If you are into ice cream manufacturing, it is worth talking to John Devine, Bosch Sales Manager for North America. He looks back on years of first-hand experience in plant and operations management in cultured dairy products, extruded and molded ice cream products, cheese production, whey processing and plant sanitation management. He is aware of the challenges that ice cream producers face. Here, he shares some insights for buyers of ice cream filling and packaging machines.
John, what is the current situation in the North American ice cream market?
The North American market is very competitive. If your product isn’t out there, the consumer will switch to a different brand. North Americans also like a lot of different flavors, which means frequent changeovers for producers. In parallel to the rising market demand for innovative product launches and premium products there is the requirement to be low cost. The most important aspect for ice cream producers, as well as for all food producers, is sanitation, though.
In what sense is sanitation most important?
The production environment must be clean and free of contaminants to allow the product being processed under the hygienic conditions that will ultimately make your product safe to consume. In addition, the filling machine must be capable of being cleaned fast and efficiently, in order to avoid long downtimes and reduce costs.
A true nightmare for every ice cream producer is having major product recalls. So all ice cream producers are very aware and have upped their game in sanitation.
Machine design plays a crucial role. Take the Osgood S-series from Bosch Packaging Technology. The Osgood 1600-S has several new features that lower maintenance effort, increase component life and reduce downtime. For example, it has a solid stainless base and open profiles frame rather than traditional tubing. This is more hygienic because there aren’t any cavities where product can get in through pinholes. Its IP69 rating of electrical equipment includes stainless steel motors, gear boxes and prox switches that guard against soiling and water and are easy to clean. Traditional powder-coated or painted surfaces, in contrast, start to flake off and require replacement – no need for that if critical parts are made of stainless steel.
What needs to be considered when buying new equipment?
Most of the manufacturers in North America consider Total Cost of Ownership, i.e. the cost of a particular piece of equipment over a lifetime of 10, 20, or 25 years. This is where filling accuracy comes into play. If your filling isn’t very accurate, you have to overfill your cartons to keep your declared weights. So if you take a typical 1, 5 liter carton line running 50 or 60 million cartons a year, and you overfill each carton by 5 grams, you would be giving away 25 to 30 thousand kilos of product over a year’s production. The Osgood 1600-S would avoid this problem: it saves money through maximized filler accuracy to the degree of one half of one percent.
The most important thing to remember is: each business is unique, what works for one ice cream producer may not work for another. Our experts make sure you get solutions and services tailored to your needs.
Why don’t you come and meet our experts at Pack Expo in Las Vegas, central hall, booth C-2800, where the Osgood S-series will be on display or contact the person below for more information.
Sales Manager, Osgood Industries Inc.