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Proseal has revealed that soft fruit packer MT Mitchell has reduced pack costs, attained high production speeds and improved environmental performance after installing the GT3 tray sealer.

The packer is the first company to specify the twin-lane version of the GT3, which offers high speeds thanks to its twin-lane control, which enables products to be fed independently down each lane.

Speeds being achieved by the company are in excess of 180 trays per minute.

The installation is part of a major expansion programme at MT Mitchell that also includes investment in a new pack house and cold store.

The company, which packs a range of soft fruits including strawberries, raspberries and blueberries, supplies retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Tesco.

It switched to heat sealing to meet customer demands to reduce packaging.

MT Mitchell said the move to top-sealing from clip-on lids reduces packaging weight by 30 per cent, delivering savings that enhance the pack’s environmental profile, while improving its overall appearance on the shelf.

The Proseal GT3 has been specifically designed for fast production lines, such as fresh fruit, and incorporates a variety of features designed to maximise throughput and minimise downtime, including a three-dimensional tray positioning system.

The machine’s three-axis servo-drive tray-transfer system helps to increase tray throughput by automatically adjusting for different tray heights.

This eliminates the need for tray-height-specific change-parts and means that all height settings can be programmed through the user-friendly touch screen.

Proseal’s internet-based secure gateway connection system is able to provide real-time data and error condition support.

The system enables Proseal engineers to remotely access the PLC and HMI (touch screen) of each customer’s machine from anywhere in the world, to provide diagnostic support and implement software modifications.

MT Mitchell selected Proseal after being impressed with the company’s capabilities during a site visit and also the fact that it offers a team of engineers able to respond quickly if required.

Ross Mitchell of MT Mitchell said: ‘As soft fruit is a perishable product it is vital that we despatch orders on time every day and we knew we could call on quick technical support from Proseal if required, although to date we have been impressed with the GT3’s speed and reliability.

‘Our requirement was for 150 packs per minute and we are consistently achieving 180.

‘Not only are we achieving valuable savings, with its smooth lines, heat sealing also improves the look of the pack, offering a more professionally produced, aesthetically-pleasing product for consumers.’

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