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Improved packaging helps eliminate damage to product in transit

1st April 2013


There is a a huge of amount of development work going on throughout Europe to improve packaging machines. Here,

Eric Russell looks at the some of the innovations being offered by the suppliers of packaging equipment.

Barry-Wehmiller group company Hayssen says its new Veltron high-speed positive placement infeed features the latest in servo technology for the feeding of product to the company's RT 1800 horizontal form, fill and seal machine. The Veltron infeed promotes constant product flow and is suitable for food applications.

A single lane of random fed product, from the user's upstream machines, is fed into the infeed section and moves forward to the transfer section. The servo-controlled floating transfer point positions the product on the belt close to the preceding item without exerting a backpressure on the product stream.

Another Barry-Wehmiller company, Pneumatic Scale, has long manufactured the widest variety of filling technologies available through a single source. Its latest offering is extended shelf life aseptic packaging for both low and high acid products.

Available with the Flow Meter and Liquid Net Weigh fillers, this technology allows Pneumatic Scale to accommodate sterile blow-moulded and open neck glass, plastic, or metal containers while achieving precise fill accuracies. Both fillers provide a sanitary filling environment, clean product supply system, and detailed production reporting.

In the Czech Republic, Astro Pack manufactures packaging equipment and started in business by supplying very simple, reasonably priced packaging machines ideal for small companies just starting out. This led to rapid growth and the workforce is now four times its original size and supplies major customers overseas. Also in the republic, Novo Engineering is an ISO 9001 certified packing machinery and wrapping materials producer. It offers automatic and semi automatic lines with shrink polyethylene film wrapping. Its horizontal wrappers are ideal for single pieced goods, particularly in the deep-frozen food industry and confectionery production of individual chocolate bars, for example. The company also manufactures filling and dosage machines for pastry-based products.

State-of-the-art

German-based MAF Verpackungstechnik says its product programme offers sophisticated state-of-the-art machines for handling a broad spectrum of packaging materials and caters for the product specifications and marketing requirements of customers the world over.

Whether it is a matter of installing a new end of line packaging system or modernising an existing unit, MAF will develop and implement the entire project in close cooperation with the customer. It also attaches great importance to dependable after-sales service for the lifetime of the machine.

By using a modular construction design the company can create effective and efficient special machines for special packaging tasks.

Standard machines include a stacker with a dispenser for self-adhesive tape. This includes a magazine for an intermediate layer when palletising.

There is also an automatic packaging system for wrap-around trays with high borders or top covers.

OK Corporation offers a very wide range of packaging equipment. Its O/K 200 Series includes a heavy duty machine for demanding applications; a versatile option suitable for applications requiring extra flexibility, including the lining of drums and pails; a cost-effective version for standard applications; and what the company claims is the fastest case liner in the world.

The new O/K 200 ACE erects a corrugated case, lines it with a polyethylene bag, and cuffs the bag over the edges. The bottom flaps are closed and sealed with tape creating an hygienic, lined container ready to be filled with any food product.

The DK 300 Polybag Top Heat Sealer automatically un-cuffs a filled polybag in a box, neatly re-folds the gussets, tamps-out excess air from the bag and heat seals the polybag at eight cases per minute on demand.

Wide range

Seamco in Belgium is a leading specialist in filling and packaging equipment for beverages and foodstuffs. It co-operates with more than 20 major European machine manufacturers to provide the equipment most suited to a processor's specific requirements. It also offers fully customised turn-key systems.

Yves van Bavel, managing director, says the company mostly serves the Benelux countries and the Middle East although it now sells into Finland and is currently looking for an agent in the UK.

The company can supply all existing filling and measuring techniques plus rotative and straightline labelling systems using a variety of adhesives. The product line also includes wrap around machines, high and low level palletisers, robots for bottles, crates and cartons, and blow moulding machines.

Appropriately named UK company Shrinkwrap offers a versatile range of shrinkwrappers. This includes the SW range of manually loaded and controlled machines; the ASW wrappers; SSW inline all round seal shrinkwrapper; ATEL Series of collating tray loading and tiering machines; and the Collatorwrap continuous motion collator wrappers.

All the machines come with PLC control where appropriate and each can be tailored to suit specific applications. Shrinkwrap says the film is a very environmentally friendly product in that it is recyclable and takes up less space than cardboard.

Major producer

Spanish company Ulma is one of the world's largest producers of food packaging machinery and manufactures high-quality stretch-wrapping, flowpack, thermoforming and tray sealing packaging systems.

Its UK distributor, Wrapid Packaging Systems, says it has successfully distributed the company's extensive range for five years and has recently had much success in the fish and seafood industry.

Ulma has been working extensively on shrink-wrapping frozen fish fillets. Many new developments have also been made in both thermoforming and tray sealing, using modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) to extend the shelf life of seafood products.

Wrapid also offers the new Nevada flowrapping system from Ulma. This utilises the latest electronic technology and features the LS long dwell seal system that optimises the sealing cycle and meets the demands of food packaging.

Another new product range is the Ulma Niagara vertical packaging machines. These innovative machines have been designed to wrap a variety of loose item products including bread rolls, snack foods, sweets, dried fruits, cereals, beans, nuts, pulses, pasta pieces, granules, powders, individually quick frozen items, prepared vegetables and salad leaves.

Wrapid Packaging can also supply the just launched Marlen CR-250 tray sealing machine. This can wrap up to 60 packages per minute with in-line product flow in and out of the machine. Its action is based on a patented loading system that enables sealing of both narrow and wide flange trays for a variety of food applications.

It also has an optional pre-seal vacuumising station for ultra-low oxygen levels, particularly useful for creating the necessary sterile environment for meat and food packaging. Marlen also manufactures complete automated MAP systems. Wrapid complements this machinery range with DuPont packaging films and offers a comprehensive spares and service network.

These companies show just a little of the huge amount of development work going on throughout Europe to improve packaging machines. It ultimately means improved sales of food products by eliminating damage in transit and increasing the attractiveness of food products for the consumer, whose money ultimately maintains the demand for packaging systems. p





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