Orders worth more than £2 million have recently been placed for new lines in Asia and Europe.
The FMG range includes three different, fully automated models. FMG-1 operates at a maximum rate of 180 cartons/hour with 20, 25 and 31kg cartons, giving a peak production of 4500 kg/hour (based on 25 kg cartons).
FMG goes up to 290 cartons/hour with the same carton sizes, giving a peak production of 7250 kg/hour, while FMG+ operates at 440 cartons/hour with 20 and 25 kg carton sizes. Maximum production is 11,000 kg/hour.
All three machines come in a standard design that includes carton unfolding, tare weighing, lining with parchment paper or plastic, primary dosing and precision dosing, check weighing and liner closing and sealing.
With hygiene such a high priority in the dairy and food sectors, the butter packing line is automatically cleaned in place (CIP). A CIP loop also cleans the connected silo and piping system from the continuous butter-making machine.
In terms of control, all three models are delivered with Allen-Bradley or Siemens PLCs. InTouch is used as the human machine interface (HMI).
The PLC oversees many fully automatic functions, including control and supervision of the entire packaging process, carton unfolding to the carton leave the machine, recording of butter content in individual cartons and alarms in case of interruptions. The PLC is also in control of the automatic CIP process.
Data from production and CIP is collected on an industrial PC. Reports from both can be shown on the operator panel, or sent via an Ethernet link to either a management system or an external printer.
In terms of production reporting, this can include data such as batch/operator name, number of boxes, packing time, running time and standard deviation. CIP reports can include start and stop times, temperature set point.