Equipped with midasmotion controllers and software, ten flow-wrappers manufactured
by a Norwich company are employed at Walkers Snack Foods.
Snack products such as potato crisps are packed into individual
packs by a bank of vertical baggers then passed via a sorting line to
rows of horizontal flowrappers, one for each flavour of multi-pack. The
benefits applicable to Walkers are the rapid product change, misplaced
product detection and the automatic reel change over and splice system.
These three features alone have helped Walkers exceed their own high
The 'misplaced product' detection system
uses special sensors which detect the crisps through two layers of foil
film (the individual inner pack and the outer multi-pack). When an
individual pack is misplaced or damaged the sealing jaw smoothly stops
in the open position and the pack is automatically rejected,
without stopping or interfering with the packing process.
product changes are performed within seconds through a touch sensitive
display. For bigger changes such as a change from six- pack to
twelve-pack, where a physically bigger infeed is required, a
second complete infeed conveyor is employed. The operator simply
infeed and wheels another one into place complete with its own motor.
This may seem an extreme solution but it provides a rapid, foolproof
and consistent procedure for
major product changes.
The wrapping material used by Walkers can
be quite difficult to handle and is relatively expensive. With its
superb and instant film registration and auto-splice reel change,
film wastage is reduced to almost zero. Normal approaches to
on-the-fly film splicing don't work well in this application, so the
sort of special sequencing that midasmotion are so good at produces a
machine that almost never stops!