25 JUN 2009

Three new RBF1200Li Packing Lines Leave GEA Avapac

Another milestone was reached today when GEA Avapac shipped the latest Lights out packing lines to Fonterra.

Over the next 3 days, the machines will be transported by road to the Fonterra Edendale site in the South Island of New Zealand - a round-trip distance of approx 3000km. Along the journey, the 6 vehicles carrying approximately 50 tonnes of GEA Avapac packing technology will travel through the nations capital before crossing the Cook Strait by ferry to the mainland (local name for the South Island).

The Route Taken South
The Route Taken South

These lines are the first of new RBF1200Li range to be delivered to the Edendale site where they will be part of the new NZ$212M expansion project making this site one of the largest milk powder plants in the world. According to information on the Ebert website (the builder of the new powder plant), when finished, the new powder tower will also be the tallest in the world, standing at 56m!

But the new packing machines are not the first that GEA Avapac have supplied to this site. The Edendale site now has eight 25kg packing lines - the new lines will add a further 36MT/hr packing capacity to the plant which will enable the new plant to meet the processing needs of the growing milk supply in the Southland region.

During this project, there were several challenges presented to GEA Avapac to increase packing rate, reduce or eliminate potential packaging damages and to eliminate dust inside the packing room. The engineering team set about their task by developing some innovative modifications to the RBF1200Li filler which include:

  • Rate increase to 480 bags/hr
  • A new heatsealer
  • Air-knife system to remove dust from the filling heads
  • New weighing system

The team at GEA Avapac are rightfully proud of their achievements and in particular, the Lights-Out packing concept. The 3 Fonterra lines and a further 3 lines now under construction for customers in the USA and Europe brings the total to 19!