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Cereal Cartoning Machine: Mechanical Design of the Feed System

Cereal Cartoning Machine: How to Design a Fine Infeed Unit?

Cereal Boxes
Get up in the morning at 08:00 AM, grab a bag of cereal or muesli out of the cabinet in your kitchen, mix it with the milk and enjoy your simple breakfast. I guess this is the common lifestyle for most of us reading this article.

We have discussed in the past some of our past projects about cartoning machine dealing with bags of cereal, but did not reach a technical level about how a cartoning machine works for cereal, which is one of the major products a food cartoning machine works for. In this article, we will talk about how to design and develop a popular servo-driven infeed unit to feed cartoning machines with bags of cereal or muesli.

What are the Challenges with Feeding Cartoner with Cereal Bags?

Except you are going feed manually bags of cereal, muesli or avena to the cartoner machine, the automatic approach to the infeed and introduction will inevitably be confronted with the following challenges:

  • Control and time the inflow of bags of cereal
  • Count the number of bags cereal fed or to be fed
  • Place bags of cereal onto the cartoner’s bucket conveyor in a reasonable way

With the first challenge, we would suggest using a smart conveyor system, which consists of several partial conveyors with different functions as follows:

  • Supply conveyor: the one receiving bags of cereal from upstream. probably a VFFS
  • Phasing conveyor: the one will time the bags of cereal received
  • Transfer conveyor: the one will feed the bags of cereal to the following process

Recommended Reading:  What is a Smart Conveyor System?


With the second and third problems, we can get all of them covered by a servo-driven infeed unit with the support of some sensors and programming. Check the following chapter!

Infeed Unit for Bags of Cereal

Cereal Infeed Unit for Cartoning Machine

Patent & Copyright
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery

The cereal bag infeed unit consists of a pair of rotary plates which are divided into 4 sections equally, both of them are driven by a servo motor through a series of gears and timing belt to be synchronized in motion and one follows a clockwise motion while another follows a counter-clockwise motion.

The unit is to be connected with a smart conveyor system to receive the timed and organized inflow of bags of cereal. Bags of cereal coming from the conveyor are detected by photo-eye from which signal will be sent to PLC that in turn, orders the servo motor to work and drives the two platforms.

With each cycle carried out, each platform will rotate for 90 degrees, thus completing the feed of each cereal bag.


The whole system is responsive and quick in action thanks to the servo-technology and programming incorporated, compared with a conventional way of control and feed by pneumatic cylinders.

feed cartoning machine with bags of cereal
Schematic Diagram of Cereal Infeed Unit
Copyright ÉLITER Packaging Machinery

What is the Typical Packaging for Cereal?

Adhesive packaging is widely used in various industries and especially for sealing cartons. In most of the context where adhesive packaging is involved, it is frequently that the sealing boxes is for products such as beverages and foods. Soon as you open the cabinet in your kitchen and check the cereal or muesli you have for breakfast, you’d soon find out the carton box is sealed by glue.

But WHY?

In the food industry, preservation, sanitation, and protection are of utmost importance when it comes to packaging. And this is why glue-sealed cartons are widely used as secondary packaging for miscellaneous products such as cereal and muesli. While tuck-in closures are vulnerable to exterior damage, glue-sealed cartons offer solid closure status with better air tightness than tuck-in carton boxes. What’s more, glue-sealed cartons are more suitable for heavy-loading purposes.


Adhesive Sealed Carton Boxes as the Secure Secondary Packaging for Cereal

Most cereals are packed in an aluminum bag or plastic bag as the primary packaging and then loaded in a carton box. It is easy to spot the reason:

  • Aluminum or plastic bags are for freshness and to keep moisture out
  • Carton boxes are for transportation, storage, and most importantly to protect the flakes.

Carton boxes, not only for cereal, muesli, or anything else in the food industry, as most usually sealed by glue. The key factor to take into consideration is that carton styles such as tuck-end cartons are vulnerable to being tampered with during transportation and being displayed on the shelves, while the sanity is of utmost importance in the food industry, it is no doubt that they are not the suitable carton packaging for them. Just imagine that a customer can easily open the carton, check the containment and then put it back and tuck the carton…

Totally, on the contrary, an adhesive sealed carton would be of no such a problem. Now that once it is torn the packaging is not recoverable.

ste or glue carton

Bottom Styles that Go with Adhesive Sealed Cartons

Bearing in mind that the packaging must be irreversible after being tampered with, without any doubt that the tuck-end should definitely not be the choice for food packaging, and what’s more, the tuck-end is not secure enough to sustain the weight of a bag of cereal or even heavier containments and would no be capable to support itself.

In that case, the bottom styles for cereal box of other kinds of food packaging can be:

  • Auto-bottom
  • Snap-Lock Bottom
  • or samely the adhesive sealed bottom

Adhesive Application Cartoner for Your Secure Food Packaging

cartoning machine adhesive application 2The food industry is where the majority of our customers come from. ELITER Packaging Machinery always bears in mind your specific needs to automate your carto packaging in a secure manner while maximizing the possibility for conspicuous carton styles and styles.

Adhesive Application Cartoner Machine by ELITER is already a market-proven solution for cartoning packaging automation in food industries with a presence reaching customers worldwide such as Lider and Wild Foods in Chile.


cartoning machine with focke meler glue melter Features of our Adhesive Application Cartoner

  • Joined by Focke Meler B4 Glue Melter
  • Air-Tac / SMC / Festo Air Cylinders for Panel Closure
  • Compatibility for carton sizes from small to large
  • Bespoke design available
  • Available for the most special carton styles such as Snap-Lock bottom or Gable Top.

Our Cartoning Automation for Cereal Bags

ÉLITER Packaging Machinery offers both entry-level intermittent cartoning machines for low-speed application and advanced high-speed cartoning machines for continuous motion.

DZH-120CA Cartoner

Our traditional model of horizontal end-load cartoner.

Guide for Cartoning Machine

Crescendo Cartoner

A cutting-edge high-end cartoning machine joined by servo technology and a motion control system.

Crescendo high speed compact cartoning machine


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About the Authors

Zixin Yuan
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Zixin Yuan - LinkedIn

Zhiwei Bao
Company Owner
Zhiwei Bao - LinkedIn

About the Company
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd
No.1088, Jing Ye Rd, Economic Development Zone, Dong Shan District, Ruian Wenzhou Zhejiang, China 325200
+86 (0577) 6668 2128
ÉLITER Packaging Machinery