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Serving up fresh ideas for ready meals

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UK-based specialist food producer Hiltfields Ltd has chosen Packaging Automation Ltd's Fastfill60 to help it to meet the growing demand for convenience in the UK ready meals sector. Packaging Automation's equipment is distributed in Australia by MPI .

The volumetric pot filling and heat sealing Fastfill60 has been installed at Hiltfields' site in Norfolk, England, and will enable the company to supply its extensive range of premium bespoke sauces and marinades in pots for the first time.

Packaging Automation's Fastfill60 is designed to fill the pots and then apply and seal pre-cut polyester lids. It is ideal for Hiltfields, who will use it for small batch runs of many different recipes and pot sizes.

A control system within the machine allows programs of different recipes to be stored and recalled for easy product changeovers. Light and simple change parts mean that pot size changes can be accomplished in dramatically quick times.

The Fastfill 60 installed at Hiltfields has been designed to allow a gas flushing facility to be retrofitted in the future if extended shelf life of the products is required.

Since its launch in 2004, the Fastfill60 has proved a great success with producers within the convenience food sector.

It can be supplied to seal either reel fed film or pre-cut lids and also offers a number of options including a gas flush facility, date coder and a closed loop weight control system to automatically adjust fill volumes - all adding to its flexibility and ease of use.

Packaging Automation's sales engineer Mark Leaning believes the Fastfill60 is the perfect choice for producers like Hiltfields, both in the UK and Australia.

"The machine's design means it is ideal for small batch runs - it is easy to clean so the highest standards of hygiene can be maintained,” he said.

"The Australian market is developing in a similar way to the UK market in terms of convenience packaging and I anticipate the Fastfill equipment will be of interest to many producers.”

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