The following is a case study outlining EDL’s partnership with a major Canadian ice cream manufacturer – a customer EDL has worked with for more than 10 years.
Business people in discussions with vendors or partners sometimes use the phrase, “I can give you anything but time.” In our industry, we hear, “I can give you anything but space.” Two of the biggest challenges manufacturers face when it comes to packaging their products are their facility’s lack of available space and challenging footprints. This manufacturer was faced with both.
SITUATION & CHALLENGE
This customer has several existing EDL systems in its facility and has a long history of working with EDL’s engineering expertise and our tailored solutions approach. This project needed a low-cost solution that would provide the customer with a system capable of doing multiple pack configurations, and could fit into a relatively small footprint at the end of its current production line, reducing the ice cream bar product price per package.
The current process was to transport the product across its production space to a separate area for hand-loading into corrugate boxes. This affected production throughput, profitability and process controls. This problem is one we encounter quite often, in which the customer is forced because of space limitations to move product to another area for packaging/wrapping/bundling.
The space limitations for this customer made an in-line off-the-shelf system virtually impossible and certainly cost prohibitive.
EDL’s innovative modular design approach allowed us to tailor a system to meet the customer’s exact application utilizing a side-feed automatic bundler with a 90° infeed that fit its available space allocation. The system bundles the ice cream bar packages (either 4 or 6 per bundle depending on the customer) into a single cohesive unit and then through EDL’s leading-edge technology Shrink Tunnel, where the film is heated and shrinks to encapsulate the packages in a bulls-eye enclosure. The entire system is less than 6 feet in length and easily integrated into existing production lines and includes these features:
- Side feed layout (“L” Shape)
- Application-based transfer pusher and tailored collator for complete product control throughout the process
- Accepts both supported and unsupported products (trayed or trayless)
- Throughput speeds ranging from 5 – 20 packs per minute, depending on product and enclosure
- Two-roll film system, single wound, with 14-inch core diameter capacity
- Pack-stabilizing clamp and Category III safety switches
The ability of EDL to tailor a system to the customer’s application and space allocation has resulted in a 32.5% increase in product throughput, while reducing the customer’s price per pack by 62%. In addition, the customer saw increased savings on its shipping costs due to lower pack weights and increased capacity in its truck trailers due to reduced pack sizes.
WHY THIS CUSTOMER CHOSE EDL
After every project that EDL completes and once the system has been in operation for a while, we like to solicit feedback on our process, the performance of our project management team and the equipment itself. This customer cited the following points as keys to its choice of EDL as a partner – and to the success of this project:
- EDL’s engineering expertise and flexibility. EDL’s ability and willingness to adapt our designs and our consultative approach to our customer’s requirements and needs is unparalleled in the industry.
- Application, Application, Application. This project, like all EDL projects starts with customer’s application first. We don’t start with any pre-conceived off-the-shelf systems that we try and make “fit” the customer’s needs. Because of EDL’s innovative modular design systems approach, we are able to tailor a system to meet our customer’s exact application, thereby providing a complete systems solution to its needs.
- Quick installation and smooth startup. EDL rigorously tests our systems prior to ever leaving our facility, ensuring that when the system is installed in the customer’s facility it is ready to go right into the production process with limited downtime for installation and startup.
EDL’s expertise extends to a wide variety of end-of-line packaging equipment for a variety of industries to include food, automotive, building supply, dairy, personal care, windows & doors and pet food. EDL’s systems are ruggedly built for industrial environments and run with an average of 98% efficiency – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our innovative designs lead to lower energy costs for use, reduction in film usage and costs and increased production rates.
If those are the kind of results you are looking for from your packaging partner, we’d love to talk to you!