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After its establishment in 1952, HAK, the typical Dutch producer of vegetables and legumes, has grown to become the market leader in the Benelux. A few years ago, HAK expanded its range with the stand-up pouch. Then Lan Handling came into the picture. There is now a highly automated and robotic production line for the now well-known HAK pouch. Technical Project Manager Ronald van Helfteren: “We are now working with dozens of recipes in different variations and the end is not yet in sight.”
|Netherlands, Giessen||Stand-up pouch||Robot loader / unloader in one||350 m2|
In 2017 it was time. With this own retort production line, HAK has control, even more accurate quality assurance and they know the exact limits of the line. A fully automated production line has been chosen so that the “Zak van HAK” can be produced as efficiently as possible.
Lan’s fully automatic pouch handling system ensures that the stand-up pouches that come out of the filler are positioned efficiently. A robot fills and stacks the drawers. A shuttle then drives three stacks to and from a retort for loading and unloading. The same robot ensures that the trays are stacked after sterilization, after which the pouches are placed at a fixed distance on a conveyor belt. Ready for the packaging line.
The biggest challenges in designing the production line for HAK:
“Until a few years ago, HAK’s expertise lay in producing vegetables in glass jars. Producing stand-up pouches ourselves was completely new to us. From the start of the project we therefore had good consultation with the suppliers involved. It was important to bring in the necessary knowledge and skills. Lan Handling Technologies has responded very well to this.
The project leader and engineers from Lan took us step by step into the how and why of certain choices in the field of pouch handling. Important for us, because the actions before and after the retort are crucial in the production process. We also benefited from the good cooperation between Lan and the supplier of the retorts in the design of the trays (the stainless steel plate on which the stand-up pouches are located during sterilization).
We now look, for example, at the material from which the stand-up pouch is made; can this be even more sustainable? And what impact does this have on the production process and handling systems? Small changes can have major consequences. We will also start with the implementation of preventive maintenance. We are happy to take the data from the Lan pouch handling systems into account.“
Technical Sales Manager