Packaging Automation (UK) have installed a second high-speed Vision 400 tray sealer at Wilsons Country in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. Packaging Automation equipment is distributed by MPI in Australia. Packaging Automation (MPI) is a part of Packaging Automation (UK).
In doubling production capacity at its £5 million factory, Wilsons Country, a potato packing and fresh-cut fruit processor in Ireland, can now pack 40,000 kilos of fresh-cut fruit each week - twice as much as before - with an extra immediate 5,000 kilos a week available, just because of the Vision 400's greater flexibility.
The new Vision 400 tray sealer provides facility for longer-term expansion, as Wilsons Country can now expand to 40,000 kilos a week for its freshly-prepared, branded and own-label fruit products for key Irish retail customers, including one major supermarket.
Wilsons Country peel, cut and pacs the fruit, maintaining freshness and taste without additives or preserving agents and places it in two different square or rectangular 200g trays (with plastic fork attached, for the snack market) and 400g trays.
PA also supplied two new tooling sets to accommodate high-frequency product changes, adding to the three tool sets originally supplied with the first Vision 400 in 2005.
Wilsons Country’s Managing Director, Lewis Cunningham, explained that they often undertake up to 20 product and film changes a day. With the added flexibility provided by the second Vision 400, they can react rapidly to short order call-offs and varied requirements, whilst downtime can also be minimised.
Tooling set changes can take in two minutes, with quick replacement of cutting blades and heater mats.
With four fruits per pack as minimum content, Wilsons Country's products include Luxury Fruit Salad, Melon Medley, Breakfast Fruit Mix, Fresh Fruit Salad and Fruit Pots.
However, Fruit Fusion is a complicated blend of 10 different fruits - red and green apple pieces, orange segments, honeydew melon, pineapple, water melon, red and green grapes, cantaloupe melon and kiwi.
Lewis Cunningham added that the performance of their first Vision 400 and PA's support and responsiveness have been impeccable, which meant that when they needed to expand packing operations they had no need to research the market for a system or alternative supplier.
He added that the reliability of their packing operations is maintained, which is vital when their customers expect daily fresh deliveries.
With products delivered by an extended infeed conveyor, Packaging Automation's Vision 400 seals trays at speeds up to 72 packs per minute and its touch sensitive control screen, which can be rotated to allow use from either side of machine, permits recipe pre-programming.
Its hygienic construction includes stainless steel guarding and a sealed machine bed that can be washed down.