As a leading supplier of kale chips, Toronto-based Brandneu prides itself on the natural, healthy profile and high quality of its products. However, due to the increased demand from consumers for healthier snacks, the popularity of the company’s products has soared in recent times…and it is worried that increased production capabilities could affect its competitiveness in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
A reassessment of production capabilities was urgently needed, so the company brought in tna North America to take a look. “The current trend towards healthier snacks has had a key influence on the food industry,” regional sales manager Sekhar Challingal says. “Consumers are growing more and more concerned about the amount of fat, sugar and salt they consume.
“As a result, many manufacturers like Brandneu are looking for innovative technologies to help them produce healthier, tastier snacks to meet this demand. (They needed) exactly the right cutting-edge technology to optimise the production of their natural baked kale chips.”
Brandneu has previously experienced issues with inconsistent flavouring, which has had an impact on taste and resulted in significant seasoning losses. It was therefore vital for tna to provide a cutting-edge solution to ensure application accuracy and consistent coverage.
Brandneu found that tna’s intelli-flav OMS 5 on-machine seasoning system was the solution. Providing both powder flavouring and liquid oil in a single drum, the system features a variable mass seasoning system with a dynamic vibratory weigher to directly control oil spray. This means only the right amount of oil is applied to each chip, an essential feature for Brandneu, which is keen to maintain the healthy profile of its popular kale chips.
Thanks to the system’s application accuracy, Brandneu has been able to minimise seasoning losses in the production process, reduce raw material waste and increase profitability. The technology offers improved coverage and flavour dispersion, enabling Brandneu to apply minimal salt and flavouring without compromising on the overall quality and taste of its kale chips.
To meet the high demand for its product, Brandneu needed complete flexibility to change flavours quickly and easily. A second drum that can be changed on the line in less than 15 minutes was added, meaning Brandneu can meet orders more quickly and reduce production lead time considerably. This boost in production offers real customer satisfaction and shows that Brandneu can be relied on to fulfil orders in a short turnaround time.
Adding a completely new system to its existing production line, Brandneu was looking for equipment that was intuitive and easy to use for all operators. tna recognised that in a fast flowing manufacturing process, waiting for the right specialist to operate a machine is going to have a significant time impact.
As Brandneu was looking to maximise floor space for possible future expansions, the overall footprint of the factory was considered when planning the installation. The new technology takes up much less space than existing equipment, which provides the flexibility to add more lines in the future.
Installed as part of a larger configuration, it was imperative for tna to integrate the machine with other equipment effortlessly. By analysing Brandneu’s existing assets from start to finish, including its operational requirements and training needs, the project management team developed a solution that integrated quickly and seamlessly alongside Brandneu’s existing equipment.
Adrian Quinn, president at Brandneu Foods, says, “Naturally, any production interruptions can be costly for manufacturers. We were very pleased with the speed at which the equipment was installed. Effectively acting as a ‘plug and play’ system, the line was up and running again within a few hours.
“We’re delighted with the results of the installation. Thirty-three per cent of US consumers are snacking on healthier foods this year compared to last year, highlighting an enormous opportunity for us to increase our market share in this growing segment.
“The system better places us to respond to this demand, reducing production lead time by 75 per cent and boosting productivity. The system has integrated effortlessly into our existing line, is simple to use, easy to clean and most importantly, exceptionally reliable, which as a busy snack producer is imperative to meet customer needs.”
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