An interview with Dave Wince, VP of Food Processing:
What exactly is a food packaging audit, and when should a food processor conduct one? Packaging problems, product waste and processing holdups all can signal a need for this process. And while they can be time-consuming, creating an audit checklist and conducting the food packaging audits also can save processors money, inspire innovation and result in more appealing products. Here, Dave Wince, Flavorseal’s Vice President of Food Processing, answers the common questions about food packaging audits.
Q: Why would a company want a Packaging Audit?
A: The packaging audit gives us a chance to work with small to midsize companies that may not have a lot of technical support available to them. The companies are open to the Flavorseal team coming in and testing our product on their machines. While we are there, we offer them the chance to have our technical team audit their facility and machines to make sure everything is working properly.
Q: What is the Packaging Audit process?
A: This is a pretty lengthy process — it can take hours to go through the equipment. As the equipment is running throughout the day, the technician is looking at different areas and taking notes. Afterward he or she provides a detailed report which contains recommendations for changes, repairs, possible wear points and other concerns, whether electronic or pneumatic, with the machine.
Q: What type of issues do these audits usually uncover?
A: We’ve seen worn out chains causing feeding and wrinkle issues which result in packaging that is not appealing to the customer. Other common issues are using the wrong rollstock structure for the application, poor sealing conditions, a loss of seal pressure, loose chains — those types of things.
Q: Can you provide an example of how the audit process has helped a customer?
A: We have a great example in Great Lakes Smoked Meats, located in Ohio. Our audit process not only helped identify a better material for their products, it also improved the looks and performance of their package. We also recommended and collaborated to incorporate an easy-open function in their packaging, a feature their customers could really appreciate. Our technical team worked with their machines to improve efficiency and reduce downtime. They were thrilled with the results because it saved them money and resulted in a more appealing product.
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