Product give-aways. An individual hand-made touch. These attributes are great when you’re talking about new products and marketing promotions – but they have no place on the production room floor.
One company that can attest to this is Desco, a Boisbiand, Quebec, leader in further-processed fresh and frozen poultry and deli meats. This 31-year-old business supplies more than 100 fresh and frozen branded and private label items to retailers and foodservice distributors throughout Canada and the eastern United States.
Manuel Nunes manages Desco’s poultry plant, which prepares boneless IQF and fresh chicken breasts in 2.5-lb. and 11-lb. pillow bags, respectively. Although Desco’s products were ideal for customers, the behind-the-scenes process used to be less than ideal, admits Nunes.
“We were doing everything by hand,” he says. “We weighed product by hand and filled bags by hand . . . Our weights were not very accurate and we were seeing a lot of product giveaway. We also employed as many as 12 to 14 people on the line.”
That was before Desco discovered Chicago’s Triangle Package Machinery Company. After meeting Triangle representative Ed MacPhee last year, Nunes decided to purchase and install a Triangle B35 intermittent-motion VFFS Bagger and Model A-612 Combination Weigher.
A predecessor to its current X-Series, Triangle says the B-Series Bagger includes many hallmark features such as quick, no-tool forming tube change, patented 16-sided forming tube, open design for easy maintenance, easy-touch programmable changeovers and virtually maintenance free, cross-seal jaw drive.
Officials say the A-612 Scale is part of Triangle’s family of Selectacom computer weighers. This in-line scale normally mounts directly over a Triangle bagger, features 12 selection buckets and runs at speeds of up to 135 weighments per minute. But due to ceiling height constraints, Triangle was able to place the scale behind the bagger, feeding weighments via a flighted belt conveyor.
Nunes has been impressed by the results.
“Our goals were accuracy and speed and the equipment has exceeded our expectations,” he says. “Weights are now very accurate and production is significantly faster . . . In fact, I call the Triangle bagger ‘my Ferrari’ because that’s how fast it can go.”
No less important, the poultry bagging line now requires just four employees instead of 12 to 14.
“Our speed guarantee was 20 bags per minute for 11-lb. bags with an accuracy guarantee of plus 9 grams (weight variance). Actual production accuracy at 20 per minute has come in even better at plus 4 to 5 grams,” notes MacPhee. “Gas flushing also was critical. We had to guarantee residual oxygen content of less than 2 percent and we’ve met that objective.”
Thanks in part to increased production speeds and reduced labor associated with the Triangle system, Desco reported as much as a 250 percent gain in line productivity.
Speaking of labor, Nunes has been equally pleased with the Triangle machine’s uptime.
“We installed the system and a service technician came in to show us how to run it. It was not very complicated and we haven’t even needed follow-up service.”
Nunes notes that Desco technicians know they can contact Triangle and take care of any problem quickly and easily. “A phone call will do the job,” he says.
Chances are, the next time Nunes calls MacPhee, it will be to place another order.
“This was our first time to work with a Triangle and it’s been a nice machine,” says Nunes. “If we decide to expand in the future – and need another bagger – it will definitely be a Triangle.”
– Triangle Package Machinery Company (800) 621-4170 /www.trianglepackage.com