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Candy maker sweetens cartoning efficiencies

Installation of automatic carton erecting and closing equipment improves production rates and cuts costs.

FLAVOR-PACKED. Several different flavors of the coconut patties are cartoned using the new automated system.
FLAVOR-PACKED. Several different flavors of the coconut patties are cartoned using the new automated system.
Anastasia Confections, Inc., Orlando, FL, produces and packages a variety of sweet treats—from coconut-chocolate products, jelly candies, and salt water taffy to chocolate-covered pretzels and chocolate alligators. The diverse product line is packaged in equally diverse containers, including metal tins, gabletop cartons, bar flow-wraps, vertically formed/filled/sealed bags, and auto-bottom, end-tuck, straight-tuck, and flat paperboard cartons. Markets include supermarkets, department stores, convenience stores, drug stores, airport shops, candy and gift stores, theme parks, and mail order outlets.

One of the company’s most popular candies is chocolate-dipped coconut patties, available in six flavors—classic original coconut, almond, orange, key lime, mango, and pina colada. For its multi-count cartons of coconut bars, Anastasia had been manually erecting auto-bottom and end-tuck cartons and manually filling them with individually clear-film-wrapped patties. The clear film is made of .080 OPP (oriented polypropylene) supplied by various vendors.

Anastasia Confections wanted to increase production rates on the coconut bar packaging line to keep pace with growing product demand. After evaluating various carton erecting and closing options, the candy maker selected the Model ECT 625 Former and Vari-Right Closer from Kliklok-Woodman. Two of these cartoning systems were installed at the Orlando facility in February 2010.

The ECT machines are hot-melt, adhesive-style top-load carton and tray formers, featuring an innovative indexing turret concept for excellent carton control and high forming speeds. The Vari-Right carton closers are three-flap, right-angle closers, incorporating lugged carton control and random infeed timing in a full servo motor platform.

Anastasia Confections president Mike Constantine says, “We chose this equipment based on Kliklok-Woodman’s reputation as a top-of-the-line manufacturer of well-made, reliable, easy-to-service carton forming systems. Also, the proximity of their plant to ours ensures quick service and parts when needed. A highly knowledgeable technician from Kliklok-Woodman installed and commissioned the equipment and trained our operators and technicians during start-up.”

Carton blanks for the coconut patties multi-count packaging application are supplied by Malnove Inc. The cartons are made from .020 and .022 SBS, are four-color process printed, and finished with a high-gloss aqueous coating. The individual bars are flow-wrapped using a Doboy Linium 301 wrapper from Bosch Packaging Technology and an IL-4 Tansver infeed conveyor system from Bosch. The erected cartons are hand-filled and conveyed to the automatic carton closer. Average cartoning speeds for the coconut patties are approximately 30 cartons per minute.

Success is sweet

Mr. Constantine reports, “We are very happy with our investment in the new cartoning equipment. Once the initial kinks were worked out and fine-tuning adjustments made, the machinery has been operating flawlessly, making the production process easier and generating an immediate return on investment. Labor and packaging materials costs have been reduced, and we have improved operating efficiencies and production rates. In addition, the carton structural integrity has been improved, and we have eliminated the costly carton over wrapping process. By eliminating the need for overwrap film, we continue to be a greener manufacturer."

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