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Less hard work on the sausage packing line

With an automated solution, the future of sausage packing is flexible, gentle and precise.

The Cabinplant sausage depositor is a fully automatic solution for alignment of portions of sausages (or similar products) in trays.
The Cabinplant sausage depositor is a fully automatic solution for alignment of portions of sausages (or similar products) in trays.

Tales of manufacturers that pay to transport workers to their factories are well known in the food industry. Faced with a shortage of employees and rising labor costs, opportunities for automated packaging are increasingly attractive to many processors.

“We know that the standard of living is going up in many parts of the world. This makes it less attractive to work on the shop floor in a food factory,” says Morten Dissing, area sales manager at Cabinplant, a supplier of food processing and packing solutions. “It was this that inspired us to develop our automated sausage depositor.”

Sausage packing has traditionally been carried out on highly labor-intensive machines, where operators ensure sausages are arranged in orderly layers ready for packaging. The Cabinplant sausage depositor takes on this role, quickly adapting to a wide variety of sausage and pack sizes.

Flexibility is a key factor for food processors that face multiple line changeovers per shift.  Cabinplant’s takes less than 15 minutes to change over to a new sausage type or pack size. “One operator can easily manage the task,” Dissing explains.

Gentle handling is essential to minimize product damage. Another key issue is product  give-away. The Cabinplant sausage depositor overcomes these challenges with two  features:

1. Vibrating action is used to transport and align sausages on the machine. While conventional mechanical conveyors cause up to 5% product damage, this is virtually eliminated by the vibrating mechanism.

2. Multi-head weighing machines not only ensure the right number of sausages is in each packaging, but also accounts for small variations in the weight of each sausage. Sausages are selected from the weighing channels and combined in portions of optimum weight.

“Through the use of an accurate weighing system, the average sausage weight can be reduced without risk of failing to meet the stated pack weight,” says Dissing. “If the average weight is reduced by, say, 1.5g per sausage, then give-away for a pack of six is reduced by 9g. Over a year, the total product saving is close to 300 tonnes.”

Cabinplant Project Manager Allan Hansen Nissen has focused on developing an adaptable, layout-friendly solution that can satisfy customers’ needs for a tailor-made solution. “Most sausage manufacturers talk about capacity in terms of kilos per hour. Our system can achieve a similar capacity to traditional labor-intensive lines – in some applications, even higher. And they need only a few operators to run at this high capacity,” he comments.

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