Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, T. Marzetti Company has a plant in Luverne, Ala., that makes frozen bakery products sold in supermarkets under its own Sister Schubert’s brand as well as under numerous private label brands. As demand for its offerings continued to grow, the plant found itself needing a more efficient way to handle manual cartoning, case packing, and palletizing. So management recently turned to robotic automation to reduce its increasingly unsustainable labor costs.
The product itself is dinner rolls in aluminum pans that consumers bake in the oven for 12 minutes or so. “In addition to dinner rolls,” notes Project Manager John Haenszel, “we have sweet goods like cinnamon, lemon, and blueberry rolls, for example. And we also make a sausage-and-cheese pinwheel. But the primary package is always a round aluminum pan.”
Primary packaging changed very little. It’s done on a bagger from Kliklok, a Syntegon company, that pulls clear film bags from wickets, inserts a filled pan, and clips the bag closed. The bagged pans then go into a spiral freezer. At this point it’s time for secondary and tertiary packaging, and this is where the transformation has occurred. A key automation upgrade came in the form of a robotic palletizing system from Schneider Packaging Equipment, a Pacteon company. Read more >>