Increasing the shelf live with innovative packaging technology
Find out more about the packaging of animal feed and our longtime partnership with Connolly’s Red Mills
Since 1990, Connolly's Red Mills has been packing horse and pet food with STATEC BINDER machines. At that time, STATEC BINDER was still integrated into Binder+Co AG. The years went by, and Connolly's Red Mills grew, requiring further packaging and palletizing systems. As the company grew, more and more products were exported. Connolly's Red Mills faced a unique problem: the shelf life of horse feed was limited to a few months, so how could the shelf life be increased? The solution was found together with STATEC BINDER: nitrogen fumigation during filling.
Connolly's Red Mills is an Irish family business founded in 1908. The company is divided into three divisions: pet food, agriculture, and the core business of horse feed. Red Mills specializes primarily in the feed of racehorses. "When we received inquiries for shipping around the world, we were restricted by the point of shelf live," says Joe Connolly, CEO of Connolly's Red Mills. "As the export business grew, so did the challenge of how to get beyond the island of Ireland. Since the climate in Ireland is damp, we had problems with the shelf life of the product when we went into warmer climates. STATEC BINDER was the company we were closest aligned with, so we discussed this challenge with Josef Lorger," continues Joe Connolly.
"To be successful and offer your customers the perfect solution for packaging their products, you have to be flexible as a company, understand the customer's requirements, and be willing to offer customized solutions. This is exactly the strength of STATEC BINDER. That's why we accepted the challenging project from Red Mills to increase the shelf life of their products and started developing the bagging machine," explains Josef Lorger, Managing Director of STATEC BINDER.
The SYSTEM-F, a vertical FFS packaging machine, was an excellent choice for further developing this particular challenge. The increased shelf life of the product was achieved by developing a special system that provides nitrogen fumigation during filling. Due to the nitrogen fumigation, the oxygen level in the filled bag is reduced to below 2%. By the additional air suction before closing, the filled and closed bag is perfectly shaped for an equally well-formed pallet. In addition to STATEC BINDER's developments, the bag film for Connolly's Red Mills has also been specially developed. The multi-layer film ensures that the vacuum in the filled bag is maintained and no oxygen enters.
"STATEC BINDER's contribution to our company was unique and profound, more specifically in relation to the shelf life issues that we were facing in our export markets. This is where STATEC BINDER, who developed with us our unique NFMS (Nutrient Fresh Management System), has delivered the greatest benefit. Customers can now buy our products with a real shelf life of 26 months, and the products are now delivered across 76 countries," says Michael Connolly, Director of Business Development at Connolly's Red Mills.
But it was not only the further development of the SYSTEM-F packaging machine that was a challenge in this project. Due to the limited space available in the existing warehouse, the high-level palletizer PRINCIPAL had no space in its standard version. For this reason, the PRINCIPAL was also adapted for Connolly's Red Mills. The filled bags from two packaging machines are conveyed to the palletizer. In the standard version, the bags would now be transported to an inclined infeed conveyor which is installed in front of the palletizer. However, as the space was too limited, the inclined infeed conveyor was installed underneath the PRINCIPAL. This means that the filled bags are now transported from behind via the inclined infeed conveyor upwards to the palletizer and fed to the palletizer via a tilting belt at the highest point. The bag then moves back into the palletizer and is turned into the correct position for the layer of pallets and pushed forward onto the loading plate.
'STATEC BINDER is delivering customized solutions to us since the beginning of our partnership. The solutions for real problems that really affected our business have facilitated the growth of this business to being 20 times bigger than it was in 1990,' says Michael Connolly. 'STATEC BINDER does an excellent job for us and brings us to markets worldwide,' adds Joe Connolly.
You can find more information about the project HERE
By: Statec Binder
Source: All Pet Food Magzine
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