We just had new packaging equipment installed in our production line facility. It is all new tray packing equipment. Our food product comes out of the oven and is cut and separated. Then it rolls done the line and is lined up into rows. The arms of the packing equipment pick the baked goods up one at a time and place them on flat trays. The trays roll down the line, and they travel under eight arms that neatly deposit a single baked good on the tray until it holds eight. Then they are wrapped, sealed and boxed.
It is like watching a symphony. The movements are all perfectly synchronized. Maybe it is more like watching a ballet. Every arm moves, lifts and places with perfect precision. We have very little waste now. Using personnel to package the bakes goods resulted in a some damage to each baked piece. The machine arms are very precise and never squeeze a product too hard or too little.
On the back end we needed to be more careful in sourcing our raw ingredients. This helps us with consistency in texture of our baked good so the arms of the tray packing equipment rarely damage a piece. This consistency has also made our customers happier. Every baked pastry is the same as the last one. Consistent raw ingredients, precise bake times, and precision packaging let our customers experience the same thing with our product each time the try one. It has actually improved our sales.
We thought that cutting down in the slight variability from one batch to the next to meet the demands of automated packaging equipment might be a problem. Instead, it has boosted our sales. Every batch looks, smells and tastes the same as the last. Customers are buying our baked goods for a taste experience. Keeping it the same over time keeps them coming back to experience it again and again. If you are a small operation switching over to automated packaging, look at the adaptations you need to make as an opportunity to earn more.
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