If anyone appreciates automation, it’s a veteran of the automotive industry. And as any carmaker knows, the people who flock to auto shows often have a pretty good idea what type of vehicle they’re interested in, and they appreciate the opportunity to compare the available options.
Tim Mcquiston was an auto parts supplier before he launched the Lucky Cookie Co. in 2007. When he attends a food equipment show, he goes as a buyer, not a seller, and he appreciates being able to compare the strengths and weaknesses of makers of the machinery he’s considering. That was the approach Mcquiston took two years ago when he purchased his first horizontal flow wrapper at PACK EXPO International. He’ll be targeting other equipment categories when he walks the floor at PACK EXPO 2012 October 28-31 in Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Lucky Cookie got its start parodying the Chinese fortune cookie with individually wrapped fortune cookies shaped like tacos, targeting Mexican restaurants that could offer them as after-dinner treats. “No one was making what I needed in a packaging machine in the United States, so I had to have a machine custom made,” recalls Mcquiston. But the results were less than satisfactory, and he attended the 2010 PACK EXPO show with a clear agenda. “It’s like shopping for a car: What does it need to do, how operator-friendly is it, how often are you going to need service?” he says. “Peace of mind and consistent production are invaluable in the food world. Whether it’s food or automotive, you’re trying to produce a consistent product and maintain control.”
Mcquiston left the 2010 show with a Doboy Stratus horizontal flow wrapper that resolved a packaging chokepoint with its 150 units per minute operating speed. “You pay a little more but end up with a machine that will do the job, not a toy,” he emphasizes. The purchase also meant reasonable proximity to the machine builder: Only 260 miles separate Hustisford, WI-based Lucky from Bosch’s plant in New Richmond, WI. “That’s better than Taiwan or China for service calls,” he says.