The pressure on food manufacturers to reduce waste has never been greater - both in terms of cost savings and environmental impact.
As well as industry concerns, consumers have also become aware of the environment and are recycling more than ever.
Tray sealed packs offer what consumers and retailers want - convenience, protection and freshness and now Packaging Automation’s brand new patented eco-cut tray sealer also gives the manufacturers what they need. Packaging Automation (PA) equipment is distributed by MPI Australia .
The innovative eco-cut tray sealing system is the culmination of several years of intensive research and development. The end result is an efficient in-line tray sealer, which offers three important benefits - it will enable manufacturers to cut costs, reduce waste and increase productivity.
And it can be used with a range of recycled and environmentally friendly packaging options enabling manufacturers to offer a green alternative and help reduce household waste going to landfill.
Production trials have been underway for several months with testing under real factory conditions giving good results. The eco-cut, which maintains the high quality seal of PA's existing machine range, has been praised for its efficiency and ease of use, as well as the cost savings achieved.
The eco-cut tray sealing system has been subjected to wet conditions and typical tray flange contamination issues as well as hygiene and wash down routines taking it all in its stride.
Because of the eco-cut's patented design there is no film waste to dispose of contributing saving in terms of film cost as well as the time and cost taken to handle and dispose of waste from a traditional tray sealing operation.
Additional savings can also be made by down-gauging film - with the eco-cut capable of sealing film of 14 microns.
During its broad trial period it has been shown that as well as film savings of up to 33%, production downtime has been reduced by up to 20% when compared with a conventional tray sealing line.
The running time per reel of film is increased and the unique design reduces film snaps - both key factors in increasing production speed.
After using the new machine during the trial period one customer said: "I am happy with the performance of PA's eco-cut machine, it is easy to use and unbelievably efficient.”
“We have managed to seal 8200 trays from just one reel of film, compared with 4440 trays on the conventional tray sealer that was running on this line before we installed the eco-cut. It has withstood the rigours of our operating environment."
Packaging Automation’s chairman Anthony Penn said: "I am happy about the launch of this machine and the difference it will make to operating costs, and the environment.”
“This is a significant move for PA as we continue to use the expertise and skills built up over 45 years in the tray sealing industry to develop our product range to meet the needs of our customers.”
“We understand the pressures they face on a daily basis and have put significant time and research behind this recent machine to help address these issues.”
“The Eco-cut offers an ideal seal quality while reducing costs and meeting the demands of high speed food production lines."
As well as working closely with customers, PA has been in close contact with a number of retailers throughout the development process.
A spokesperson said: "We are continually working in partnership with our suppliers to reduce packaging waste. We welcome the work that PA is doing to support this initiative and are particularly pleased that the eco-cut machine reduces waste in the manufacturing process.”
"In addition we acknowledge the environmental benefits it offers to our suppliers such as reducing the weight of packaging film used in the final product and the ability to use recyclable or environmentally friendly packaging materials."
To boost its environmental credentials, the eco-cut is suitable for use with recycled PET (rPET) thermoformed trays and can be used with a range of biodegradable and compostable packaging.
While retailers and consumers continue to demand convenience combined with the need to keep food fresh, hygienic and protected, tray sealing equipment has a key role to play.
But now there is the chance for the food industry to take a great stride forward with this new machine, which offers significant advantages directly to them and to the environment.