With the Greif-Velox BVPV 4.40 gross weight pneumatic packer and its innovative features, GoodMills Deutschland has managed to double its bagging performance at its Mannheim site in Germany.
Director Sales & Marketing
Short changeover time, less downtime, higher flexibility, and lower investment costs: At its Mannheim site in Germany, GoodMills Deutschland needed a system that could bag various granule sizes of semolina and flour with bag sizes ranging from 5 to 25 kilograms. With the BVPV 4.40 gross weight pneumatic packer, the machine manufacturers at Greif-Velox delivered a compact solution that increased the bagging output by 100% compared to the old system. Once process data is evaluated, there is potential to increase efficiency even more in the future, as outlined below.
With an annual capacity of more than 180,000 metric tons, the Hildebrandmühle mill in Mannheim is one of the biggest durum wheat mills in Germany. The mill’s operators, GoodMills Deutschland, recently expanded the factory and added two more products – couscous and bulgur – to its product portfolio. This makes the company the only one of its kind north of the Alps that produces and packages this range of products independently.
FLEXIBLE PRODUCT CHANGEOVER WITH REDUCED SETUP TIMES
“We have a broad spectrum of products that are bagged with one machine – ranging from semolina in the most varied granule sizes to flours, couscous in various granule sizes, and bulgur, which has a much larger particle size – so we are working with everything from very coarse to very fine,” says Alexander Wieler, Plant Manager in Mannheim. Furthermore, GoodMills Deutschland needed something else from the new machine: It would need to bag different products with short changeover times, little downtime and handle different bag sizes ranging from 5 to 25 kilograms. “Quite the challenge,” Wieler continues.
SPACE-SAVING AND COMPACT
Packaging machine manufacturer Greif-Velox develops solutions that are precisely tailored to the customer for the filling of food and chemical products as well as full-line systems. With the BVPV 4.40 gross weight pneumatic packer and its additional features, Greif-Velox was able to realize a system that met the customer’s requirements perfectly. The BVPV 4.40 can fill bags from 4 kg to 40 kg with perfect precision. Depending on the application, the integrated Flexchair can be set to the desired bag size, and the product flow is controlled with a weighing system accordingly. In this way, product loss from imprecise filling is not only reduced, but the mill saves space and cuts acquisition costs using a single machine for different products and bag sizes.
The Velopack high-performance robot delivers fully automatic palletizing.
“Together with the palletizing robots, Greif-Velox was able to deliver the most compact system possible,” says Wieler. It also saves time. Changing the bag format does not require a meticulous adjustment to the parameters, which would be time-consuming – instead the process parameters can be set with the press of a button after the correct data is entered once. The same is true for the product changeover. When saved, product-related machine parameters can be restored effortlessly.
Residual product emptying:
Fast, hygienic product changeover without any contamination
Fast, hygienic product changeover is made possible through a residual product emptying process using a special container flushing system. Thanks in part to an innovative air flushing system and a conveyor belt that removes product residue, significantly less residual product is left in the container than is standard in the industry. Depending on the volumes being bagged, this could mean annual savings in the five-figure range. Additionally, the system is equipped with a special base that folds open pneumatically to empty product residue. “The systems are designed to be able to run empty very efficiently,” says Wieler. “This significantly reduces cleaning times.”
This reduces cleaning time both in and out of the machine, improving employee safety in the factory in general. The clean filling process – which includes special return air nozzles with inflatable cuffs and return airflow – drastically reduces dust formation, especially when working with fine-grained products.
“On conventional machines, you always have a relatively large amount of dust blowback from the valves, which requires more cleaning effort,” says Wieler. “Now, we have very little contamination during normal operations.”
REDUCTION OF RECALL COSTS
To lower recall costs and ensure high product quality, the machine at GoodMills Deutschland is also equipped with a space-saving combined checker system, which has a metal detector with a detection accuracy of under two millimeters and also monitors the weight. Possible contamination can thus be detected early and removed before the products make it to the end customer, preventing potential product recalls that are both expensive and damaging to the reputation. A particularly robust seal on the bags further reduces recall costs: The BVPV 4.40 is equipped with the ValvoSeal ultrasound sealing unit, which seals valve bags cleanly and securely with a waffle-shaped pattern. This enables an extremely tight seal and, according to a study conducted by TH Lübeck, up to 60% greater resistance to tearing when compared to conventional methods. In this way, product leaks are avoided, preventing whole pallets from being contaminated.
INCREASING PERFORMANCE THROUGH PROCESS DATA EVALUATION
With the BVPV 4.40, GoodMills Deutschland can now fill up to 400 bags an hour at its Mannheim site, and with an expansion model it is possible to reach an output of 600 bags per hour. This means that the rate has already doubled compared to the previous system. However, there is potential to increase efficiency even further. The new system gathers process data automatically and analyzes and evaluates it in the context of the overall system. In this way, downtime due to poorly coordinated sub-processes can be avoided, “efficiency killers” identified or warehouse capacity saved, to name just a few possible advantages.