Vacuum brick packs for coffee have been popular since their introduction in the late 1970’s. These packages provide excellent shelf appeal and are associated with high-quality roasts. The aroma of roasted coffee is preserved until the consumer opens the bag. Also, the cube of the package has benefits for efficiency in transport. Current technology for producing these products was slow compared to similar packages and manufacturer’s were facing constraints on available production space.
Partnering with a major supplier of premium roast and ground coffee, we designed and developed a machine to revolutionise the production of coffee brick packs. Our design targeted and delivered savings for capital requirements, labour, materials consumption and energy usage. Through prototyping and design refinements, the machine achieved a rate of 250 packs per minute.
With the same machine footprint and space utilisation, the new machine increased throughput two fold. One of these machines is able to do twice the work of contemporary competitors, whilst costing less to supply. The new design is a continuous motion machine, which results in less wear on the machine parts and ensures a very reliable operation. Additionally, the new machine is able to produce a wide range of sizes, with embossing features not available with similar equipment. Our solution, improving upon currently available technology, creates an advantage both in terms of packaging costs and shelf appeal.