Many snack manufacturers use larger cases or lighter materials as sustainable alternatives and also to reduce shipping costs. Such materials often require gentler handling and assembly during case packing, according to Bryan Sinicrope, vice-president, sales and marketing, A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp.

Lighter materials, however, can be more easily damaged. “Manual and/or automated functions may need to be slowed down as a precaution to damaging the bag or carton,” said John Keane, executive product manager, packaging and automation, for AMF Bakery Systems. “To maintain a line’s throughput means that either more labor or more sensitive automation is needed.”