Continued growth and the reliability of Packaging Automation's sealing equipment has seen a 16-year relationship extended with the installation of an additional production line at Matthew Walker, which the company says has resulted in reduced operational costs. Packaging Automation 's equipment is distributed in Australia by MPI.
A PA240 machine, complete with six impression tools and a twin-lane, six-head alcohol injection unit is helping the Christmas pudding producer to achieve higher throughput, with the new line packing 80 x 454g packs per minute.
Packaging Automation's PA240 automatic, variable-speed, conveyor-fed, heat-sealing machine has a unique film-feed registration system, an automatic indexing conveyor and can be equipped with denesters as well as autofill, pick and place lid, labeller and date code printer facilities.
The sealer applies a plain membrane film before the pack is overwrapped with cartons or card sleeves and labelled.
Chief engineer at Matthew Walker's Heanor Gate, Derbyshire plant, Nick Garnett, commented: "We have experienced consistent growth and attracted more customers, so it was vital that we maximised efficiency."
With annual production achieving 30 million puddings a year, Matthew Walker, a member of Northern Foods, is currently busy building stocks for its peak annual market during December with the major supermarkets it serves.
Even though Christmas puddings are possibly the ultimate seasonal product, manufacturing is virtually all-year round at Matthew Walker, with the production lines beginning to build stocks from January onwards.
So, reliability is just as important for the company as it is to other food manufacturers and that in itself emphasises the strength of Matthew Walker's endorsement of Packaging Automation and its machines.
The food firm has worked with Packaging Automation since 1991, and it is this long relationship which is the basis for a high degree of mutual understanding between the two firms.
Nick Garnett explained: "We have a significant track record with Packaging Automation and the quality of its machines provides a substantial foundation for maintaining our association. The company is a very good supplier and is receptive to comments and ideas, whilst being responsive to our needs with good support and flexible enough to complete projects to tight deadlines, as with this latest project."
The PA240 has the option to be supplied with modified atmosphere packaging or vacuum packaging options, although Matthew Walker does not need this facility.
Over the years, Packaging Automation has helped to standardise machinery for Matthew Walker, as the company already has a number of PA182 semiautomatic and PA238 conveyor-fed machines. That way, Walker's in-house engineers are already familiar with Packaging Automation machines.