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EUROPE OVERVIEW

25 February 2016

EUROPE OVERVIEW

The European food industry is constantly and rapidly evolving to keep pace with a multitude of economic factors. Fierce competition between bagging companies and the growing number of emerging markets represent both an opportunity and a threat for the European market. To maintain their market position, companies must develop solutions to optimize production while increasingly lowering costs.

TURNING TO ROBOTICS

With automation firmly rooted in the food sector in Europe, the current focus is now on integrating robotics into bagging lines in several markets. European food companies are turning to robotics to deal with an increasingly diversified range of products because of its flexibility in handling various SKUs and formats. The use of robots in end-of-line bagging systems reduces losses caused by equipment downtime for changeovers while it efficiently handles often complex and challenging products.





DAIRY INDUSTRY

In the highly challenging European food industry, Premier Tech Chronos (PTC) is pushed internally and externally to be the best every single day. Taking its core business – the dairy industry – into account, PTC faces the highest hygienic standards in the field. Whereas many companies saw too many difficulties when they had to make a choice about entering the powdered milk market, PTC saw an opportunity to become the market leader in hygienic packaging. And that is exactly what PTC became when it pulled in a staggering 60% of all largescale powdered milk packaging projects in Europe in the year before the milk quota was lifted. Today, PTC faces new challenges with the growing demand for robotics in bagging equipment.

Powdered milk is highly volatile and expensive, and companies can ill afford to incur losses when bagging the product. As a developer of state-of-theart technology, PTC is the worldwide supplier of a bottom-up filler that reduces the volatility of powdered milk (as well as other powdered products) to a minimum. The bottom-up filling system is comprised of a vertical auger that deposits the product starting at the bottom of the bag right up to the top. In addition to reducing losses, the bottom-up filler developed by PTC meets the strictest European hygienic standards. All equipment used must be designed and built in such a way as to prevent the formation of bacteria and must include an integrated cleaning system that facilitates the cleaning of the equipment while reducing downtime. In the case of products such as powdered milk, the engineers at PTC make hygiene a priority. Every detail is carefully analyzed in collaboration with the key players in each market to better understand the processes and provide personalized equipment.



Bottom-up filler 


Another trend is the demand for the bottom-up technology in high-accuracy TFFS (thermoform/fill/seal) equipment. The reason is the growing demand for PE bags made from foil rolls.


NEW PARTS DISTRIBUTION CENTER

The Client Services team of Premier Tech Chronos (PTC) in Europe reviewed their practices and processes to find opportunities to further enhance customer experience. PTC decided to fully centralize its spare parts logistics into one main central distribution center, located at the European head office in Eersel, Netherlands. This means that all spare parts warehoused in local Client Services Centers in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy have been relocated to the Client Services Center in the Netherlands. All orders for parts and modules will also come from Eersel. This new distribution center will now serve all of the European customers from one central location in Europe.

PTC has invested more than 1 million Euro to make this happen, introducing a new, fully integrated ERP system and modern storage and goods-handling technology. Combined with better control of inventory from one centralized location, this will allow PTC to make faster deliveries at a lower cost. PTC has also invested in their team members at the local satellite offices, as these employees will continue to support local customers with an improved level of customer care in speedy turnaround. By making these investments, PTC is providing better and faster local service as well as faster access to genuine parts – and all of this at a more competitive price. In combination with the local service engineers, this has proven to be the best way to support customers.

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