We were delighted to welcome Moba to Endoline this week. For more than ten years we have enjoyed a successful working relationship with Moba, who are globally renowned for their egg grading, packing and processing equipment.

During the visit we conducted a factory tour at our Biggleswade head office, where we currently have 13 systems in production for Moba customers, and discussed future projects.

Last year alone, sales of our systems within the egg industry reached over a million pounds, and this was largely down to our ongoing alliance with Moba. We have developed many bespoke systems to work in tandem with their systems, and we now very much look forward to the next chapter in our working relationship.

Grigory Belosky

International Sales Manager

Endoline ‘shakes it up’ to meet factory space constraints for shelf ready milkshake packing line

Automating the packing of a new line of milkshakes for a leading supermarket chain has enabled Tomlinson Dairies to meet the high level of output required and the shelf ready packaging (SRP) expectations of the retailer.

The fully automated line, which packs over 80 bottles of milkshake a minute, was supplied by Endoline Machinery. Constructed out of stainless steel to protect the equipment, as it was installed in a bottle filling production area, the line was designed with a very compact footprint to meet space constraints.

Established 30 years ago, family run business Tomlinson Dairies today supplies 200 million litres of milk each year across the UK from its North Wales site. When the company moved to larger premises in 2012 their capacity to produce more milk grew, allowing them to take on more business and when approached by a leading supermarket chain in 2015 to produce and pack milkshake, Tomlinson Dairies immediately sought to automate the process. Stephen Landen, Tomlinson Dairy’s Engineering Manager, said: “We had to look at ways to automate the packing line as the production demands could no longer be met by the manual operation.”

With the milkshake operation situated within the busy packing hall, Endoline needed to design and construct the entire automated line within a constricted 5m x 3m space. Mark Budd, Areas Sales Manager for Endoline, comments: “Lack of available space was the biggest challenge along with designing the conveying and pack stations to meet the demands of production while giving the operators the best ergonomic solution.”

To form the cases Endoline installed its fully automatic 228 high speed case erector, which is specifically designed to handle shelf ready cases by gluing the bottom of each case as it is formed. “With shelf ready packs the use of glue is essential as otherwise the tape can interfere with the functionality of the cases at the retailers.” Mark explains. As the SRP cases are put straight onto the shelf, presentation is paramount and any tears could result in wastage or penalties from retails. To overcome this Endoline integrated its dual opposing vacuum technology into the 228 to apply an equal amount of pressure to each side of the pre-formed case at exactly the same time ensuring it is positively opened and perfectly square without affecting the integrity of the case.

Constructed to a compact footprint, with a top loading hopper, the 228 also ticked the space box for Tomlinson Dairies.

Once formed the cases run from the 228 onto a powered roller, which was constructed with a 90 degree bend to fit into the space, to a packing station. From there, a powered conveyor runs the filled bottles through to two, ergonomically friendly packing stations which are situated at the point where the conveyor, carrying the formed cases, meets the conveyor carrying the bottles. Here, two operators manually pack the cases.

With bottles of either 330ml or 1 litre, there are two case sizes and changeover is quick and efficient due to the user friendly design and simple adjustment of the 228 case erector.

The filled cases are put onto a conveyor that feeds through to an Endoline fully-automatic case sealer which folds and tapes the top of the case and accumulates them ready for palletising. Stephen comments: “The new packing line has streamlined our packing operation and allowed the business to further increase output without the need for more investment or additional labour.”

Endoline puts Ballygarvey on the map with state of the art packing plant

A unique, new end of line system, designed to handle random case sizes, has boosted a case packing line within a leading UK egg producer’s new state of the art egg packing plant.

For over 40 years family run Ballygarvey Eggs has been packing and supplying free range and intensive eggs fresh from laying farms around their base in Northern Ireland. Today, with flocks totalling 840,000 birds, Ballygarvey are annually supplying 250 million eggs in a 60/40 split to supermarkets and foodservice customers respectively – throughout the UK and Ireland.  Faced with this growth Ballygarvey realised that their original packing plant, which was manually operated, could not sustain the volume of output required.  “The company is continually expanding so we designed and built a new packing plant just 5k away from the original unit.” Explains Mark Davison, Managing Director of Ballygarvey Eggs, “While this site would remain manual handling small volume lines we wanted the new site to be a fully automation state of the art egg packing plant to deal with the number of variations in packs for our larger customers.”

With 25 different configurations of egg boxes Ballygarvey needed an automated line which was reliable, high speed and, above all, flexible to deal with the changing demands from supermarkets.  Following global demand for its 744 fully automatic random case sealer, Endoline designed and built RACE – a random automatic case erecting system to boost their SMART machinery portfolio and meet the needs of Ballygarvey.

Designed with dual opposing hoppers RACE not only allows for different sized cases to be run at any one time but downtime is eliminated as one hopper can be re-loaded with cases while the other side continues to operate.  Capable of feeding up to three packing lines at any one time RACE also incorporates Endoline’s unique dual opposing vacuum technology, which ensures each case is opened positively to overcome any tearing.

Andrew Yates, Endoline’s Sales Director explains: “Two different case sizes can be run on the RACE system at any one time so each hopper is loaded with cases – one size per side – and during the packing operation a sensor, fitted to the packing line conveyor, will communicate which case size is required. The RACE then automatically adjusts itself to form the case required and send it down the relevant line – all of this can be completed at a speed of up to 14 cases per minute.  Significantly the time it takes to change or load more cases into a hopper are eliminated as, while one hopper is re-loaded, the other hopper can still be in operation.”

Once all the eggs, within the new Ballygarvey site, are checked and graded, and packed into egg boxes via Moba systems they are run through one of two packing line types. One is low speed manual operation with workers manually erecting outer boxes and filling them, via six packing lines with egg boxes. The second line features RACE which feeds formed outer boxes to a further six packing lines, which are operated by robots.  However once all the cases of eggs are filled at the 12 packing lines they all feed into the Endoline 744 fully automatic case sealer – at a rate of 126,000 eggs per hour.

“Our new facility is the high-spec packaging plant I envisaged and it offers Ballygarvey scope for future growth.  While all of the systems have contributed towards this the new Endoline RACE machine is has been a significant contribution and, for a brand new design, it has not missed a beat.” Mark concludes.

Endoline shines spotlight on high-tech, automated systems in support of Industrial Strategy

Political uncertainty over Brexit has led to a drop in new plant and machinery investment from UK food manufacturers, while European counterparts forge ahead, streamlining their production facilities through automation and technology. 

Consequently, the formation of the Food & Drink Sector Council, as part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy, has been welcomed by automation specialists and will, according to Endoline Machinery, underpin a positive change for the UK’s manufacturing outlook.

The ‘farm-to-fork’ food chain, which is valued at £112 billion and employs 4 million people, is a huge part of the UK economy, and the creation of the council acknowledges this. Ultimately, the council will help food manufacturers weather the Brexit storm and guide them into clearer waters to increase output and export possibilities, to ensure that the UK secures its position as a global leader in the supply of high quality food and drink.

One of the key pillars outlined in the Industrial Strategy to drive the UK economy forward is innovation. This, according to Endoline’s Sales Director, Andrew Yates, will be integral to improving productivity and efficiency for food manufacturers. “Despite the UK’s advancing manufacturing economy, there is still a long way to go to catch up with other European countries. With increased productivity and output being a key measurement of success, it is vital that industry bosses understand the benefits of integrating smart, automated systems into their factory production lines.”

According to a survey by EEF and Santander, investment in new plants and machinery by UK manufacturers dropped over two years from 7.5% of turnover to 6.5%*. However, it is now hoped that, through the new Food & Drink Sector Council, this investment will be boosted and aid manufacturers in shifting away from labour intensive repetitive tasks, and create more intricate roles to optimise manufacturing processes and aid business development.

While automation specialists have been driving the intelligence of end of line systems forward for some time, there is now a greater emphasis on linking these systems together and integrating them into customers’ own specific data networks. Consequently, food manufacturers can capture, process and analyse big data from the factory floor remotely, and improve productivity, avoid downtime through predictive maintenance, upload new case recipes and optimise energy use.

Machinery is an integral part of the management of the whole production life cycle, providing the business with everything they need, so it is vital that manufacturers work with an automation specialist who can not only help them implement the technology but ensure that they are operating a lean operation, while leveraging as much as they can from their investment.

“The opportunities, and challenges, facing food manufacturers as we exit the EU are significant.” Comments Andrew. “While the formation of the Food & Drink Sector Council will help the industry navigate these changes, ultimately, food manufacturers need to understand that investment in automation will be integral to improving efficiencies, while building a more sustainable landscape for the UK’s food and drink economy.”

Endoline cuts programming time in half with new SMART screen technology

As Industry 4.0 gathers pace, and mobile technology becomes increasingly utilised throughout UK manufacturing sites, Endoline Machinery has announced plans to roll out a brand new, icon based HMI SMART screen. Featuring 50% less pages than previous screens, the new interface will cut programming time by half

The new SMART screen is set to become a blueprint for all systems built by Endoline, theUK’s leading end of line systems manufacturer, from January 2018, with retrofit options available on existing systems.

Significantly, companies who have several Endoline systems across multiple plants will benefit from the simplified interface as the control functionality will be standard across all machines, resulting in a reduction in programming time and with the benefit of remote access across multiple plants. In addition, the SMART screen, which features easy to use, spanner shaped icons, includes many additional benefits, including predictive maintenance tools, and a new predictive alert, notifying customers to recommended service times and general wear and tear. Endoline engineers can also customise the interface for faster and simpler integration with third party machinery.

Due to Endoline’s growing international customer base the interface also provides users with the option of switching between different operating languages.

“This a significant step forward for Endoline.” Andrew Yates, Sales Director for Endoline comments. “Our systems have become increasingly high spec over the years, with greater throughputs, and the ability to manage an unprecedented number of case sizes. However, as manufacturing units become progressively digitalised, it is essential that we simplify processes and make programming even more efficient.”

UK manufacturers have made considerable leaps over recent years to automate their production facilities, but there is now a greater emphasis on linking these systems together. Endoline has witnessed an overall increase in demand to integrate systems directly into customers own specific data networks. Consequently, they can capture, process and analyse the big data from the factory floor remotely, and it can be used to improve productivity, avoid downtime through predictive maintenance, upload new case recipes and optimise energy use.

Now, the integration of the SMART screen interface across all Endoline systems will bring this technical capability together, making factory floors even more efficient, with greater due diligence.