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From flexibility to quality – It’s in the bag

High flexibility is key for Bio-Nahrung to meet changing consumer demands

Founded in 1979, Bio-Nahrung can be considered a trendsetter. The company imports raw foods and contract packs them for large retailers. It has provided a range of healthy and natural products since its foundation, long before the organic and well-being hype started in developed countries around the world. Based in Grödig near Salzburg, Austria, Bio-Nahrung packages organic food such as dried fruit, nuts, fruit and nut mixtures, snacks, seeds and grains as well as cereals.

To make sure to provide the best quality products to its customers, Bio-Nahrung only obtains its raw products from certified organic cultivation. For years now, this rigorous attention to first-class product combined with the use of modern packaging technology has made Bio-Nahrung a leading player in the European organic food trade. The company’s team of 80 employees is currently responsible for the rapid handling of orders from wholesalers, supermarkets and drug stores in Germany, France, UK and other European countries.

New style for on-shelf differentiation

Over the last 30 years, Bio-Nahrung’s packaging methods have changed considerably as has the volume of production. Bio-Nahrung now packages approximately 24 to 25 million bags per year with a filling volume of 100 to 1,000 grams. Today, the name Bio-Nahrung guarantees consistently top-quality products, flexibility and high output capacity. To meet these requirements and also the expectations of its retailer and wholesaler clients, Bio-Nahrung needs a reliable equipment partner with advanced and flexible machines. With Bosch Packaging Technology, Bio-Nahrung found such a partner.

Bio-Nahrung has used Bosch equipment since the 1980s, starting with an intermittent vertical form, fill and seal machine to package nuts. To date, the company is using seven machines from Bosch for its packaging processes. Christian Winzer, Managing Director of Bio-Nahrung, summarized his satisfaction: “We have had a great experience with Bosch as a partner. Bosch always understands what we need and delivers.”

Recently, Bio-Nahrung wanted to add a re-closable doy-style bag to its product portfolio to add a premium look and differentiate its products on store shelves. However, its existing, standard vertical form fill and seal machines were not capable of handling the change. Of importance was also very low interference of the machine in order to avoid waste as well as process reliability, which is especially important for handling gas-tight film to package delicate products. To incorporate this new pack style and meet its flexibility, quality and output requirements, Bio-Nahrung turned to long-term partner Bosch Packaging Technology.

Keeping its options open

Bio-Nahrung’s needs were quite unique. While its output is high, this is not the company’s major focus. As a premium provider of organic products, Bio-Nahrung emphasizes quality – it must deliver best-in-class products to the retailers it serves.

Additionally, consumer demands have a tendency to change quite rapidly, challenging Bio-Nahrung to incorporate flexibility into its lines. There are periods where consumers prefer nuts and other times when dried fruits are all the rage. Preferences of retailers and wholesalers regarding product presentation also continuously change. In order to adapt to fluctuating demands, Bio-Nahrung needs flexible machines that allow rapid – or in the best case immediate – changeover of products and pack styles on its lines. Not only was the company seeking to add a reclosable doy-style bag to its offering, but it also wanted to the flexibility to handle a variety of bag sizes and styles without slowing down the line. Therefore, machine flexibility was essential.

To meet the needs of Bio-Nahrung, Bosch provided the intermittent vertical bagger SVI 2620. The SVI 2620 offers the ultimate in flexibility with retrofitting options to produce a wide variety of bag styles, including pillow, side gussetted, block-bottom, corner seal and doy-style bags with optional zippers. This allows Bio-Nahrung the flexibility to handle current and future pack style needs to continually differentiate its products at the point-of-sale.

“The uniqueness of the SVI 2620 is its ability to handle a large variety of bag formats,” said Winzer. “It helps me not only to increase our production efficiency, but also differentiate our products at point-of-sale with a diverse choice of bag shapes and styles.”

A key feature of the SVI 2620 is easy changeover. To change between pillow, gusseted or block-bottom bags, the operator simply changes the format set with minimal downtime, for overall equipment efficiency savings. This is also the case when switching to full corner seal bags, where the format set is changed and a corner sealing unit is added. As Bio-Nahrung’s machine is retrofitted for doy-style bags, changeover between full corner seal and doy-style bags can be even more quickly realized by exchanging the format set and turning the existing cross-seal housing by 90 degrees. In the future, if Bio-Nahrung decides to change the format sizes of its corner-sealed or doy-style bags, it has to simply acquire the corresponding format set as the existing sealing unit can be used.

Winzer stated: “No other packaging machine supplier was able to meet our need for rapid changeover to the extent that Bosch could. The rotary cross-seal jaw housing allows the easiest changeover I have experience.”

Sealing in Quality

Using the intermittent SVI 2620 machine enables Bio-Nahrung to package its products in high quality bags with secure seals resulting from long sealing times. Plus, the reclosable zipper on its doy-style bags will lock in freshness for a competitive advantage with consumers. All of this was made possible by the SVI 2620, a machine that allows a packaging process with little downtime due to its low interference. Additionally, high process reliability is essential for delicate snack products and Bosch’s SVI ensures this through its robust design.

Winzer said: “This machine gives me the security that we as a supplier are able to respond to changing consumer demands and bring a quality package to our customers.”