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News 20.11.2023

Cartoning System BLM in West Africa

First cartoning systems from Theegarten-Pactec successfully deployed in the industry

On track for success as a team: BLM cartoner complements BCW3 primary packaging machine at bouillon tablet producer in West Africa

"Never change a winning team!” This well-known maxim can be applied to many areas. The challenge, however, is that you first have to put together the perfect team. This was the case with Universal Investment & Industries in Ghana, West Africa. The co-manufacturer was very interested in investing in Theegarten-Pactec’s exceptionally effective BCW3 primary packaging machine, but also needed a cartoner that could keep up with its high output. The German packaging machine specialists had the perfect solution with the BLM they developed in-house and were able to use it for the first time under real conditions in the industry.

The Ghana-based Universal Investment & Industries company, headquartered in Accra, has been extremely successful in the service and packaging industry for years. It packages confectionery such as chocolate and biscuits as well as milk powder and bouillon tablets for cooking. The company has a long-standing, successful partnership with German company Theegarten-Pactec, which specialises in packaging machines for small confectionery, food and non-food items.

At its site in Ghana, for example, Universal Inv. & Ind. uses a BCW3 from Theegarten-Pactec specially designed for the primary packaging of pressed bouillon tablets. The proven high-performance packaging machine processes up to 1,400 bouillon tablets per minute via side folding – making it one of the world’s fastest packaging machines for bouillon tablets available today.

For maximum efficiency: two machines from a single source

To be able to also carry out the secondary packaging of the bouillon tablets in-house and very efficiently in the future, it became necessary for Universal Inv. & Ind. to purchase a high-performance machine. Based on previous experience, it was only natural to cooperate with the German packaging machine specialists, who offered the BLM cartoner as the ideal solution.

One of the key advantages that led Universal Inv. & Ind. to opt for the BLM was that it provided them with a complete packaging process “from a single source”. The BLM uses the same operating concept as the BCW3, which ensures ideal communication and control between the machines and considerably reduces any issues at the interfaces, such as product jams. This contributes to an exceptionally efficient process. Also, errors in the application are considerably reduced due to the same, easy-to-understand operating concept. If faults or errors should occur between the primary and secondary packaging machines that they cannot solve themselves, the Universal employees can easily get in touch with a direct contact person at Theegarten-Pactec for a quick fault diagnosis and solution.

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Industrial testing of the first cartoner developed in-house

The BLM is the first cartoner developed in-house by Theegarten-Pactec. After five years of development and extensive testing, Universal Inv. & Ind. is the first company to deploy the BLM in the industry. Christian Pötsch, Sales Manager Africa at Theegarten-Pactec, explains: “The BLM delivered excellent results in our tests. However, we can never fully simulate all possible situations that may arise, so we were excited to have an opportunity to use the machine for the first time at a customer’s site and run it under real conditions.” The industrial trial was a resounding success.

The BLM is a modular system that can handle different product sizes, carton dimensions as well as product formations in different output ranges. For example, it packages primary-packed products such as chocolate bars in fold wrap or flow packs, chewing gum in fold wrap, pressed milk powder cubes and non-food items such as stacked dishwasher tabs.

Bouillon Cube Packaging Machine BCW3

At Universal Inv. & Ind. the BLM is currently used for secondary packaging of bouillon tablets. Up to 1,400 products per minute are currently dispensed by the BCW3 and then packed into cartons by the BLM at the same high output. The secret lies in the coupling of the BLM by direct feed, which makes a time-consuming re-sorting of the products superfluous.

The BLM excels with efficiency, easy handling

Christian Pötsch is extremely satisfied with the result: “The BLM is perfectly adapted to the connection to the high-performance BCW3 machine. From our experience, we know that it isn’t easy for many companies to find a suitable cartoner that can match the high output range of the initial packaging machine. This limitation often results in the packaging process not being able to run at full capacity, which leads to a reduction in efficiency. With the BLM, small food and non-food products can now be packaged at high speed.”

Compact Design

What also convinced Universal Investment & Industries was the very compact design of the BLM. The cartoner’s design helps save on additional belts and interfaces, and requires a much smaller footprint in production compared to common top-loaders. Furthermore, its low height provides the operator with an ideal overview of the entire packaging line. Handling is also very simple: The BLM is operated entirely from the front. So employees have simple, short and time-saving walking distances, and the machine is perfectly accessible for operation, maintenance and cleaning. Thanks to its modular design, the machine can be adapted to challenging space limitations in the production hall if necessary. A transparent machine enclosure enables additional simple visual inspection

A highly flexible and cost-effective solution

Another feature that appealed to Universal Investment & Industries about the high-performance cartoner was the BLM’s exceptional flexibility: In terms of product configuration in the cartons, single-row, multi-row, multi-layer and other pack formations are possible with just one machine. And the option of expanding the BLM with additional technical features also pays off in terms of flexibility: For example, an additional coding device for best-before date or batch number, a continuous tool-free format change or a network connection for remote diagnostics can also be integrated.

The modular design of the BLM enabled an exact configuration to the specific requirements at Universal Investment & Industries. The installation of the BLM was a resounding success in West Africa: “Our customer is clearly satisfied with this solution. He has already received a second production line consisting of a BCW3 and BLM” Christian Pötsch concludes.

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