At Mackle Petfoods in Ireland, they take great care to ensure that the highest quality ingredients go into each can of pet food. So when they decided to open a secondary packaging facility, they put the same focus on identifying the right partner who could help them achieve the two main objectives of the new facility: improved flexibility and cost-efficiency.
Mackle Petfoods chose Gebo Cermex to help them design a new fully integrated, flexible facility that could strike the right balance between capital expenditure and operational costs. Gebo Cermex used their extensive experience in line engineering and integration to create an ultra-versatile line that is able to handle two can formats and 25 packaging configurations, including variety packing and multi-flavour packs. The new packaging facility has six pallet infeeds that allow 20 possible stock keeping unit configurations. This means Mackle Petfoods can handle up to 50,000 products per hour.
Furthermore, all equipment on the line is designed for quick and easy changeovers that, depending on the particular machine, can be manual or fully automatic. This versatility is important as Mackle Petfoods has to be able to manage all aspects of production of branded and own label products for wholesale, retail, discount and pet specialist markets.
Cost-efficiency was another important parameter for Mackle Petfoods in the choice of equipment for the new line. By creating their own packaging and increasing the level of automation, the company has cut back on low-speed lines and lengthy changeover times. Furthermore, the two VersaFilm® shrink wrappers and the Pal-Pack® layer-by-layer palletiser all deliver a comprehensive and reliable packaging line service that can be managed by just two or three operators. This has contributed o the low total cost of ownership.
For Operations Director David Hamilton, deciding to open the new facility has also enabled the company to leverage the full value of secondary packaging for the Mackle Petfoods brand. “In the past, secondary packaging’s main purpose used to be the secure transportation of the product. Nowadays its goal is to enhance brand and product awareness. This was one of the reasons why we decided to do our own packaging.”
The new packaging facility is fully operational and puts Mackle Petfoods in the best position to respond quickly and accurately to requests from distribution channels and customer demands for high-quality pet food.
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