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Packaging Automation (PA) is offering a range of soft-fruit packaging-machines that can help producers adopt alternative packing methods.

Neil Ashton, sales manager of PA, said: ‘We are starting to see changes in this sector with a move towards new pack formats and a wider range of materials in use.

‘A reduction in overall pack weight is a key driver behind this development.

‘Changing from a clip-on lid to a top web sealed tray with low gauge film is one way this is being achieved.

‘Tray manufacturers are also looking to down-gauge the tray and reduce flange widths to decrease pack-weight even further.

‘Our machines have a cleverly designed top tool to meet this need.

‘At the same time, producers need to be able to find quick and reliable solutions and support when they decide to change.

‘Different retailers may have different requirements in terms of tray material, tray format, registered or plain film requirements and our machines must be able to deal with all these variables.’ PA supplies machines to meet all levels of production, with throughputs from 40 punnets a minute up to 140 punnets a minute, and offers free use of its trial facilities at its base in Cheshire.

For example, it will take punnet samples and carry out heat-sealing trials, then pass the finished product and data back to the packer or grower.

Ashton added: ‘We can supply the right equipment on attractive short term hire deals to cope with increased production at specific times of year around harvest.

‘Next season, producers can benefit from hiring our latest machine, the Eco-cut, which offers reduced film waste, increased production speed with less downtime as well as the capacity to work with lower gauge film, which helps reduce pack weight.’ Trials have demonstrated it can seal 8200 trays from one reel of film, compared with 4440 trays on a conventional tray-sealer running on the same line.

This, combined with the ability to use lower gauge film down to 15 microns, helps reduce costs.

Packaging Automation

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