For just over a decade, Pacepacker Services’ Total Bag Control (TBC) bagging system installed at Pasta Foods has adapted to meet the company’s changing needs and has continued to provide reliable, dust-free operation.
Pasta Foods is a UK leading producer of snack pellets and dry pasta. Based in Great Yarmouth for 40 years, the operation supplies customers with tailor-made solutions from a portfolio that includes extruded pellets for snack manufacturing; dry pasta ingredients for the food processing industry; and Pasta Rapido – an instant dried pasta that can be rehydrated in just two to five minutes.
"Pasta Foods is always looking for quality and the Pacepacker technology fulfils on just that," said David Smith, mill manager at Pasta Foods. "It has always given good results and adapted well to the company’s need for it to handle differing pack sizes."
To develop its external business supplying semolina products to other food manufacturers, Pasta Foods first invested in the TBC and sack placer from Pacepacker Services in 2002 when it was used to bag product in 25kg paper sacks. Made using durum wheat, the wide variety of different semolina products for fresh pasta, snacks and other specialities has grown over the years; and, drawing on the flexibility of the TBC, Pasta Foods has added 20kg, 16kg and 8kg bags to its range.
"Pacepacker’s system handles on average 1,000 to 1,500 bags per day depending on the size of the bags. Although the majority of bags are 16kg or 25kg in size, we also run both 20kg and 8kg bags in limited numbers on the same machine," said Mr Smith. "The system is inherently flexible. We do not have to make adjustments to the actual machine, but just alter the height of the conveyor in order to accommodate the different pack sizes."
The TBC installation includes a C Series Sack Placer, with a multi-pile sack magazine. Using a vacuum system, the sack placer automatically lifts individual bags from a stack and places them onto the sack clamp. Critically, in the dusty environment created by the packing of dry semolina products, Pasta Foods opted for sack clamps featuring Pacepacker Services’ dedicated dust reduction pads that help to alleviate any dust problems in the packing plant area and ensure safe, dust-free sealing.
As the semolina is released from the weigher into the bag, the clamp holds the bag firm and a retracting plate at the bottom of the bag extends and agitates the bag to ensure even filling of the light, aerated product. Continuous support of the base of the bag is offered by the TBC conveyors that are height adjustable to suit the differing pack sizes.
At no time does the system release its safe grip on the bag as it is conveyed in a synchronised motion (between the clamp and the end of the conveyor system) through the folding and sealing operation, and on to palletising. The Total Bag Control system implemented at Pasta Foods offers continuous, smooth filling and bagging time after time.
"There has been no deterioration in the performance of the Pacepacker equipment, which has been very accurate and reliable," said Mr Smith. "It has adapted as our business has adapted over the past 10 years."