How do you develop a future-proof secondary packing concept?
The company Kanaan doo was founded in 1990 by the present owner and Managing Director Zvonko Popovic in Radikovci, Croatia, focusing on the production of snack food as their core business. In 2005 the construction of a new factory in the Industrial Zone Janjevci in Donji Miholjac began, where it still operates today. Zvonko Popović: “Our products are recognized by customers as products of very good quality and reasonable prices. Proof of this is our leading position in the production of chips and flips on the Croatian market, despite the presence of brands of major European manufacturers.”
It’s exactly that pricing proposition of their products that drove Kanaan towards an automated solution for their end of line packaging process (case-packing). Zvonko Popović continues: “With such a wide range of different products and different customer demands, it became very difficult for us to manage. We invested in high speed bagmaker equipment, which speeds were impossible to cope with manual packing. In addition our production runs are relatively short. Therefore, we were looking for a very flexible and smart case-packing solution with a rapid changeover time. The machine would need to automate our customer’s request, but would also need to allow for future changes in terms of different SKU’s and presentation, such as Regular Slotted Cases (RSC) and display tray and lid combinations which become more-and-more requested by our customers. In addition to this, the available footprint in our factory is challenging, where coming from a manual packing environment, this never was so much of an issue. And on top of that our budget was tight.”
The solution of BPA
With that starting point, Blueprint Automation took on the challenge and started their journey towards a solution to answer those needs. Conventional pick and place systems like the Gantry case-packing family would surely answer the flexibility required, but would be very challenging from a footprint and budget perspective and did they really need all that flexibility…? Moving to wrap-around could answer the footprint challenge, but this would create certain constraints with regards flexibility. In the end the solution was found in the BPA Spider 200 case packer. A very small footprint machine for vertical packing (stand-up) of bags. Within the Spider 200 bags are collated on the patented SmartTrak for perfect pack presentation. A Spider robot is used for placing the bags in an intermediate cassette. The cassette creates a funnel for the vertical transfer of the bags into the cases. Ensuring a smooth and gentle loading principle of the cases or trays. Cases and trays are formed remotely allowing to introduce any type or design of case to the Spider 200 machine. A perfect answer to Kanaan’s challenge.
“Looking back to the investment for the end-of-line automation we can proudly say the four Spider 200 lines supplied by Blueprint really were and still are the right answer to our challenge. From the automation and corresponding investments made for the new lines, we were able to grow rapidly into new market segments and offer new products to new customers. Today we mainly produce our products in shelf ready display trays with a lid, a trend that was already started before the automation went in and we could easily answer with the Spider 200 solution provided by BPA. Short production runs are still a fact, but with the Spider 200 machine this is easy to follow. Their machines typically eliminate “finger spitzen gefühl” and enable a vertical start-up after a changeover process. This allows us to swiftly answer any customer request and has strengthened our pricing proposition.” Kanaan doo has developed into a respectable company with over 100 employees and a wide range of snack products. The company has become the leading manufacturer of snack products in Croatia and is pleased to have partnered with Blueprint Automation on their packaging journey and so is BPA.