlexLink offered a unique solution, as the twist beam conveyors were adjusted to suit the requirements of Arnott’s biscuits line.

“The twist conveyors have continued to work faultlessly and have far exceeded our expectations,” Peter Schier said.

A turnkey solution

“FlexLink offered us a turnkey solution and it easily handles the conveying challenge!” Peter Schier said.

The flexibility of the application has enabled Arnott’s Biscuits at the Huntingwood plant more efficient use of their production machinery, employees and premises.

“FlexLink provided a good technical solution at a competitive price,” Peter Schier said.

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