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Berryworld has selected Proseal to supply heat-sealing equipment for the top sealing of fruit punnets.

To date, 12 Proseal GT1 and GT2 machines have been installed across the Berryworld grower base throughout the UK.

Established in 1994, Berryworld specialises in soft fruit and supplies a large proportion of UK retailers.

Heat sealing fruit punnets, as opposed to clip on lids, is helping growers to reduce packaging weight by up to 30 per cent.

With its very large volumes, Berryworld had to ensure that neither packing speed nor product quality was compromised in the change of pack format.

‘The Proseal machines are robust and reliable, easy to operate and deliver the high speeds that we require,’ said Wickus Olivier, Berryworld’s supply chain manager.

‘They average 70 punnets per minute and the GT2 is capable of achieving up to 95 or 100 when necessary.

‘Equally important, both the GT1 and GT2 have the smallest footprint of all the models we tested and this is a critical benefit for many of our growers, whose pack houses were not designed for large pieces of equipment,’ he added.

The GT1 and GT2 feature a servo-driven in-feed conveyor and a high-accuracy tray-positioning system that enables them to achieve and maintain high-throughput speeds.

A film-feed system provides enhanced control of the sealing operation for improved seal quality, with easy film threading and dynamic control of the movement of the film throughout the feed cycle in order to maintain constant tension and avoid film snapping.

Proseal’s advanced Auto-Tool allows tool changes to be carried out in about two minutes and a touch-screen control optimises fast set up and contributes to ease of operation.

The touch screen can also be viewed and controlled remotely and provides detailed production data and monitoring, as well as full diagnostics.

Olivier said that the performance of the Proseal in-feed system in particular is critical to maintaining a consistent throughput to match the speed of the sealer.

‘The infeed needs to ensure a minimum, but also a consistent volume from the individual weighing stations at all times,’ he added.

Olivier was also pleased with the level of service provided by Proseal.

‘While the equipment is very reliable, where there have been problems, Proseal provided an engineer to resolve the situation as quickly as possible,’ he said.

Berryworld has seen strong growth since the company was founded.

‘With this level of growth, any investment in equipment has got to be on the basis that the machines can not only meet our current requirements but continue to make a contribution in the years ahead,’ said Olivier.

Proseal has recognised that any developments in lid materials need to be conducive with existing sealing technology and is working with all the major lid material companies in the development of re-sealable films that operate in the same away as current materials.

All Proseal equipment is already MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packing) capable, which will ensure a smooth technology transfer as and when MAP processes or films are introduced.

The performance of the Berryworld lines has led the company to recommend Proseal to its Spanish suppliers and Proseal equipment has now been installed in several Spanish soft-fruit packing operations.

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