Leading Italian snack manufacturer Pata was able to reduce waste, simplify cleaning operations and improve overall production efficiencies by choosing packaging, weighing, seasoning and distribution systems from integrated packaging and processing solutions provider tna.  

Based in the province of Mantua, Italy, Pata specialises in the production of a wide variety of potato chips, popcorn, and extruded snacks. With a strong focus on quality, Pata continuously strives to employ the latest technology for its 17 production lines and was looking for a supplier that could deliver both on quality and innovative, hygienic design to improve production efficiencies at its plant.

Increased bagging speeds

Responsible for producing a wide variety of snacks, for their own brand and also for third parties, Pata needed a flexible packaging system that could handle different products and bag sizes. At the same time, the company was looking to optimise production by increasing bagging speeds and reducing waste.

The tna robag® TX 3ci vertical form, fill and seal (VFFS) packaging system was able to offer both production flexibility and improved performance in a compact, easy-to-clean system. Designed with flexibility in mind, tna’s robag series is capable of delivering up to 160 bags per minute on potato chips. For Pata, the tna robag TX 3ci handles a wide variety of bag sizes and formats, while its rotary single jaws ensure seal integrity, preventing bursts and reducing waste.

The system was delivered completely integrated with a tna intelli-weigh® 0314S omega multi-head high speed scale. Capable of up to 200 weighs per minute, the tna intelli-weigh 0314S omega offers high accuracy, further improving performance by reducing product losses. In addition, tna ensured the seamless integration of a stainless steel metal detector to make sure Pata’s high standards of hygiene and safety were maintained.

“Pata needed a packaging system that could easily be integrated into their current production line, while at the same time give them the flexibility to upgrade the system at a later stage,” comments Peter Pellizzari, regional sales manager – tna. ”At tna, we want to make sure that our customers are always one step ahead. Our robag range is therefore completely upgradable to different jaw sizes and configurations enabling Pata to further speed up their production should their requirements change in the future.”

“We’ve had a commercial relationship with tna for over 5 years, so we are very familiar with the brand and the quality of the products they offer,” comments Massimo Piona, plant manager at Pata. “One of the main things that makes tna stand out from other suppliers is the time and patience they invest into developing a close personal relationship. This really made a difference and confirmed our decision to purchase their equipment.”


Improved flavour consistency

Seasoning is a key challenge for any snack manufacturer. Each type of snack base product has its own set of attributes, unique product structure, surface and topography which can challenge the application needs. For Pata it was therefore important to find a seasoning system that was not only able to handle the versatile product range, but would also ensure even coverage and precise flavour diffusion to uphold Pata’s high demands on quality.

The installation of tna’s high performance intelli-flav® seasoning systems proved to be the ideal solution. The tna intelli-flav OMS 5 features a responsive variable mass seasoning system with dynamic vibratory weigher, which enables an accurate, proportional amount of seasoning to be evenly applied to the product for improved coverage and flavour dispersion. With a simple, modular design, tna’s intelli-flav seasoning systems are fully enclosed for increased levels of hygiene and ease of cleaning. Moreover, their 90-degree pivoting drum improves accessibility for hard to reach areas, simplifying day-to-day operations.

“At Pata, we are committed to providing our customers with products of the highest quality”, notes Piona. “We therefore needed a machine that is able to maintain the integrity of the seasoning on the product across the entire production line. The new seasoning systems from tna have given us more control over the seasoning process, delivering consistent results across our entire range of products.”


Reduced waste on the conveyer

When it came to choosing a conveyer, reduced product breakage and ease of cleaning were the deciding factors. In the past, products would break easily when travelling along the conveyer, resulting in material waste. At the same time, cleaning was a time-consuming and labour-intensive process as crumbs would regularly accumulate in hard to reach places.

tna roflo® VM conveyors with accumulation capability were installed to gently distribute products along the production line. Using a unique vibratory motion and a dimpled surface, the specially designed conveyors allow for smooth product flow, minimising the risk of product breakage and rejects. Furthermore, the easy-to-clean design of the tna roflo VM reduces downtime and helps manufacturers to comply with the highest food quality standards.

“As a food manufacturer, hygiene is naturally one of our top priorities,” adds Piona. “All of tna’s machines are really easy to clean. This has saved us a lot of time and we are really starting to notice the impact this has had on our production efficiencies.”


One supplier – many solutions

“For a dynamic company such as Pata it is important to partner with a provider that can supply us with the latest technology for all our needs,” adds Piona. “However, finding one supplier that can offer such a wide range of products like tna is not easy. tna’s commitment to innovation and quality really comes through in their products – for example, tna was one of the first companies to offer vibratory motion conveyers. We’re very pleased with the performance of all the machines they have provided and look forward to continue the partnership in the future.”


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