Dairy Crest has installed a new automated line at its Frome factory to wrap and multi-pack its cheese mini-portions, allowing it to speed up production and reduce the need for manual work.
The line, which has been designed, supplied and installed by PFM Packaging Machinery, comprises a PFM Sirocco flow-wrapper, various feed systems and conveyors, a support gantry and a 14-head PFM multi-head weigher.
Andy Stenton, Dairy Crest’s general manager, said: “The new line was needed to improve output and efficiency. PFM was the only supplier prepared to take on the whole project.”
The flow-wrapper can handle 20g to 40g cheese portions at a speed of 150 per minute. The weigher runs in count-by-weight mode and delivers a preset number of portions to an indexing elevator and then into a net bagging, closing and labelling system.
When the line is in fully automated mode, it can only handle one cheese variety at a time, so to allow for the packaging of selection packs, PFM has equipped the elevator with an extended horizontal section: This enables portions of different cheeses to be fed by hand.
The weigher and elevator can also be taken out of service to flow-wrap conventional cheese in blocks up to 125g.
Dairy Crest owns cheese brands including Cathedral City.