Grupo BAFAR Grows International Business With Multivac Semi-Automatic Packaging Solution

B500 Vacuum Chamber Conveyor Belt Machine Increases Productivity To 13,000 Units Per Day

Grupo Bafar (Chihuahua City, Mexico), a distributor of beef, pork, sausage, and cold cuts to retail outlets throughout Mexico, sought to build an international wholesale distribution business. The company needed to significantly enhance production of one, two and five-kilo vacuum-sealed packages to meet customer demand. Bafar also required an optimized packaging system that automated processes and enabled them to provide rapid service with minimal shipping lead times.

Bafar selected Multivac Inc's. (Kansas City, MO), semi-automatic B500 Vacuum Chamber Conveyor Belt machine and integrated it into the production line. The new automated line produced dual seam sealed Multivac Packs™ to protect products during overseas shipping. Productivity increased from 6,500[JRM1] to 13,000 units per day and enabled Bafar to service customers in Central America, Japan, and throughout Mexico.

"It was imperative that we automate bulk packaging processes," says Ricardo Anchondo, Plant Engineering Manager of Bafar. "We wanted to take advantage of new sales opportunities and Multivac's Belt Conveyor machine met our large volume packaging requirements with speed and accuracy. We successfully increased productivity and provided our newest customers with quality packages and fresh products. This is a critical factor when beginning new business relationships."

Automation Enables Expansion

Bafar chose the B500 based on its long relationship with Multivac and the quality of the other systems in its facility. The company also uses Multivac's R230 and R530 thermoform rollstock systems. "These machines produced quality packages for various sized portions of bacon, sausages, and cold cuts," says Anchondo. "Multivac has provided us with the necessary tools to build a successful business. When we wanted to automate and grow our company, they did what they have always done -- worked with us to customize an ideal solution."

Multivac designers and technical engineers worked closely with plant management to create a cost-effective automated system. Bafar's new bulk packages maximize product freshness and extend shelf life. A double seam seal protects against breaks and leaks during long distance shipping. The B500 is also capable of producing packages with various types of material, allowing Bafar to package all bulk meats on one machine. "Flexibility is critical. We run three different packages on the same system," says Anchondo. "Our operations personnel found the B500 to be extremely adaptable to multiple package requirements. Productivity has increased and the system is maximizing our ROI by also reducing material waste."

Added-Value Benefits

The new semi-automatic solution did more than maximize output. "Even prior to installation, operations personnel benefited from integrated training and technical support," says Anchondo. "Comprehensive training was provided, which prepared us to anticipate problems before productivity was affected."

Local technical support and service was a significant concern for the company. "Because Multivac's technicians are based close by, they became the logical choice," says Anchondo. "Support in the area means little downtime if technical issues arise. They also provide telephone support, to answer questions that would otherwise require an on-site visit."

Success in a New Market

Bafar achieved its goal of growing a new wholesale distribution business. "Multivac's B500 is a complete packaging solution that contributed to success for our customers, and for us," says Anchondo. "Shortened lead times, package integrity, and product freshness is critical, and customers are extremely satisfied with the quality of our products and service."

Since automating its line, customer demand has increased significantly. A recent influx of new orders prompted Bafar to further expand operations with an additional B500, purchased in August 2002. "Automation facilitated increased output and uptime, allowing us to meet growing customer demand with consistent accuracy and efficiency," summarized Anchondo. "Providing reliable service generated new orders and adding another B500 was the most cost-effective method of ensuring optimum productivity and service. Strategic investments in packaging systems enabled us to serve a new customer base and grow both our business and profits."