UK-based confectionery brand Fox’s has installed an Ilapak DSA Eagle flow wrapper at its Kirkham, Lancashire plant and is considering upgrading its other flow wrappers to similar systems as well as future-proofing the remainder of its plant.
Prior to working with Ilapak, Fox’s was operating four lines continuously at speeds of 600 bars per minute. The DSA Eagle flow wrapper now packs the biscuit bars at an output in excess of 1,000 a minute. It incorporates features such as automatic splicing and expanded touchscreen diagnostics.
“There is a lot of vibration when running at these kinds of speeds. The Eagle is based on a very heavy-duty mechanical platform and 12.5mm-thick plate frame construction. This ensures stability and smooth operation of the jaws at very high speeds,” explained Chris Gee, sales manager HFFS at Ilapak.
The Eagle also uses advanced sensor technology to perform a profile check of each biscuit just before it enters the flow wrapper, as uniformity is imperative at these high speeds.
“The system checks length, height and weight of each bar and any products that fall outside of the programmed parameters will be rejected before they enter the flow wrapper and cause jams or blockages,” said Gee.
Speaking about the first installation at Fox’s, Gee said: “A lot of equipment suppliers shy away from the challenge of integrating a new machine into an existing line where the control systems in use are old as it isn’t easy to get machines to communicate with one another when, essentially, they are talking in different languages. In this case, it was a lot of work to get the flow wrapper to interface with the upstream accumulation tower and feeding system and the downstream over-wrapper.”