Perfect application of herbs, spices and flavourings starts long before the actual powder hits the product. With the development of proportional product distribution and On-Machine Seasoning (OMS) systems, food processors now have the tools to perfectly season their products and efficiently adjust production to meet consumer trends for flavours or niche markets.
OMS moves seasoning application from the production floor to the packaging room. The best systems make it easy to manage product and seasoning flow, application rates, dwell time and can apply different seasonings at each packaging station without cross-contamination.
Regardless of throughput, maintaining a steady uninterrupted flow of product through the seasoning applicator is critical. Consistent product delivery stabilses the application rate and the operation of the weigher and bagmaker, maintaining optimal performance and reducing waste.
Proportional distribution solution
Proportional product distribution, like that provided by Heat and Control’s FastBack® Revolution® Proportional Gate conveyor system, assures that each seasoning/packaging station receives exactly the product it requires.
For small and large throughputs, the Revolution system delivers even flow of product. Especially useful for small bag packaging, it accurately controls the delivery of product necessary for high speeds.
Each seasoning station has one Revolutional Gate. When the bagmaker or weigher demands product, the gate rotates to transfer the exact amount while allowing product to continue to other stations.
The best On-Machine Seasoning systems measure product before it enters the seasoning applicator. Load cell conveyors, such as Heat and Control’s WeighBack™ Weigh Conveyor, continuously communicate product weight to the seasoning feeder so it can dispense the exact amount of seasoning needed. This eliminates the sanitation issues of weigh belts and produces a repeatable travel rate with more accurate product measurement than is possible with vibratory weigh conveyors.
The Next Challenge
Latest technology uses a two-stage horizontal tumble drum to control application rates, coverage, and dwell time. Matching seasoning feed to product volume reduces waste and under-seasoning. The AccuCoat drum from Heat and Control has a cylindrical section for seasoning application, and a cone-shaped section for mixing.
OMS improves processing line output, packaging efficiency, and production versatility, even for medium-capacity snack and potato products producers.
- Produce greater range of products on-demand
- Consistent product quality and reduced waste
- Reduced warehouse requirements
- Longer shelf time for the product
- Better packaging utilization
- Longer equipment uptime
- Lower energy usage
As customer demand for different flavours continue to grow, OMS allows you to quickly and efficiently adjust production to meet consumer trends, including small production runs to serve niche markets.
Around the Clock Production
One of the biggest cost benefits of OMS is the ability to run production equipment around the clock without the normal stoppages associated with flavour changes. This alone can account for a full shift or more of actual production, plus huge improvements in overall line efficiency – all of which greatly improve the financial bottom line.
OMS permits just-in-time production capability that reduces the need for warehouse space. New orders can be quickly filled so product gets on the shelf faster instead of sitting in a warehouse waiting for another flavour to be run before a shipment can be completed.
Compared to a multi-lane kitchen seasoning system, OMS lines reduce the number of motors and equipment by up to 30% which also reduces energy usage by a similar amount.
Where can OMS be used?
Traditional and batch fried potato chips, baked and extruded products, to tortilla chips, pretzels, and crackers can all be seasoned using OMS. OMS systems make it possible to apply a different flavour at each packaging station. FastBack systems offer Modular Dust Collection systems that draw air from the tumble drum inlet area while giving an unrestricted view to operators, allowing seasonings to be contained and kept from migrating from one station to another. When not needed, these modular units can be turned off individually to save power and do not require long overhead ducting runs that require additional energy losses or cleaning.