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Application Story: Better Made Snack Foods   



Better Made Appetizers Snack Foods made better!

Better Made Snack Foods' formula for success is simple: Deliver the highest product quality. Growing demand recently prompted Better Made to find a better way to season and package their potato chips and sticks.

Better Made Logo"We conducted our own industry survey and Heat and Control was the company others kept recommending," says Mike Schena, president and COO at Better Made. "Heat and Control's FastBack and Ishida system was the best choice because of its efficiency and product delivery without broken chips," notes Schena.

To achieve the highest quality and productivity for Better Made, the new seasoning and packaging equipment was designed to perform as a single system. Four integrated Ishida weigher/bagmakers, FastBack on-machine seasoning applicators, and FastBack Revolution gate distribution conveyors are all installed on a modular Rapid Deployment packaging platform with an ITM-Plant iT control and manufacturing execution system (MES) that manages operation of the entire line in real time.

Ishida ITPS weigher/bagmakers at Better Made plantProduct demands of each weigher/bagmaker are communicated to the FastBack conveyors and Revolution distribution gates through a sophisticated Revolution DF Control system.

This ensures each weigher/bagmaker never has to wait for product. The line runs continuously for up to 10 minutes without stopping and starting, delivering uniform seasoning coverage and very accurate bag weights. Better Made has discovered that longer runs also improve operating effectiveness in other ways, as they can now run the same product fewer times each week to meet orders.

"Seasoning coverage is perfect. The chips look good. There are no broken chips. And the delivery system is excellent," explains Schena. A different flavor can be applied at each of Better Made's four weigher/bagmakers.
"The new Ishida weighers and bagmakers have increased
packaging capacity by 40%. Bag seals are always perfect."
— Mike Schena, president and COO of Better Made

Schena notes the new Ishida weighers and bagmakers have increased packaging capacity by 40%. "We were blown away by how many cases we're packing. Bag seals are always perfect. We now run 90-100 bags per minute with only two operators handling four bagmakers. With our old equipment, it took four operators and we could only make 60 bags/minute."
Packaging / Seasoning line

The system is simple to change over, clean, and operate. Heat and Control's ITM-Plant iT software package provides pre-loaded control code, OIT code, and MES services. "The system allows us to monitor line performance and make adjustments in real-time," says Schena. "It helps us get it right without guessing."

"Quality and speed. Savings on spice, product, and film. Add in the improvement in product quality and the system is a home run," concludes Schena. "Even our operators are thrilled. It actually saves them work!"

"Every phase of the project exceeded our expectations," says Schena. "In my long experience in this industry that is a very rare thing. I sleep very well at night!"
*This story first appeared in Heat and Control's innovator magazine, issue 36.

This is also part of a featured article on Packaging Digest, 2/1/2012.


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