César Iglesias storms the island’s supermarket shelves with tightly sealed cereal bags packed on Bosch’s VFFS machines.
San Pedro de Macorís is known to most as one of the largest cities in the Dominican Republic and it is the home base for César Iglesias, a 100-plus year-old company that brings its own distinct value to the island.
Since its foundation in 1910, the family-owned company has quickly expanded to become the Dominican Republic’s major producer of basic household products for the small local stores known as ‘colmados’, restaurants, hotels and resorts.
Today, César Iglesias has 20 factories and over 2,000 employees. To provide high-quality products to the many consumers who use them each day, the company partnered with Bosch Packaging Technology to improve the sealing of their cereal bags by replacing their existing vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) machines.
The “Hit or Miss” Situation
Bosch first worked with César Iglesias more than 20 years ago, providing bag sealers for its detergent products. The reliable performance of the machines and continued good working relationship convinced the company to reach out to Bosch for this important project.
The single-serve breakfast cereal bags that César Iglesias produced on its existing VFFS baggers were manually glued onto cardboard, which involved significant amount of labor and material. In the colmados, the bags would not peel nicely off the cardboard, which resulted in many cases in a teared package. In addition to creating a significant amount of product loss, it negatively impacted the experience consumers had with the brand. A team from Bosch and Bosch’s agent Tecno Empaque visited César Iglesias to examine the issue, explored new ways of presenting the single-serve bags at the point of sale and ran tests at the VFFS test lab in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Bosch recommended producing the bags as perforated chains of bags consisting of 6, 8 or 12 single-dose pillow bags using the entry-level SVI 2600 vertical bagger.
“We were 100 percent satisfied with the first investment in Bosch’s vertical form fill and seal machine,” said Jesús Feris, Technical Director at César Iglesias. “The technology is incomparable to our previous equipment in terms of efficiency, bag shape and appearance, accuracy of the seals, hygiene aspects including cleaning and more.” César Iglesias was so pleased with the quality of Bosch’s machine that the company went on to purchase a complete packaging line for its Cornflakes (Azukitas), Chocolitas and Fruit Loops cereals (Frutiaros). The line included two additional SVI 2600 baggers, which produce four different package formats and the SVI 4020 LR that produces two different formats of gusseted bags – as well as third-party vibratory conveyors, multi-head scales, metal detectors and mezzanines.
A Home Run Solution
The new machines deliver multiple benefits that ultimately result in more robust packages and require less maintenance. Featuring gentle vibratory channels that minimize product waste and simplify portion control, the machine inherently provides both time and cost savings. Furthermore, the precise dosing of the weighers is designed to minimize opportunities for sugar contamination, which could result in jams on the line and halt production.
“Using the machine is extremely simple and our operator is able to change the film very easily,” says Mr. Feris. “Cereals can be a tricky product to package but the machine allows for a seamless changeover and production ramp-up from one type or flavor to another, increasing the ease of overall operation. It can also manage a large variety of products, allowing for easy changeover on the forming tube to switch from one product to another and a better integration with the multi head scale and metal detectors. Bosch also provided us with a local Spanish-speaker to oversee the project and ensured a seamless transition with the operational staff.”
Incorporating the SVI machine into its production line has allowed César Iglesias to tap into new markets in the Dominican Republic as well as other countries such as Jamaica and Guatemala.
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