Goya Foods is the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States with its headquarters in Jersey City, New Jersey. Founded in 1936 in New York, over the years it has established itself as the leader of the American food industry, winning over consumers with food and beverages of Spanish and Latin American origin.
Today, with 26 facilities located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Spain, the company has a turnover of 1.5 billion dollars and more than 4,000 employees. An extraordinary result, the demonstration of a long and enthusiastic family history that has made Goya a global brand, which supplies the market with over 2,500 products.
Such a diverse and complex production environment requires reliable and high-performance industrial solutions that involve the most advanced technologies that provide both flexibility and energy efficiency.
Indeed, the food production chain operates on increasingly competitive industrial levels in order to meet the needs of a constantly evolving market.
This objective can be achieved more easily if your production facilities adopt highly automated solutions that allow you to implement an uninterrupted production flow and thereby reduce time to market. In order to achieve this, Goya Foods - after a thorough evaluation - has decided to rely on the expertise of Aetna Group, the world leader in the packaging sector and specialised in end of line and logistics, which has been in business for 4 decades.
Aetna Group’s extensive range of technologies, which is the result of a deliberate policy of acquisitions and integration, means that it is not just specialised in the food sector, but also offers vertical capabilities by combining automation, personalisation, savings on packaging materials and digital integration.
After having evaluated the customer’s initial situation and their needs, the choice fell on depalletisers, tray packers, palletisers and wrapping machines from OCME and Robopac System, Aetna Group's reference brand.
The end of line system was designed and implemented using seven technological solutions, among the fastest and most advanced of the entire range of products available within the Group.
Let us see which ones and how they work:
The first phase consists of removing the empty tinplate containers from the pallet, which is handled by the Dorado HM model depalletiser. This machine is able to pick up the containers with precision and place them on the loose container conveyors that transfer them towards the filler and at the same time, automatically manage the consumables such as frames, layer-pads and empty pallets, all of which are stacked perfectly. The maximum speed of the Dorado HM is 360 layers/hour and is an ideal, high-quality solution for optimising the production line and increasing productivity.
Once the cans have been filled, the new Pegasus M robot, fitted with a magnetic head, palletises them and transfers them to the pallet accumulator conveyor when the packaging line is full. When production resumes, it depalletises them, placing the product back in the line. This process allows the cooker to be emptied, safeguarding the product. The Pegasus M and its intuitive features are perfect for this temporary packaging operation, effectively transforming it into an accumulator conveyor with great benefits in terms of the space used.
The Group has also supplied various packaging solutions, in particular the OCME shrink wrappers, model Vega HT, which can produce up to 120 packs per minute.
The shrink wrappers that have been installed can package cans in various types of packaging configurations: film with trays, film with layer pad and film only bundles. The latest generation shrink tunnels combined with these packaging machines ensure a very high, and most importantly, continuous, quality of the outgoing packages. The highly optimised hot air flows inside the ovens and the multilayer insulation of their side panels means that this all takes place with low energy consumption.
The secondary packaging, once it leaves the shrink wrappers, is conveyed to the Orion Advance palletiser, capable of reaching a maximum speed of 570 layers/hour, which is the fastest conventional palletising solution with bottom entry within the group. In the Fanuc robotised version, the machine infeed is also equipped with a Mizar layer formation system, which flawlessly combines performance and soft-handling of the product in a limited space. The Orion Advance, a device for placing layer pads between the layers, completes the set of technologies used. The combination of these technologies guarantees accurate, stable and reliable palletisation over time, ensuring superior quality.
At this point, the palletised packs are secured with stretch film by the Helix 4 Evo, the latest generation wrapping machine that combines the performance of previous generations with the innovative characteristics of Robopac's Evo rotary arm wrapping machines.
When the pallet reaches the machine’s central conveyor, the wrapping cycle starts. Which of the supplied devices are used depends on the wrapping recipe selected for the wrapping cycle. What makes this solution unique is the independent dual-motor pre-stretch carriage, which allows you to set the pre-stretch ratio of the film from the HMI, in a 100% - 400% range and an inverter-based control system. Up to 12 levels of pre-stretch and containment force can be set in each wrapping program by making simple adjustments via the HMI.
At the end of the process, the products are sent for sterilisation, where there is an X-ray device for checking that there are no contaminants inside the can.
The solutions proposed by Aetna Group have made it possible to satisfy the needs and objectives of Goya Foods in its search for integrable automatic technologies that are energy efficient and handle products carefully.
Robopac and OCME innovations for the food sector are the result of extensive experience that has been developed over time.
Today, this experience allows us to ensure maximum flexibility when handling different formats in line, take maximum care when handling packages in high-speed lines, and keep the packaging aesthetically perfect and the product undamaged until it reaches its destination.