For ProFood World’s August 2021 issue, Aaron Hand showed how Transylvania Vocational Services deployed a vertical form/fill/seal (VFFS) bagger and auger combination to help improve efficiency as well as sanitation. This helped the maker of ready-to-eat foods and various powdered products meet increasing food pantry needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
AbilityOne is a U.S. government program that employs more than 42,000 individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the non-profits that work with the program saw exponential growth in demand, especially for personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitizing products. There was also high demand on food banks during the pandemic, with an estimated one in six Americans facing hunger.
Transylvania Vocational Services (TVS), founded in 1967 to provide meaningful employment to people with disabilities, employs 209 people at its plant in Brevard, N.C. The company packages ready-to-eat foods and various powdered products and distributes them to food banks, military bases, and others in need throughout the world. Thanks to an AbilityOne contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), TVS needed to increase production of its instant non-fat dry milk to better serve the food banks.
To do this, TVS needed to replace its obsolete bagging system with something more efficient. “We needed additional packaging capacity to keep up with a growth in demand while trying to stay within an existing building footprint,” says Steve Green, director of plant operations for TVS. “We were using intermittent motion pouch filling equipment that had become obsolete from a service and parts standpoint.”
After considering several options, TVS turned to Triangle Package Machinery. TVS also needed to find a system with improved sanitation. As a government contractor of ready-to-eat foods, TVS needs to meet 3-A Sanitary Standards. The manufacturer chose Triangle’s Model XYRJ VFFS bagger and an auger from Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery, both of which offer 3-A certification.
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Bagger Helps Dry Milk Packager Meet Food Bank Demand