Nørager Mejeri cuts costs and cardboard

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Palcut
Pic: Palcut

Related tags: Packaging

Danish company Nordex Food A/S has automated its packing of its Mediterranean-type white cheeses at Nørager Mejeri, and eliminated cardboard in its palletizing.

The cardboard has been replaced by FSC certified liners, and Nordex Food says the result is uptime has improved, and the dairy expects to save up to 100 tonnes of paper each year.

When the pallets with white cheese from Nørager Mejeri are transported, instead of cardboard liners, the company now uses Antim, a friction paper that reduces the risk of transport damage.

Antim is made from FSC certified recycled paper and is automatically cut to the right size by a Palcut 1200. The machine is customized to the dairy's new packaging and palletizing lines.

The use of friction paper is expected to grow by 60% in Europe from 2020 to 2025, according to a report from research firm QYResearch. The report identifies friction paper as a solution to ensure the stability of goods on pallets during transport.

At the dairy, 19,000 tonnes of white cheese are produced every year, and up to 300 pallets leave the dairy every day with cheese in various packaging types and sizes. The cheese products are packed and palletized on two new, fully automated packaging lines.  There are also two older lines where palletising is still done manually, although the company expects these to be automated in the future.

Abandoning cardboard and streamlining

The new facility automates the entire handling of the liners, and friction paper has been chosen instead of cardboard.

“Previously, we purchased cardboard as expensive single sheets and packed them by hand,”​ said Torben Hovgaard, dairy manager at Nørager Mejeri.

Nørager_Pallet with Antim base sheet_P1000514
Nørager pallet with Antim base sheet. Pic: Palcut

“However, having manual processes in the production has simply become too expensive, and we want to avoid having to worry about overtime.

“With the investment in the two new, fully-automated packaging lines, we cut out much of the manual work, which has been important in reducing costs and increasing flexibility, while halving the consumption of paper during palletising, much to the benefit of the environment.”

The two packaging lines have been fitted with one customized Palcut 1200, which automatically cuts and feeds the packing robot with Antim friction paper, cut from a 3,000-meter roll, which lasts for up to 14 days. Depending on the packaging and destination, Antim is used as a liner between every or every other layer.

The cheeses are packed in Easy-Pack cups that are deep-drawn, and in a vac pack. They are packed on pallets up to 1.8 meters in height and cooled in a cold store before being wrapped in film.

Previously, the dairy had many different cardboard qualities and sizes on the pallets. These would then be taken out, and employees manually placed cardboard between the individual layers of products.

“It was getting a little confusing with the many different formats of loose sheets in our warehouse,”​ said Karsten Nielsen, chief engineer at Nørager Mejeri, who was responsible for the installation of the new packaging lines.

“Now, we only have one type of paper in the warehouse that comes on rolls, and together with Palcut A/S, we have simplified the many formats.”

Antim is made from FSC Recycled paper, which means that the friction paper is certified by the independent and international FSC organisation.

“With the certified Antim, we support a sustainable paper cycle and minimize environmental impact, while meeting our customers’ high demands on transport reliability and efficient palletizing​,” Keld Emil Jensen, sales Manager at Palcut A/S said.

Nørager Mejeri is also investing in a new weighing system that will enable Nordex Food to meet the demand for white cheese from the 70 countries that it is exported to.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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