Hot Sauce Packaging Line : Case Study TW Garner

Hot Sauce Packaging Line : Case Study TW Garner

My name is Hayward Garner, I am the Chief
Operating Officer here at Garner Foods My name is Eddie Martin, I’m the Controls
Engineer Automation Specialist I’m Gerald Lambert I’m the Executive Vice
President of Operations for TW Garner Foods Company The first major hit that we had
as a company was our barbecue sauce The other products that came into our
portfolio the biggest other piece of our business is our Green Mountain Gringo’s
salsa and tortilla strips. We’ve experienced the growth of the sales that
has resulted in us needing to expand outside the facility for distribution
and storage for raw materials and packaging materials but we’re trying to
manufacture everything within this building’s confined space. Converting all
of our bottles from six ounces 12 ounces and 32 ounces into the larger 28
millimeters opening was the main driving force to have a start looking for new
equipment to produce the bottles with and then ultimately we had to find
equipment that we could use to handle those bottles from start to finish.
That’s where robotics in our opinion was the right approach. So our new production line that Premier Tech is working with us on, it touches
all of these things. So we’re running all different kinds of sauces through this
line, we’re running different kinds of salsas through this line and Premier
Tech’s just been fantastic and helping us tile to stuff together. We’re able to
produce up to about 150 thousand of those bottles per day for two shifts. The
six ounces bottle which is a little bit faster production rate, we can produce
a couple 250 thousand or so those a shift. So we were able to achieve on the
flagship item which will be the 12 ounces bottle double our capacity. This
particular one ended up realizing a two-year payback on it. We ended up
mainly with efficiencies and throughput increased capacity increases
and also with raw material changes going from one type of pack out to
another type showed some savings as well. So our new
line that involved a number of pieces of equipment starting from depalletization
all the way through to palletizing involved 2 robot cells with depalletizing from Premier Tech. The main goals or the main goal with going with
Premier Tech technologies was the robots. Going away from traditional palletizing
that we had, not just the manual palletizing We’ve got five robots
that we purchased from Premier Tech. We did get a robot in and then when we got
it in it I was a little nervous because it’s a whole different technology. Make a
pattern change is a major program change that takes us – I’ve spent as much as
three days to change a pattern just by having to do the program and figuring
out exactly what the box has got to do. So with the Premier Tech we were able
to change patterns, there’s no need to have a laptop programming degree or
anything is just – you know – almost simple enough for my momma to do it. We got that pattern
put in tested it at work so once you get over that then it’s really
pretty pretty good. I think the biggest challenge – and there were a number of challenges- this project has been probably challenge from day one for a
lot of reasons. We started with nothing so the first question that equipment
providers are going to always ask are going to be “I need you to provide samples
and I need you to send them right away” and so we did not have samples, we had
drawings and we had concepts and you did your engineering drawing rather than
actually having the actual physical bottle that didn’t show up until, you
know, well into the 2-3 months into the project development cycle. We struggled
with our factory acceptance testing because we did not have enough product.
We did the best we could of what we had to work with and you guys were very
accommodating in terms of making that happen. End-effector design is a very
critical aspect in terms of robot integration into a process and you guys
are the best of the best in my opinion at doing that. You took your concepts from
beginning to end I don’t know how many iterations you ended up with but the end
result has proven to be very robust and able to withstand the rigor of what’s
required on a production line of our design. Premier Tech has been very
helpful in terms of resolving issues that we’ve had with end-effector design
– and they’ve been minimal. You guys have not said that the glass is the issue
you’ve not said that the cardboard is the issue for tray packing you’ve not
said that the shrink bundling aspect of palletizing is the problem or how I
convey product to you the problem, you’ve dealt with the issues as they come up
and you’ve made them work. Very happy with Premier Tech and the end result
that we receive from you guys with beginning to end. Premier Tech customer care is really a great service. That particular part of
your business is unique. I don’t have that aspect – I can’t say that
I have that aspect with any of the other equipment that’s part of my line but it
is definitely a benefit when it comes to more technical type of equipment. The biggest help for me from Premier Tech has been the technical support. As soon as you get someone on the line they’re very patient they are very helpful and the follow-up is incredible because normally
you don’t get that from a company. Yes I would recommend Premier Tech to anybody
that is interested in investing and growing in robot technology. It’s not
going to be flip a light switch on and it’s happening. It does happen but it
takes time it takes the attitude and the care that a company like Premier Tech
continues to demonstrate.

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