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Application Story: Vitner's Chicago Style Snacks®

C.J. Vitner boosts productivity 20% with new Ishida bagmakers!

Vitners, The Chicago Style Snacks Packaging over 2.5 million bags of snacks every week, C.J. Vitner Co. planned to increase efficiency of its busy packaging lines by replacing some of its older model bagmakers.

"In 2010 we purchased eight Ishida Atlas-222 baggers because of their proven capability and strong customer support from Heat and Control," explained Jerry Macrito, VP of Manufacturing. C.J. Vitner manufactures potato, corn, and tortilla chips, popcorn, and extruded snacks under the Vitner brand and for private label customers at their 135,000 sq. foot manufacturing plant in Freeport, IL.

Ishida Atlas Snack Bagmakers at Vitner's Snacks"The Atlas-222 baggers have helped us gain an average increase of 20% in productivity," says Macrito. "We have seen less downtime with an increase in speed and efficiencies." C.J. Vitner produces a variety of bag sizes, from 1/2 ounce up to 12 ounces, in polypropylene and foil films. Although packaging speeds with the Atlas baggers are now faster, Macrito says average product over-fill has been kept to less than 1 gram beyond declared weight. "Regardless of the product density, the baggers have performed favorably: scrap is less than 1% with film yields improving by 6%," says Macrito.

Capable of speeds up to 250 bags/minute, the Ishida Atlas-222 features unique rotary motion sealing jaws that produce tight end seals with all snack bag films. Back sealing is synchronized with film speed to create wrinkle-free vertical seals. Precise film tension, which is critical to trouble-free high-speed operation, is maintained using Ishida's real-time load cell tensioning system. To prevent product from entering seals, Atlas uses a unique stripping and bag inflating system. All functions are controlled from a simple color touch screen. "The user-friendly program and easy-to-read display have proven to make this an easy operation for our machine operators," says Macrito. "One operator is now able to run three baggers at once without reducing productivity."

"Installation and start-up was faster than we expected. The actual installation only took one day," notes Macrito. "Heat and Control was always available to answer questions and lend support if needed," he adds. All things considered, the new Ishida Atlas-222 bagmakers have improved packaging efficiency so well for C.J. Vitner, concludes Macrito, "they will completely pay for themselves in less than three years." More info   VideoVideos

*This story first appeared in Heat and Control's innovator magazine, issue 34.

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