Glanbia Foods is one of the world’s largest producers of American cheese. Headquartered in Twin Falls, ID, the company ships and sells more than 880 million pounds of cheese annually, serving customers in more than 30 countries.
The Twin Falls site produces cheese in 40-pound blocks that traditionally were placed into standard cardboard box packaging with a liner collar for shipping. But there was a problem with the packing process. When the cheese blocks were placed in a polyethylene bag and vacuumed sealed, the bag gusset ends extended from each corner. Occasionally, one of the rear corners of the vacuum-sealed bag gusset got trapped between the liner corner fold and the outer cardboard box.
When the packaged cheese block was put through a de-boxing machine, the gusset on the outside of the liner fold was at risk of being cut by the de-boxing blade or torn away from the cardboard, breaking the vacuum seal on the cheese block. “The cheese was then open to the atmosphere [increasing the risk of mold],” explains Rudy Jozelic, plant manager at the Glanbia Foods Twin Falls site. “This was further exacerbated because the cheese is often de-boxed and stored for a long period of time before being used. So, it is very important for the cheese block to remain vacuum sealed until then.”
OAL Group recently developed a mechanical and controls solution to resolve the issue. Moving the liner 80mm to the right when indexed allows for a fifth fold in the liner during packing, which prevents the bag gusset from getting trapped between the liner fold and the outer cardboard packaging. This ensures the cheese block gusset is not accidentally cut or torn when put through the de-boxing machine.
“OAL Group really understood our needs and came up with a great solution to overcome our bagging issue. The packing machine is now running well, and we haven’t received a related customer complaint since the installation,” says Jozelic.
Glanbia Foods also has been able to continue using gusseted bags, a more cost-effective option than non-gusseted vacuum bags.
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Photo Cap: (Glanbia Cheese Boxing Machine)
OAL Group completed a mechanical and controls project, improving Glanbia Foods’ packing process. Source: OAL Group.