Making A Powder: Dure Foods Ltd. (pt 1 of 2)
Second in a 4-part series on DURE FOODS. Taken from a recently published article by Andrew Joseph in the October 2014 issue of Canadian Packaging magazine. Photos by Cole Garside.
Packaging options available at Dure Foods include: Super Sacs; 50-lb bags; 25-lb bulk boxes; two-pound pillow pouches; 500-gram pouches; 28-gram sachets; four-inch diameter composite tins; and plastic jars.
“For us, it’s all about the blending,” states Malcolm explaining the company blends its products according to the highest food safety standards, as specified by the HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) and the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiatives) of the BRC (British Retail Council) protocols. “We also have an in-house quality assurance laboratory that ensures we maintain strict quality control, while also providing us with product research and new product development capabilities.”
The manufacturing process of dry powder blending is a two-pronged attack for Dure Foods, according to plant manager Tim Laberge, a 20-year veteran with the company.
Laberge notes that while manufacturing certainly involves carefully following the developed formulas, it is even more dependent upon receiving high quality ingredients such as sugar, instant cocoa and coffee creamers—most of which arrives at the facility contained within bulk 900-kilogram tote bags.
These tote bags are designed as food-grade, with replaceable liners to ensure no cross-contamination of ingredients can occur, as well as providing a recycled life for the bag itself.
“Every ingredient that arrives at Dure Foods comes with a Certificate of Analysis that ensures that we are only receiving products of the best quality manufactured under the highest food safety standards,” relates Laberge.
These tote bags of ingredients are moved via forklift from the warehouse to the blending room. The forklifts never enter the room, instead lifting the palletized load up to an opening in the blending room wall where it is then moved by workers using hoists before being precisely weighed and added to the blend.
At this time lot codes are documented and blender personnel sign-off on every product ingredient added.
The dry powders are passed through one of the six Kason vibratory sifters to remove clumps before it moves into the blending stage.
“Our 100-cubic-foot double-ribbon blenders in both Canada and the U.S, provide us with the capacity to mix 70-million pounds of product each year,” mentions Laberge.
The blending times are all electronically-controlled, which ensures a consistent mix every time and then, says Laberge “every blend receives microbiological testing by a third-party laboratory.”
The Brantford facility has six production lines, including what Laberge calls an ultra-cleanroom created specifically for a customer that wanted its products packed in such a manner.
With each of the rooms set up in a similar manner to the other, each also contains the same equipment— with a couple of notable exceptions, of course.
The lines utilize an Arty 80V vertical formfill-and-seal machine manufactured by Artypac Automation Inc. of Laval, Que., to create pillow-pack applications.
The bagger also utilizes an Artypac Tornado 600 with a Vectormotion variable speed drive system to feed the product to the bagger.
Attached to the Arty 80V is a Markem-Imaje SmartDate 5 coder, that Dure Foods utilizes to apply lot code data with and without expiry date information depending on the particular product being packed to the film—before the film is unwound to form the pack on the bagger.
For product safety, the lines utilize a Fortress Technology Phantom metal detection system to check for possible foreign substances in the packed product.
The dry powder packs are then hand-packed in corrugated boxes supplied by Atlantic Packaging Products and run through a 3M-Matic top and bottom tape sealer from 3M.
Additional equipment used on the lines at Dure Foods include:
- an Alpha Checkweigher from ALLFILL Inc.;
- an auger filling system supplied by AMS Filling Systems;
- Duff Packaging Machine plastic capper;
- EBS inkjet coder;
- two Markem-Imaje 5800 coders with two printheads apiece that can apply four different colors;
- a model DS011E VFFS bagging system, from Viking Masek Global Packaging Technologies, featuring a Siemens Simantic Panel interface, and a Siemens Logo! TD touchscreen;
- conveyor systems supplied by Artypac, featuring Nord motors for line speed;
- dust collection systems, made by N.R. Murphy Ltd.;
- stackable plastic pallets supplied by Orbis Corporation.
We hope you are enjoying our two part series! At Dure we are always striving to do better and be better.
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