Case packer helps yogurt maker keep up with orders
A taste from Down Under is rapidly capturing Americans’ fancy, and Noosa Finest Yoghurt is experiencing dramatic growth as it delivers more and more of its flavorful product to U.S. consumers.
In just four years, Colorado-based Noosa has developed into a national brand of yogurts based on an Australian recipe that infuses honey into a protein-rich blend of whole milk, cream and pureed fruit.
Based on Morning Fresh Dairy Farm in Bellvue, Noosa Finest Yoghurt is finding that demand continues to drive added capacity. The product is available in 50 states at national retailers such as Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway and Target. Consequently, by the end of 2014, Noosa will be running four production lines, said Robert Graves, vice president of engineering and co-founder of Noosa, and Wade Groetsch, CEO.
“As we started to ramp up our production, we knew it was critical that we design our plant to run as efficiently as possible,” Groetsch said. “One big consideration was who we would partner with for our packaging lines. With Rob’s background as a multigeneration dairy farmer in Colorado, he took great pride in his machinery selection.”
“After touring Delkor’s production plant and seeing the team’s pride in every machine being produced, I decided to buy our first Spot-Pak in 2011,” Graves said. “Today we have three Delkor lines running production 24/7 without issues. We also plan to install a new high-speed Delkor case packing line in the fourth quarter.”
Delkor Systems Inc. is located in St. Paul, Minn. With almost 200 machines installed across the dairy industry, choosing Spot-Pak was an easy decision, according to Groetsch. He noted that Noosa realized significant savings in corrugated board usage compared to conventional cases and also improved pallet density by about 8% because the film-wrapped bundles have a smaller dimension than a full RSC, or regular slotted case. Since the installation of the second line, Delkor developed a new technology, called KwikCool, that Noosa also has adopted which improves product cooling time by a significant amount.
While the first two lines were for Spot-Pak packaging, the third line addressed Noosa’s customer needs for a case. Groetsch explained that Noosa’s next installation requires case packing at speeds of approximately 550 cups or 50 cases a minute. The new system will load multiple flavors of Noosa’s 4-ounce yogurt cups into a 3 x 2 x 2 cup pattern, with a pad separating the layers. The design is versatile enough to package a variety of shipper styles as well as shelf-ready packages, also known as SRP. In addition, changeovers can be completed in two to three minutes by the system operators without the help of maintenance.
“Delkor machine designs utilize a high level of commonality, so this makes it easy for our machine operators and maintenance staff to quickly familiarize themselves with the case packer line,” Groetsch said.
“We found a good partner with Delkor. Not only did the equipment provide us highly efficient packaging line performance, but Delkor’s service team is very responsive and really in a league of its own,” Groetsch said.