The Co-operative Farms has recently made a £2 million investment in a state-of-the-art packing plant at Longforgan, near Dundee, to service its nearby farm in Blairgowrie, one of three packing plants across the UK which packs produce for The Co-operative stores.
As part of the new operation, the Co-operative farms made the decision to change the closure on its punnets from a clip-on tray lid to sealing film. “It’s a matter of environmental responsibility,” explains Rob Hull, The Co-operative Farms’ Head of Vegetable Operations. “Using film requires considerably less packaging material, which consequently reduces the amount of packaging waste. Proseal’s tooling also includes Close Cut Technology, which saves up to an extra 11% in reduced film waste.
“In addition, film can be applied faster and more cost-effectively, and we’re using pre-printed film that is more aesthetically pleasing than labelled lids,” he adds.
A reliable tray sealer was essential to ensuring the success of this change, and the Co-operative farms turned to Proseal based on the company’s reputation for performance, service and build stamina, with a requirement to seal in excess of 90 punnets per minute, 18 hours per day.
Proseal’s GT2 provides a highly versatile tray sealing solution for the food industry. Developed following feedback from customers, the sealer balances the need for optimum throughput with the flexibility to deliver shorter production runs, something essential to accommodate the Co-operative’s range of SKU’s.
Using Proseal’s pioneering advanced lightweight and high strength ‘Auto Tool’ connection system, which enables tool changes to be carried out in around three minutes, downtime is minimal, with self-centring pack guides and servo-controlled tray movements ensuring that production is up and running quickly after a tool change.
The installation also enhances the Co-operative farms commitment to the environment by offering significant energy savings. This is achieved by automatically powering down the machine into ‘standby’ mode when not in use, thus ensuring that energy is only used when it is needed.
Since its installation earlier in 2009, the Proseal GT2 has already sealed 1 million punnets, a testament to its speed and reliability. According to the Co-operative farms, these impressive results reflect the support the organisation has received from Proseal.
“Throughout the installation process, Proseal’s team was at our beck and call to make sure the unit was on top form,” confirms Rob Hull. “We’re seriously impressed at the service, and we’ve heard similarly excellent reports from fellow customers.”
The Co-operative farms is now considering upgrading to the faster GT2 Twin in a model offering an extra 33%+ in throughput. This new model incorporates Proseal’s new Eco Seal System, which has been developed in association with the Carbon Trust and can offer a total energy saving of up to 65%.
Proseal uk Ltd
Tel: +44 (0) 1625 856600