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Starwheel from Packaging Automation

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Sweet as a nut, is how the operation of the Starwheel, the enhanced rotary, filling and sealing machine from UK company Packaging Automation Ltd , is summed up by its recent satisfied customer.

Packaging Automation's equipment is distributed in Australia by MPI.

In fact, Serious Desserts Ltd, which is a new venture for The Serious Food Company in South Wales, is so happy with the machine and its pair of volumetric fillers installed recently, that Serious Desserts has already placed an order for another Packaging Automation machine, this time a Fastfill40.

The Serious Food Company, which has risen to become a multi-million pound business in less than 20 years, is using the Starwheel to fill and lid small shot-pots of a mouth-watering blend of chocolate sauce. One aim is to look at layered filling in the future, like adding a layer of cream to the chocolate sauce.

The Starwheel and Fastfill40 are in addition to another Packaging Automation machine, a PA182 tray sealer, which is in use elsewhere in the Serious Food Empire, which, as well as desserts, includes soups and fruit juices.

So, one could say that the Serious Food Empire is a firm believer in the quality of PA's output. Certainly the versatile Starwheel, with its modern design and lighter and simpler change parts, has proved a big success story with producers of a wide range of products, both in the food sector and with non food products like household cleaning products and cosmetics.

The Starwheel transfers pots via two indexing tables, either side of an infeed conveyor, into the machine body, where the filling, sealing and over-lidding takes place.

Chocolate sauce has proved no obstacle to its operation after Serious Food and Packaging Automation got together to do filling trials. According to the Serious Food Company, the Starwheel is running as sweet as a nut and a good value for money. There are a lot of machines of this type on the market, many of the competition is either more expensive or, in Serious Food Company’s opinion, not as versatile as the Starwheel.

The Starwheel is running at 37ppm, slightly below its capability, filling some 85,000 pots a week, which end up on the shelves of just about every retailer in the UK, and which are also exported to France and Belgium.

According to Packaging Automation, it was the machine's versatility, which appealed to customers like Serious Food. Packaging Automation can design the machine in many different formats, each chosen to suit individual requirements.

Packaging Automation can supply the Starwheel with fillers and a number of closure options, including film feed, pre-cut diaphragms and clip-on overlids. Pots in diameters range from 30mm to 102mm and with depths of between 20mm and 110mm can be accommodated.

Packaging Automation is confident that the recent improvements it has made will add to the Starwheel's popularity and extend its potential.

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