Automated Scooping & Measuring Process Helps New Gourmet Product Line Thrive
Frozen food meals have been hot – so to speak – over the last 18 months, according to a recent study conducted by Progressive Grocer. And they’re expected to stay a “sales powerhouse” to please modern consumers seeking higher quality ingredients, convenience and longer shelf life.
Capitalizing on this increased consumer demand, one national fresh food producer developed a new dedicated line for premium prepared frozen foods. Unfortunately, manual processes soon put a strain on the company’s equipment operators. Safety risks and inefficiencies threatened to hold back the promise of these new products.
Creating a Customized Solution
The company turned to Material Transfer to automate the process of scooping and measuring frozen ingredients for a gourmet soup product. Our team of customization experts worked to evaluate the variety of food ingredients, mandatory equipment features and automation requirements.
Based on that evaluation, Material Transfer designed and built a stainless-steel Lift & Seal™ Container Dumper with a vibratory feeder. The custom solution automatically meters food into bulk containers, where they are then stored in freezers and shipped to their final destinations. Initially designed to meter a single ingredient, the system’s HMI Control Panel can be programmed with application-specific controls to now create custom recipes for a variety of frozen ingredients.
Expanding the Product Line and the Partnership
The automated Lift & Seal Container Dumper not only increased efficiency and consistency on the production floor. It also enhanced operator safety and employee satisfaction by reducing reliance on manual processes.
The company has capitalized on these advantages, expanding the new gourmet frozen food product line to include entrees and sides. The food producer is extremely satisfied with the automated system’s ability to improve employee safety, increase production efficiencies and to meet larger volumes while ensuring product consistency and quality.