Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hazeleger monitors packaging quality using SealScope

When introducing a new type of package, Hazeleger Kaas optimised the performance of its horizontal flow wrap machines by deploying SealScope, Engilico’s in-line seal inspection and monitoring technology.

Since the integration of the SealScope solution, the packaging line speed and the outgoing packaging quality are maintained at the highest level.

Hazeleger Kaas is an independent packaging company of Dutch cheese specialty products and a service provider for renowned cheese brands. One of the main activities is to slice cheese and package it in horizontal flows packs under modified atmosphere.

When introducing a new type of package, it is necessary to master the quality level of outgoing products at the desired production volumes in the shortest time possible. As Hazeleger launched a new re-sealable package for sliced cheese, they searched for the latest technologies in seal inspection to monitor and optimise the new packaging line. Possible causes of defect packages are product in seal or wrinkles.

To avoid product in seal, the positioning of the trays, the stacking of cheese on these trays and the relative positioning within the packaging film turned out to be crucial. Also wrinkles in the fold-over need to be avoided to warrant seal integrity, especially for gas flushed products.

Engilico’s SealScope was evaluated and the expertise of packaging partners Selo BV and Omori Europe joining forces with Engilico, turned out to be key in the implementation of the in-line seal inspection and monitoring system.

Analysing the packaging process

In a first step of the process optimization, the number of defective packages needed to be reduced by analysing the sealing process. This was a crucial step as the new packaging line still needed finetuning. As SealScope instantly and objectively measures the seal quality of every package, it automatically quantifies whether adjusting the packaging line parameters improves the process.

After the first runs at Hazeleger Kaas, SealScope revealed that process optimisations were possible. The sealing process showed a too high variance and by inspecting the rejected packages, the production line was finetuned. As such, using SealScope as an objective measurement device, the balance between packaging speed, tray positioning and cheese stacking was gradually optimised.

Continuous process monitoring

After successfully optimising the packaging line for both output quality and line speed, it was important to keep this process within the narrow optimal performance tolerances.  As every process will drift sooner or later, this can lead to variations in productivity and packaging quality. Drift can be caused by e.g. dirt accumulation on the sealing jaws, wear on moving parts, etc.

As SealScope continuously monitors the sealing process and generates early warnings, this allows the operators to take corrective actions – for instance preventive cleaning of the sealing station. As such, the SealScope™ monitoring tool, allows to avoid further process drift and to keep the machine in optimal shape.

100% Seal inspection

Beside process monitoring, the immediate role of SealScope is detecting and rejecting residual packaging defects, optimising the outgoing packaging quality. The patented SealScope technology automatically builds an adaptive reference model of good seals and compares every sealed product with this base line. Typical rejects include cheese trays partially stuck in the seal, product in seal or wrinkles.

The sensitivity of the rejection level can be set according to the customer’s quality policy to find the right balance between outgoing quality and rejected packages. In-line, 100% seal inspection also enables end-of-line automation and eliminates the need for manual inspection of every single package.

A huge step forward in outgoing quality

The benefits of SealScope at Hazeleger Kaas are measurable in both increased output and better package quality, creating a sustainable competitive advantage.

“We made a huge step forward in mastering our packaging line to guarantee our high outgoing quality,” says Wim van Rijn, owner of Hazeleger Kaas. “We fully trust on the SealScope application for our packaging quality.”

As a direct result of the initial installation, Hazeleger Kaas invested in an additional SealScope for a second packaging line. Also for future lines, SealScope will be integral part of the packaging solution.

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