With awareness of the importance of sustainability growing worldwide – among processors and consumers alike – so demand has increased for solutions that offer enhanced shelf-life and make use of non-plastic alternatives, writes Tony Burgess, Head of Sales & Control Systems at one of the newest additions to the JBT family, tray sealing solutions specialist, Proseal.
In competitive markets handling highly perishable foods, maximizing both shelf-life and throughput is vital, so at Proseal we are seeing a strong interest in our high-speed tray sealers that can be trusted to deliver efficient sealing and Gas Flush (MAP) processing and keep up with the required speeds of production.
To deliver this, cycle speed is naturally key, but another important requirement of today’s packaging line is the ability to follow motion and use intelligent buffering capabilities that enable trays to feed continuously into a tray sealer without having to pre-sort and adjust pack spacing. This valuable time saving technology is demonstrated by Proseal’s ProMotion™.
More recently the plastic narrative in the consumer media has led to many companies and retailers seeking alternative materials, or light weighting their existing plastic trays. Over the past 20 years at Proseal, we have been working closely with film suppliers in order to devise viable solutions that are able to meet the sealing needs of trays made from both plastic and cardboard, without causing a need for costly modifications to machinery by our customers.
This includes Halopack®, a gas-tight cardboard tray suited to skin packaging, which offers an 80% reduction in plastic from some traditional plastic trays and is made up from 90% recycled cardboard. And another recent innovation, the plastic ‘snap-pack’ style tray, which seals the portioned product into two separate cavities in the same tray, allowing the consumer to ‘snap’ off and open one half of the pack and dispose of it, whilst the other half remains hermetically-sealed in its gas-flushed environment – allowing the customer to fully benefit from the maximum shelf-life of the product whilst reducing food waste.
Automated Control Systems
The need for intelligent technology is also evolving in processing lines and such intelligent technology is demonstrated in all Proseal tray-sealers through its many features and benefits. Proseal’s market-leading control systems can see our machinery act as ‘the spine of the packaging line’, integrating all the line machinery components to be driven through the Proseal touch screen.
This ensures that in the event of a problem, the Proseal machine is able to flag an error in a peripheral piece of machinery and pass a stop signal to the feeding equipment, enabling the line to come to a controlled stop in order to avoid overfeeding the tray sealer and prevent unnecessary product or packaging waste.