19th Dec 2016 | By Paul Wilkinson

In October, Pacepacker collected the coveted national Food Processing 2016 ‘Processing and Packaging Manufacturer of the Year’ title, cementing its reputation as a true case loading innovator.

mixed-tray-loaderThe company scooped the top industry accolade for the creation of two case loading solutions – the Mixed Tray Loader and Shingle Pack Loader – both of which were designed to assist food and FMCG factories meet emerging retail trends.

Voted for by readers of the publication and celebrating engineering excellence in the UK food and beverage market, Pacepacker’s two winning systems have assisted factories adapt to changing retail demands and to overcome labour intensive manual packing processes that were previously deemed too complex to automate.

Responding to growing demand from supermarkets for mixed trays of product that reduce stock holding yet provide consumers with a greater choice and group recipe ingredients together, Pacepacker designed and launched the UK’s first Mixed
Tray Loader (MTL) 18 months ago. This time last year the design was crowned Most Innovative Processing/Packaging Machine of the Year at the PPMA Group Industry Awards 2015.

The innovative MTL pick and place system creates mixed retail trays of food and other consumer goods, by automatically swapping up to 60+ product pots, packs, tubs, jars and pouches per minute. One UK dip manufacturer reports that retail orders for mixed trays have quadrupled since they first installed it.

Commending the strength of these innovations and what this means for food manufacturers, editor of Food Processing Suzanne Gill commented: “Pacepacker’s MTL offered a great solution to an emerging retail trend to group recipe ingredients together which has allowed food companies to cost-effectively keep up with retailer demands.”

vertical-tray-loading-robotThe award also acknowledged Pacepacker’s approach to eradicating another packing bottleneck. Installed by a leading supermarket, the Shingle Pack Loader (SPL) automatically packs non-rigid items, from fresh bags of salad to coffee beans and pasta, upright into retail trays, ensuring consistent presentation and reduced waste. The system comprises a compact robotic arm that moves a shingle end-effector to catch and stack sealed packs as they shoot off a conveyor, before tilting and releasing the product vertically into trays. Also integrated into the design is a tray denester which separates and presents trays to the robot, ensuring a smooth packing process,

“Both designs are a win-win for food manufacturers as well as the retailers they supply,” says Pacepacker’s Managing Director Dennis Allison. “Notably, both case loading solutions help to slash food waste. The MTL helps retailers to reduce stock holding, so there’s less risk that perishable goods will exceed their sell-by-date. Meanwhile, the SPL vertical packing technique stops products being compressed, preventing spoiling and bags bursting.”

Dennis adds: “To win in this category is a tremendous honour. We are a British company in every sense and play an important part in helping UK food producers and manufacturers to prosper. Many of our best innovations emerge when we collaborate with customers to successfully resolve a particular production challenge. Both the MTL and SPL overcome labour intensive manual packing processes. Our customers regularly report a 12-month Return on Investment through increased efficiency and productivity, and reduced waste.”

For more information, please contact:

Paul Wilkinson, Business Development Manager
T:+44 (0)1371 811544
F:+44 (0)1371 811621