The rubber band bundler was developed to efficiently and semi-automatically place the rubber rings around the asparagus. In the course of the sustainability trend, the established process is currently experiencing a renewed upswing in the agricultural sector after many years, says Dietmar Baumeister of Erich Baumeister LLC with some satisfaction. The then developer of the machine continues to see great interest in the semi-automatic process and will re-present the process at this year's ExpoSE.
Dietmar Baumeister at this year's Interaspa. In addition to the rubber ring bundler, the company supplies other packaging machines to the asparagus sector.
The underlying idea behind the process was to build a robust, user-friendly machine that is maintenance-free, says Baumeister: the bundler is made entirely of stainless steel and works pneumatically. "The season is short and quite intense: the rest of the year, the machinery will not be used. To service the machines is often difficult, because the staff for that can often be lacking. Because of this, the machine has to be simple and robust."
The direct reason for the efficient use came ultimately primarily from the agricultural sector: the process itself is not only suitable for asparagus, but also for other agricultural products (for example, spring onions, herbs & greens). In general, the wider the rubber rings, the harder it is to bundle the product by hand. "Bundling is a very stressful job if you do that for eight hours a day. Our procedure thus makes the work flow easier."
Increased application potential
Parallel to the continuous development of new product packaging, the potential of the rubber ring bundler increases as well, says Baumeister. Today, not only the established rubber rings are made using the bundler, but also elastic bands. "The machine is suitable, for example, for the Elastiags application. These are currently used a lot. This solution can be seen, for example, even more frequently at the German discounters. Clearly, we supply a niche product, but our customer base remains almost the same over the years. We still mainly serve the asparagus sector, either direct marketers or retail suppliers, both nationwide and internationally. "
The standard rubber rings for the agricultural sector are also a sustainable solution that meets today's social trends. They are made for the most part from environmentally friendly and flawless rubber. "We note that sustainability is currently a big topic in agriculture. This is a great advantage for us because we can deliver customized and cost-effective packaging that significantly reduces packaging material."
At the same time, however, the supply of corresponding, environmentally friendly solutions is also growing: Nonetheless, this development is rather beneficial. "I believe that diversity has a positive impact on the industry. The customer may decide and our procedure is one of the possibilities. It should also not be forgotten that the product is often bundled in the flowpack process. That is, both solutions complement each other. "
ExpoSE: Good mix of specialist information and exhibitors
The company has been exhibiting at ExpoSE many times and will be exhibiting again in Karlsruhe this year. "I really like the fair personally, because there is a good mix of specialist information and exhibitors. You will find this mix nowhere else, really." He also likes the timing of the ExpoSE, because for the suppliers of the asparagus industry, the autumn is still the main season. "By the end of the year, all orders must be in place so that we can process them in time for the new season."