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How Syntegon Created a Global Solution for One Pizza Business

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Frozen pizza is one of the most popular fast foods: it is delicious, convenient, and easy to prepare.

A major frozen foods manufacturer in the US relied on Syntegon’s system competence. Involving four international sites, Syntegon provided an integrated, highly automated production line for processing frozen pizzas – from product distribution to final case packing.



In November 2020, Syntegon started with the design of a 4-leg distribution and packaging system with a capability of more than 400,000 pizzas per day. After the frozen pizzas are delivered from a spiral freezer, they are transported towards the Product Distribution System (PDS) from Syntegon. On their way, the pizzas pass a “dump gate” that can be manually opened if an upstream problem such as contaminated ingredients or other quality issues are detected in the freezer. The products arrive at the PDS in random order, where they are arranged in regular lines and rows before being packaged on one of four packaging legs. The PDS features individually controlled lanes and a sensor-based control system that detects missing products or wrong orders in the lanes.



The Product Distribution System features individually controlled lanes and a sensor-based control system
Reproduction for press purposes free of charge with credit “Picture: Syntegon”



The pizza manufacturer wanted to integrate a back-up to reduce downtimes and production losses to a minimum. The solution: a distribution system that automatically distributes the frozen goods into three packaging legs and detects any problems in the production process. As soon as an error occurs on one of the three legs, the system redirects the products to a fourth leg that is always on stand-by to avoid any downtime in production.

In the next step, the frozen pizzas are shrink-wrapped with a Pack 301 SK flow wrapper. Before leaving the Pack 301 SK, a checkweigher performs an accurate weight and completeness check to ensure the consumer receives the quantity guaranteed. Since the pizzas contain sensitive foods like cheese and meat, the machine fulfils the washdown requirements for optimal hygienic conditions.



The shrink-wrapped pizzas then enter the downstream packaging area of the extensive line, where single pizzas are loaded into the typically thin cardboard boxes for frozen pizzas in the Kliklok Enterprise endload cartoner. The Kliklok Enterprise features one of the fastest rotary carton feeder in the industry and can package at speeds of up to 340 cartons per minute.

The final packaging step consists of packaging either 14 or 16 cartoned pizzas into one large transport case using the Elematic 3001. The wrap-around case packer offers a large pack style flexibility: the pizzas can either be wrapped in trays, trays with inner hood or full wrap-arounds. Considering the manufacturer’s high hygienic standards, both downstream machines meet the wipe-down requirements and ensure hygienic production conditions.



The Elematic 3001 uses a lowerator as a mandrel to form the case around the packaged pizzas.
Reproduction for press purposes free of charge with credit “Picture: Syntegon”



With this highly automated packaging line, the frozen food manufacturer was able to take its pizza production to the next level of efficiency. With an output of 340 pizzas per minute, the new line from Syntegon will outperform the existing packaging line. To make this possible, Syntegon brought experts and machines from four of its international sites together. “We coordinated technologies and team members from three different countries and every expert contributed with their individual expertise,” Brad Baker, Senior Sales Director North America points out. “Together, we proved our system competence and provided the customer with a comprehensive integrated line.”

Thanks to the joint team efforts, Syntegon was able to offer the project as a single source solution. The team designated one contact person to funnel the communication from all four Syntegon sites with the customer. This facilitated a close contact throughout the entire project and holistic advice on the project implementation.

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