To fulfill growing demand from the food and nutraceuticals industries, contract manufacturer and co-packer SternMaid America of Aurora, IL, has installed a new double-head auger filler that will increase the capacity of its can filling line for powders. Including further peripheral plant components, the company has invested some $300,000 in the capacity extension.
The auger filler dispenses powders at speeds to 50 cans/min/head, allowing SternMaid to fill 6,000 cans/hr with a range of powdered products—from instant cocoa to dietary supplements. Changeover for different pack sizes is easy, and the machine is able to fill cans of up to six inches in diameter and three to ten inches in height. Filling weight depends on the can size and the product’s bulk volume. Can filling and sealing is now fully automated, but there is potential for future investment, as packing and palletizing are still done by hand.
Says Jan Thoele, Executive Vice President of SternMaid America, “Customers expect flexibility and reliable on-time delivery. Even short deadlines have to be met at the right time and with top quality. If a company’s plant breaks down unexpectedly, and a contract manufacturer is asked to take over, production must be able to start very quickly. Not only do these new investments increase our capacities in the co-packing sector, but they also make us much more flexible. We can now carry out even large orders in a short time.”