Spartan Cartoner Increases King Arthur Flour Packaging Productivity


Spartan Cartoner Increases King Arthur Flour Packaging Productivity

King Arthur Flour Company started in Boston in 1790 and now based in Norwich, Vermont, is America’s oldest flour company. It has grown from a regional staple to a brand known nationwide not only for its high-quality flours but for their passion in sharing the joy of baking; from a small mail-order business with five employees in 1990 to the premier baking resource with nearly 200 employees today; from a family-owned operation for five generations to a 100 percent employee-owned business. Congratulations go out to America’s oldest flour company as it has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Vermont (large company division) for the third year in a row.


Originally, King Arthur Flour was packaged in cloth sacks and wooden barrels. More recently, when the company wanted to market its baking mixes in sealed poly pouches, the company elected to use paperboard cartons to create the visual image they wanted as well as protect the product. Increased demand for the product made it necessary to produce the packaged goods faster and more economically.


John Carvalho of PACKAGE AUTOMATION COMPANY introduced King Arthur to ECONOCORP and they became more familiar with ECONOCORP and the quality of their products. The company had a Twinseal semiautomatic carton sealer when they first had the need to glue seal the cartons. With a very limited budget at the time, they purchased this unit as a very used item, which required extensive repairs to make it serviceable. ECONOCORP’s expert and friendly technical staff helped to quickly get the unit up and running. As the company’s volume continued to increase, ECONOCORP also offered the most economical automatic cartoner for their needs in the Spartan cartoner, which opens cartons, loads bagged flour, and glue seals the finished package at the required rate of 30 cartons per minute.


There is more to the purchase of a packaging machine that just the nuts and bolts. “The Spartan is easy to maintain and changeover to other carton sizes is very simple. Also, the service from Econocorp is top notch. They went the extra mile to make certain their product performs to their high standards,” stated Joe Dube, King Arthur Flour’s production equipment supervisor and safety coordinator. Dube added, “As for the return on investment; we were able to more than double the number of cartons per minute with less man hours as it only takes a single operator to load the Spartan.”

Spartan Cartoner Increases King Arthur Flour Packaging Productivity

The Spartan cartoner for this application simply requires that an operator place each bag of flour into one of many buckets on the intermittent conveyor. The advantage is the pre-staging of product prior to the actual loading station which typically helps to increase productivity. The system now paces the operator and has the intelligence for handle such conditions as, “no carton in position for loading, no product load” and “no product load, no empty carton advance”. When a bucket arrives at the load station with product and there is a carton in position to accept product, the tamp device comes down over the top of product and the product pusher automatically loads product into the erected and positioned carton. The tamp device is used for products requiring some slight compression and/or loose stacks of products requiring some additional guidance. After the loading sequence, the bucket conveyor continues to search for additional cartons and product


Dube concluded, “Econocorp has the equipment to fit your cartoning needs and the expert staff to keep it going. They take extreme pride in their company and the products they produce.”