It's a challenge not unusual in consumer goods' fast-paced world: One product will need a bunch of SKUs suddenly, while another will need flavor versions, and another will need unique retail packaging options.
Creating variety packs has come with a conundrum of challenges, including thousands of manual labor hours unpacking single SKUs and repackaging them into variety packs. Many CPG brands cannot accommodate such a labor force and are forced to outsource to third-party co-packers who are running into their own challenges retaining manual laborers.
When the customer came to Aagard with their need for a fully automated variety packaging machine, they had a vision for the present. After working with Aagard and their partner, Rockwell Automation, for this project, what they received was not only a plan for their current needs but a plan for the future.
Aagard is known for its holistic approach that involves the customer sharing their current needs and encourages them to dream bigger, considering what they could foresee a machine needing to do for them in the future. It's a custom machine, and to ensure it is cost-effective, it needs to handle future growth.
Projects with so many variations always create a layer of consideration. But this project had other factors making it challenging. The company needed to have extraordinary agility. Essentially, they needed an on-demand approach to case packing with speeds up to 100 cases per minute.
After multiple iterations, Aagard invented - MyriasTM, a fully automated variety case packaging system. Using Rockwell's iTRAK® system, MyriasTM can create 4,000 configurations with stand-up retail-ready display trays, divider sheets in various packaging sizes and configurations ranging from one to six flavors in 12-96 count cases. Not only is MyriasTM made to fit tight floor space requirements, but it's also capable of run rates of 100 cases per minute and quick changeover rates.
MyriasTM truly solves many challenges top CPG brands face today regarding customized variety packs.
Technology changes so quickly that while building the machine, the engineers were continually considering the customers changing requirements, including integrations with equipment the customer already had or needed.
Creating one machine to do everything the customer required took a lot of ingenuity and a bit of an outside-of-the-box approach. The system needed to achieve an enormous undertaking, and its' HMI interface needed to be straightforward and easy to understand. As Aagard builds a machine, they not only create a system that exceeds expectations, they take into consideration who is going to be operating it. A system is only worth its weight in gold if someone can efficiently run it.
The creation of MyriasTM has resulted in unique uses of technology that solves a major pain point for top CPG brands today. It will also enable the development of future technology, helping those same brands keep up with tomorrow's consumer demands.
Taking the once manual operation of assembling customized variety packs and turning it into an automated packaging system was no small feat. Fortunately, the team at Aagard thrives on unique challenges and creating long-term partnerships that not only maximize results but create a vision for the future.