FDBusiness.com

Earthbound Farm relies on Adept ClamPAC™ to case pack clamshells

 Breaking News
  • Lactalis Expands in Infant Nutrition With €740 Million Acquisition Lactalis Group, the international dairy group based in Laval, France, is acquiring the Nutritional business of Aspen Pharmacare for €739.8 million (R12.9 billion). The business being acquired supplies a wide range of infant nutritional and growing-up milk products across both the premium and value segments. It manufactures and markets well established quality brands, including S-26, [...]...
  • Thatchers Cider to Invest £14 Million in New Cider Mill Thatchers Cider, the family owned English cider producer, is to invest £14 million in a new cider mill at its Myrtle Farm site in Somerset to meet growing demand for its products. The company has applied for planning permission and, if granted, the new mill would come on stream in 2019. “This investment is about our [...]...
  • Coca-Cola Great Britain Teams Up With Premier League Premier League and Coca-Cola Great Britain have announced a new three-and-a-half-year partnership, starting in January 2019. It is the first sponsorship Coca-Cola Great Britain will activate across multiple brands within its portfolio, showcasing a range of drinks including sparkling soft drinks, water and fruit-based drinks, with low and no-sugar options. The partnership will see Coca-Cola work [...]...
  • Barry Callebaut Completes $30 Million Capacity Expansion in North America Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, has announced the completion of several expansion investments in three of its North American facilities located in St Hyacinthe, Quebec; Chatham, Ontario; and St Albans, Vermont. The investments amount to close to US$30 million and are in line with previously announced plans. Recent investments [...]...
  • Strong First Half From Hilton Food Group Hilton Food Group, the UK-based leading specialist international food packing business, has reported a 25.0% increase in turnover to £863.6 million and by 24.5% on a constant currency basis for the 28 weeks to 15 July 2018. Volumes increased by 12.7% reflecting growth in the UK, Ireland and Australia. Operating profit for the first half [...]...

Earthbound Farm relies on Adept ClamPAC™ to case pack clamshells

October 22
11:19 2012

As the country’s largest grower, packer and shipper of organic produce, Earthbound Farm is recognized as an innovative industry leader. In April 2012, they installed four Adept ClamPAC ™ robotic systems from Adept Technology to case pack clamshells. This new technology gave them the dexterity and throughput they needed to automate what had been a manual operation. It also allowed them to design a new, more environmentally friendly clamshell that requires very gentle handling. Earthbound has been so satisfied with their first four ClamPAC systems, they purchased four more.

“We explored several suppliers offering robotic systems. Adept was the only one we found that had a product that could withstand our rigorous sanitation routine,” said Joe Torquato, Director of Engineering at Earthbound Farm. “Our new robotic packaging systems improve the consistency of our throughput, which helps position us for continued growth. The technology is gentle and accurate; it reduces product damage and enhances the presentation of our clamshells in the case. It helps improve our work environment by eliminating a highly repetitive task. The labor cost savings gives us the ability to make this change that has widespread benefits.”

ClamPAC is the first fully integrated robotic solution in the world to be pre-engineered to case pack clamshells. Adept’s packaging solutions group makes customer-specific modifications to the standardized modular system before delivery. This approach is designed to reduce the customer’s total cost of ownership by minimizing integration complexity and deployment time while providing the flexibility, dexterity and speed of a world-class robotic solution.

“Food processors like to find a single source supplier that handles the entire process,” noted Torquato. “Adept took on that accountability. They handled everything including our empty boxes. They learned all our SKUs and became very intimate with our process. They set the systems up to handle our clamshells and each case packing configuration. They integrated their systems with our plant control network so we can control the operation remotely and gather data for reporting purposes. The integration went very smoothly.”

“Our robotic case packing systems consistently handle the clamshells more gently than laborers did and much more gently than our old drop door case packers. Transitioning to the Adept systems gave us the gentle handing we needed to redesign our clamshells,” said Torquato. “We used to have a shrink band on the clamshell, which we wanted to eliminate to take PVC out of the environment. Our new patented clamshells feature a lid that’s sonically welded to the tub. The Adept system is gentle enough to lift the clamshell by its lid and not break the easy-open perforation.”

One component of ClamPAC that contributes to the system’s gentle handling at high speeds is the design of its SoftPIC™ grippers. Selected specifically for each customer’s range of products, SoftPIC grippers are made of soft silicon that conforms to the shape of the clamshell and provides a direct vacuum path to the product. For lines that handle multiple clamshell sizes or designs, the SoftPIC grippers can be changed in less than two minutes.

“The ClamPAC systems nest the flanges of the clamshells during case packing. This keeps the clamshells in a better position so they are less prone to damage during transportation. It also allows us to put the same number of clamshells into a smaller box, which reduces packaging materials,” explained Torquato.

The first four ClamPAC systems at Earthbound Farm are case packing 5 oz clamshells filled with an assortment of washed lettuces into six- and eight-count cases. “ClamPAC tracks the box coming into the system and actually begins to fill it while it’s still in motion. That’s one way the system achieves its very high speeds while maintaining such gentle handling,” said Torquato.

Earthbound Farm operates two production shifts and one sanitation shift a day, six or seven days a week. Electing to operate under the same high sanitation standards as dairy, meat and poultry plants, their sanitation routine is rigorous. “Adept’s robotic packaging systems are designed with sanitation in mind, which supports an efficient sanitation process and leads to a clean, safe product,” said Will Daniels, Senior Vice President of Operations and Organic Integrity at Earthbound Farm.

“The Adept ClamPAC systems have been very successful,” concluded Torquato. “We wanted an integrated, turnkey system that would be easy to start up. We wanted the systems to be easy for our technicians to operate. And we wanted to achieve significant speeds and experience exceptional uptime. The Adept systems have delivered.”

About Author

colin

colin

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • September 25, 2018PPMA Show 2018
  • September 27, 2018Int'l Fruit Show (eurofruit)
  • September 30, 2018Trade Fair for Butchers, Caterers and Meat Industry (Meat Expo)
  • October 1, 2018Poznan International Fair
AEC v1.0.4

Jobs: Food Packaging

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements