CASE STUDY: Chronos BTH forges long-term partnership with Weston Milling
Chronos BTH’s special working partnership with leading Australasian milling specialists Weston Milling is going from strength to strength.
Following extensive trials and two-year technical collaboration, eight CHRONO-BAGTM OML BF Series open-mouth bagging have been shipped to Weston’s flour mills in Sydney, Australia and
Auckland, New Zealand.
This is part of a major upgrade program for Weston involving their five mills in Australia and three in New Zealand. When completed, the overall bagging project, valued at over six million euro, will include not only the integrated bagging lines, but also palletisers and stretch hooders. The Weston project incorporates a combination of OML-1030 BF single spout lines, OML-2060 BF dual spout lines and OML-3090 BF triple spout lines.
A century of milling heritage
Weston Milling is one of the oldest and largest cereal processors in New Zealand and Australia, with a proud milling heritage dating back over 100 years. It operates at the heart of the agricultural industry with activities that stretch from ‘paddock to plate’.
Weston Milling has a strong reputation and tradition of quality. The company is committed to be the leading cereal conversion business in Australasia by fulfilling customers’ needs through the supply of reliable, high quality products and services. The company engenders the same ideology for flour milling, which has proved successful for thousands of years.
As a result, Weston Milling has exceptionally high expectations from its milling plant equipment and this investment with Chronos BTH is the first major change in bag packaging equipment at the mills since the mid-1980s. Craig Gough, divisional engineering manager, Weston Milling, is clear on his company’s philosophy, “we certainly don’t make decisions to upgrade our plants lightly and only expect to change-out critical equipment every 25 years or so. We have gone through a dedicated and exhaustive decision process over the past two years to evaluate the best technical solution available on today’s market.
“A critical blend of factors including reliability, performance, future proof capabilities and support, both local and remote. Technical merit is considered first and then cost. We are prepared to pay a premium for the best technical solution for Weston’s requirements. Ultimately Chronos BTH was selected from a shortlist of four international companies. Chronos BTH personnel have been very professional in understanding our requirements and the extensive trials carried out at their plant in Holland were extremely successful.”
The extensive project has gone beyond the bagging lines to encompass a complete redesign of Weston’s bag styles and types. Joint collaboration has also seen the evolution of Chronos BTH’s new and highly innovative BlockTop™ bag closing technique for flour and other food related industries. This provides a very strong, yet easy to open seal arrangement at the top of the bags.
Robbert van den Biggelaar, sales director, Chronos BTH, has worked closely with Weston personnel throughout the project and is extremely positive about the partnership, “This has been a challenging, yet highly rewarding two way experience for our engineers and other team members. In parallel Paul Woosley and his team from our exclusive agent in the region, Australian Prime Fibre Pty Ltd. (APF), have played a pivotal role throughout the project.
“We are delighted to have met or exceeded all Weston’s criteria and their input to the project has been invaluable. Their decision process and strategy dovetail perfectly with our philosophy of ensuring we design and develop the world’s most technically advanced, high-reliability bag packaging equipment. It is very reassuring and encouraging to be working with a company that recognises the importance of technical endeavour and expertise,” says Mr van den Biggelaar.
The filling process
The OML BF features highly effective, dust controlled ‘bottom-up’ filling techniques. Chronos BTH has pioneered developments in this type of filling for dusty powdered products such as flour and this proprietary technique ensures high accuracy, whilst also bringing important reductions in bag costs.
At the start of the filling process, an empty bag is automatically placed on the filling spout. The filling spout moves to the filling position then moves progressively down the bag during the filling cycle. This controlled process, which maintains a minimum distance between the filling point of the vertical screw and the product in the bag significantly minimises dust emission and reduces product aeration. The vertical screw is frequency / servo control driven, allowing all powdery products to be filled hygienically, accurately and quickly.
Another key advantage of the OML BF product range is its cost effective, modular design, offering the capability of one, two or three filling heads per line with corresponding bagging speeds of 300, 600 or 900 bags per hour. Depending on customers’ current and future requirements, lines can be built with redundant filling head frames allowing highly cost effective future proof upgradeability.
The bagging lines are a critical part of the Weston operations and as Craig Gough concludes, “our mills operate almost continually throughout the year and therefore technical support is a very important part of the overall project. We are looking forward to the bagging line installs together with the palletisers and stretch hooders.”
Facts and figures
Merger and acquisitions by Premier Tech have combined the companies Chronos Richardson (established in 1881), BTH, Richard Simon, Howe Richardson, Forberg into today’s Chronos BTH, bringing together more than a century of technical innovation, application experience and expertise. Today Chronos BTH has modern, state-of-the art production facilities in the Netherlands and Italy, supported by skilled engineering teams focusing on innovative research and development programmes. Experienced sales and service offices in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and France help provide high-tech, valued added products and comprehensive customer services.
Chronos BTH, together with its Premier Tech Chronos sister companies in the Americas and Asia, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of packaging solutions in the field of Industrial Flexible Packaging. With production facilities in Canada, the USA, Thailand, India and China, the company group is active in more than 50 countries, supported by a long established network of Customer
Chronos BTH is a single point of contact for all of its customers’ packaging and material handling needs. Each piece of equipment is designed, manufactured and integrated in-house. Chronos BTH is recognised worldwide for its customised and innovative weighing, bagging, baling, palletising and load securing solutions for a broad spectrum of industries. It offers manual, semi-automatic, fully automated or turnkey solutions for bagging a diverse range of bulk materials in the food, feed, chemicals, minerals and horticulture industries. Its bagging portfolio includes open-mouth bagging systems, valve bagging systems, horizontal and vertical FFS systems as well as filling systems for flexible and rigid containers.