OH SNAP!® Pickling Co. nears completion of SOMIC wraparound case packers installation
July 8, 2020 – Wisconsin-based OH SNAP!®Pickling Co.is in the final stages of installing two new high-speed SOMIC end-of-line packaging machines. The first of the popular 424 W3 wraparound case packers for retail ready packaging has begun handling the collating and case packing of almost two million single-serve pouches per week, which company president Ryan M. Downs expects to far exceed by this time next year.
OH SNAP! has delivered big results in a short amount of time. A division of progressive food producer GLK Foodsin Appleton, Wisconsin, it was formed in 2015 to produce refrigerated single-serve, brine-less pickled vegetables such as pickles, carrots, green beans, snap peas and jalapeños. GLK is the largest producer of sauerkraut in the U.S., so they were looking to build off the success of their fermentation process for kraut.
OH SNAP!’s initial foray into the market with stand-up pickle pouches led to impressive results. After more new products were introduced and eagerly accepted, management last year decided to invest in constructing a new manufacturing plant in nearby Little Chute to handle the rapidly growing business.
The nearly 70,000 square-foot facility began brining product in March, just as the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to spread in the U.S. But demand has remained strong as workers are now producing finished goods and the company is running three shifts around-the-clock, six days a week. Installation of the SOMICmachines could not be better timed.
“We first heard about SOMIC through John Bartmann, our corrugated supplier sales representative at PCA. He introduced us to Peter Fox (the company’s Senior Vice President of Sales) in 2016,” recalled Downs. “I remember thinking that if the OH SNAP! line ever did the volume to support the purchase of a SOMIC machine, we would have really created something special. We’ll soon be purchasing our third.”
Downs said a presentation by Fox convinced company management to invest in the end-of-line machines.
“Before purchasing our SOMIC machines, we looked at two or three other solutions to be sure nothing was missed. None was as compelling as the SOMIC offering. We loved the simplicity of its design, its compact nature, and the references we received could not have been more glowing. We also learned through our references that start-up would be very quick, and it indeed it has been.”
The SOMIC 424 W3 wraparound case packers are flexible, high performance systems that use decentralized servo drives. To satisfy distribution to retailers such as grocery, big box and C-stores – plus vending and hospitality outlets – throughout North America, and widening the channel to include Europe, OH SNAP! plans to have the machines collate and case pack up to 160 pouches per minute. Product is being divided into three formats of 6, 12 or 18 count display cartons.
Proving that timing and execution is everything, both machines will be online as the company expands from 68 employees to 94 for the annual, six week Wisconsin cucumber harvest that begins on July 10.
“At this time, we will be producing between 1.5 to 2 million pouches per week,” stated Downs. “We are already planning an additional 40,000 square-feet to our facility to accommodate growth of the brand. By the time it is completed next summer, I expect us to far exceed what we are currently producing.”
SOMIC operations proceed in Germany and North America with COVID-19 measures in place
March 30, 2020 – SOMIC is keeping customers informed about how it has taken the necessary steps to allow its facilities for end-of-line retail packaging machinery to remain open in Germany and North America during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in the fortunate position where our raw material warehouse is well stocked and our supply chains are in working order,” said Peter Fox, Vice President of Sales for SOMIC America, speaking from North American headquarters in suburban Minneapolis. “We anticipate being able to continue our advanced mechatronics assembly operation without interruption in Amerang, Germany. Our Parts & Service departments in both countries remain available 24 hours every day.”
SOMIC is utilizing a multi-step approach that starts with its employees in both countries.
“We are committed to the responsibility of providing for the safety and protection of our employees,” said Fox, indicating he and SOMIC management monitor the situation and talk daily. “With the number of employees in Germany, they have adopted precautions by going to two shifts and exercising social distancing protocols. All of our colleagues who can are working from home and it will not interrupt our normal interactions with customers. Our service technicians are available if needed, and they will take precautions to keep themselves and customers safe when they do work on-site.”
Fox said customers should contact their SOMIC representatives for service calls. For any other issues, he can be reached for FaceTime video calls at 651-419-6050 or via email: P.Fox@somic.us.
SOMIC will be the place to go for secondary packaging at Interpack 2020
March 11, 2020 – There is no such thing as a universal cardboard packaging machine says SOMIC officials, ahead of exhibiting at Interpack 2020 (Hall 14, Stand A02), May 7-13 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The number of different products is growing and the packaging tasks for the food, non-food and healthcare sectors are increasingly varied. Thus, President Patrick Bonetsmüller believes there is huge potential for flexibility.
“We see various large companies in the market wanting to present their products to consumers with perfect quality,” he said. “SOMIC solves the problem of secondary packaging. This includes for all packaging tasks and service areas, established companies or new market entrants, and for large corporations or niche suppliers. It is precisely for this broad spectrum of customers that we will be addressing with the SOMIC 424 DT and SOMIC ReadyPack at Interpack.”
High quality and flexible cardboard packaging machines count
The SOMIC 424 series is designed for medium to high outputs. The covered tray machine that will be at the trade fair is individually customized for a confectionery manufacturer and processes up to 380 products per minute. Two formats will be shown. The products are packaged either flat or upright – depending on the format, in a single or double row – into two-part cardboard packaging. In general, any number of different formats can be packaged on a SOMIC 424 DT machine.
“To us, gentle product handling means we ensure finely tuned movements into the grouping unit and work on flat blanks with secure sliding movements,” explains SOMIC Sales Director Stefan Julinek. He said the folding and gluing process only begins once the products are positioned on the blanks.
“The product is securely guided and gently positioned,” continued Julinek. “The two-part cardboard packaging with lid and tray ensures stable palletization and safe transport to the store. Once there, the lid is simply removed and the goods are placed on the shelf in an attractive manner that promotes sales.”
SOMIC’s proprietary toolless, quick-change technology ensures rapid format changes. The customer receives a format parts trolley to keep the necessary exchange parts at hand. Depending on the product, the SOMIC 424 DT is essentially designed for collating up to 600 products per minute, with a cartoning capacity up to 30 packaging units per minute.
Getting started with automated packaging
The SOMIC ReadyPack is aimed at those new to the world of automated packaging. Launched in 2019, this machine completes SOMIC’s portfolio in the lower output range and is available as a tray or wraparound packer. It provides output of up to 160 products per minute; cartoning capacity is up to 18 units per minute for a tray packer, 12 per minute as a wraparound unit.
This capability enables companies familiar with manual packaging to get started in automation with a highly effective machine. The SOMIC ReadyPack offers the same high quality and convenience of machines in the greater output range, along with the same functionalities in terms of format changes and operation. It also scores points with a footprint of just 6.5m2or 70 square feet.
The feel good factor
Bonetsmüller says a third area of focus at Interpack 2020 will be the so-called soft facts. “We are not just talking about machine technology, but in particular today it is about the convenience this machine can offer to operators and maintenance personnel.”
He points out that Human Machine Interface (HMI) plays a key role. The user interface in the customer’s language means operators can use the machine without any foreign language knowledge. In general, operation is performed by means of numerous symbols and is therefore largely self-explanatory.
In the event of a format change, the new settings can be retrieved via the HMI. The automatic emptying function also saves on non-productive periods. With statistical functions and production analyses, the HMI allows the identification of unused potential within production. The documentation can be viewed online and is available directly on the production line.
Analyses concerning the stress levels on individual system components enable maintenance scheduling. Non-productive periods during system operation are therefore kept to a minimum. This preventive maintenance and a comprehensive service program completes SOMIC’s full service package.
Learn more by visiting with SOMIC experts at Interpack 2020 in Hall 14, Stand A02.
About SOMIC America Inc.
With over 40 years of experience, Minnesota-based Somic America Inc. offers design support for cartons, retail-ready and wraparound cases. Many international packaging brands use Somic’s advanced mechatronic systems to collate, group and pack open trays, wraparound cases, trays with covers or lid inserts and paperboard cartons. The Parts & Service department is responsible for installation, training and more. Visit www.somic.usfor more information or call 651-419-6050.
SOMIC America views PACK EXPO East as new opportunity for end-of-line packaging buyers
February 20, 2020 – Peter Fox senses there is an untapped opportunity on the horizon at this year’s PACK EXPO East. That’s why the Vice President of Sales for SOMIC America (booth 628) is having the company exhibit for the first time and will explain the potential of its high end, retail-ready packaging capabilities, March 3-5 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
SOMIC increased the design and manufacturing of its end-of-line packaging machinery, leading to double digital sales growth in the last three years. The company introduced new machines at each of the last two PACK EXPO shows in Chicago and Las Vegas, including the SOMIC-FLEXX III and the SOMIC ReadyPack. The reception those products received, combined with other developments, leave Fox optimistic for what lies ahead at PACK EXPO East.
“There are manufacturers from the eastern seaboard and northeast markets who are looking for a flexible, retail-ready packaging machine. Our goal is to educate them about SOMIC and our 424 T2 (D) mechatronic, end-of-line packaging system,” said Fox.
“One thing we learned from our customer base was they did not know about us earlier. That’s one reason why we hired Tim Howell as our east coast sales manager last August. Another is we are especially interested in the broader consumer products arena. There are many industries that can benefit from our unique system which combines high levels of finished packaging quality, a small footprint and terrific versatility for retail-ready packaging.”
PACK EXPO East visitors to the SOMIC booth will learn about the popular and successful 424 T2 (D) multi-purpose, retail-ready case packer system, and how it serves as a bridge to the newer SOMIC-FLEXX III and ReadyPack machines. It has the capability to collate up to 600 products and carton up to 35 cases per minute in open display trays, or trays with covers and wraparound cases.
The high performance of the SOMIC-FLEXX III is a result of decentralized servo drives and the newest technology of Rockwell International industrial automation. It packs primary packages in a flat, nested position or a standing display orientation at incredibly fast speeds.
At the other end of the spectrum is the entry-level SOMIC ReadyPack, which is a smaller format version of the 424 T2 (D). A customized solution with greater affordability, it produces at slower per minute speeds; with a collating capacity of 160 products, it can case up to 18 packaged units as a tray packer or 12 as a wraparound model.
“We are looking for customers who require high end performance and finished package quality,” sums up Fox. “Many, including those demanded by confection and consumer products, are looking for solutions to their end-of-line challenges. Our machines are for the uncompromising clients where good enough is simply not good enough.”
Fox welcomes all interested attendees to talk with him and Howell in booth 628. For those not attending, visit www.somic.usfor more information.
SOMIC America prepares for first time exhibition at PACK EXPO East
January 16, 2020 – Manufacturers of retail, food and beverage, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and other such type products can expect to find a flexible, end-of-line retail-ready packaging machine to fit their needs when SOMIC America exhibits for the first time at PACK EXPO East (booth 628), March 3-5 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
SOMIC has introduced at the last PACK EXPO events held in Chicago and Las Vegas two new machines that originated from the popular and successful 424 T2 (D) multi-purpose, retail-ready case packer system. SOMIC officials will explain how Fortune 500 worldwide brands and others are achieving impressive results and extraordinary savings from this machine, in addition to the newer SOMIC-FLEXX III and ReadyPack.
A high performance and fast system utilizing decentralized servo drives, the 424 T2 (D) can collate up to 600 products per minute depending on the size of the items. It can carton up to 35 cases in the same amount of time. With the flexibility to assemble it with individual format tools for a wide range or product dimensions, the 424 T2 (D) can collate, group and package products in open display trays, or trays with covers and wraparound cases.
The SOMIC-FLEXX III is a new concept combining the ability to pack primary packages in a flat, nested position or a standing display orientation at fast speeds using the latest generation of industrial automation from Rockwell International.
The SOMIC-FLEXX III is designed for both single and multi-component packaging; one-piece corrugated blanks for standard wraparound shipping cases and as a two-piece tray hood for retail-ready presentations. Thus, stand-up pouches, flow packs, rigid containers and other items can be collated, grouped and packed in a variety of formats, giving the manufacturer any number of options.
The SOMIC ReadyPack is a smaller format version of the 424 T2 (D). A customized solution for shelf-ready packages with user-friendly capabilities and greater affordability, it is an excellent entry-level case packing system equipped with Rockwell Automation. ReadyPack collates, cartons and closes like the others but operates at a slower pace by design. With a collating capacity of 160 products per minute, it will case up to 18 packaged units per minute as a tray packer and 12 per minute as a wraparound model.
Learn more about all three of these machines by stopping by booth 628 and speaking with a SOMIC representative. For more information, visit www.somic.us