From manual to marvel: Fairview Mills increases efficiency and employee morale with automated packaging

Danielle Ohl


Manual packaging is hard.

Hard to predict. Hard on the bottom line. Hard on employees.

A transition to packaging automation should reduce or even eliminate those stresses.

Here's how Fairview Mills accomplished just that.

Business Background

Located in Kansas, Fairview Mills, a division of J-Six Enterprises, builds the processes and infrastructure that creates high-quality products that are used in many pet food and treat applications. As a contract packager, they pride themselves on providing quick, reliable pet food manufacturing and packaging processes for their clients.

When it comes to pet food ingredient packaging, Fairview Mills does it all! They will take totes and bags of quality pet food products, run them through their pet food ingredient packaging line, and give the client packages that are fully customizable to their needs.

As a customer-centric company, Fairview Mills prioritizes the highest standards of quality and food safety. They pride themselves on working with the client to ensure that their customer receives the best product possible.

Packaging Challenges

Fairview Mills was doing a lot of packing by hand and they wanted to transition to automation. They were experiencing issues typical of manual packaging processes:

  • Unpredictable throughput
  • Trouble filling orders in a timely manner
  • Exhausted, stressed-out employees
  • Inadequate seals
  • Inconsistent quality

Strategy & Solution

After meeting Viking Masek at Pack Expo East in Philadelphia, PA, two Viking Masek technicians took quite a bit of time to sit down and chat with Fairview Mills Project Manager, Steve Skinner, about his options for automating their pet food packaging processes. After the show, Skinner was partnered with an expert point of contact at Viking Masek that walked him through the decision-making process, step by step. No stone was left unturned in the discovery process.

“Other companies did not provide a lot of comfort as we discussed making a purchase. Many companies told us over and over that whatever we need to do, they can take care of,” said Skinner. “Whereas Viking wanted samples, finished pouches, trial runs. Being eager to jump right in and start sampling and providing us with good feedback really instilled the right amount of confidence we needed.”

Ulitmately, Fairview Mills chose an 8S-235 premade pouch machine with pick and place robotic infeed and paired it with a multi-head scale for a complete pet food packaging solution.

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