%\ 0U %ULDQ 3HDUVRQ 6HQLRU 3URGXFW 'HYHORSPHQW (QJLQHHU WQD F lexible bags remainone of themost popular formats in the snack food industry due to their excellent barrier properties, cost-e ̫ ective production and consumerconvenience.Inparticular,asthedemand for snacks increases around the world, more focus is beingplacedon the endof the packaging line. Once amanual, time-consuming and labour-intensive process, the end-of-line is increasingly being updated with automatic case packing equipment. But, there is still plenty of opportunity to further improve e ̮ ciencies – if the right factors are considered. Product Requirements Specifying the correct case packing solution is primarily determined by the type of product that needs packing. Product size, weight, material, density and air-̬ll, as well as case size and format are all important considerations. Delicate products like potato chips, for example, can break if knocked prior to being packed, as well as being damaged or missed by vacuum heads when in transition. As such, it is essential that products are assessed ̬rst for suitability, in case they require protection from shock, vibration or compression. a considerable rate, the desire to increase throughput without increasing footprint and compromising on reliability is an ongoing aspiration. In addition to speed, maintaining a ̭exible production line has also become more important than ever before. The number of factories operating on ‘just-in-time’ production has risen signi̬cantly in recent years, as part of growing consumer demands for product freshness, as well as lowering costs for manufacturers via reduced handling and warehouse space. For operators who are increasingly stretched for time, it is minutes, not hours, that are now the standard benchmark for system changeovers. The fast-paced nature of the snack food industry means that product varieties are constantly changing, which has a subsequent impact on case packing operations. The ability to easily change over operations without causing excessive downtime or impacting speed of production is a critical consideration that can severely affect operators’ profits. To ensure that can happen, tool-less changeovers are now standard practice, often requiring no more than 10 minutes to complete. As well as assessing the nature of each product before selecting a case packer, there are also key considerations for the cases themselves. For example, joints on regular slotted containers (RSCs) and half slotted containers (HSCs) can be thicker in some places than others, which can cause jamming issues on the line. Ensuring the correct alignment for the placement of cases in the machine can therefore help to reduce production downtime. Speed and Flexibility With the global snacks market growing at PROCESSING AND PACKAGING 40 FOOD & BEVERAGE ASIA DECEMBER 2018 / JANUARY 2019 Last But Not Least on Packaging Lines Leading global supplier of integrated food processing and packaging solutions, tna shares on ways to optimise the end of a flexible packaging line. tna ropac® 5, a ground-breaking, ultra-high-speed case packer, in action.