Ishida Europe has launched a new, portable version of its pioneering Strip-Pack Applicator system, which produces ready-to-display hanging strips of pillow packs for retail display.
The Portable Strip-Pack Applicator (P-SPA) is a compact, space-saving and value for money model, which makes it ideal for contract packing and retail operations as well as snack, confectionery and other food manufacturers. Its portability enables the machine to be easily moved to different packing stations.
The P-SPA heat seals the top of each pack to Ishida’s patented strip tape. The temperature, attachment pressure and placement are fully adjustable to ensure that different size and weight bags are attached consistently to the tape, with enough resistance to prevent them from becoming detached during the packing and distribution process while still being easy to remove by consumers. To maintain pack integrity, the top of the bag is folded over before being affixed to the strip, so that the pressure when removing the bag does not damage the bag seal.
Another unique feature of the Ishida design is that when a pack is removed from the tape, an adhesive layer is exposed on the Ishida strip tape. This allows a pack to be simply re-attached (by the consumer or store staff) to the strip, a useful feature in retail outlets when customers change their minds about a purchase.
The Ishida strip tape’s reel format offers the flexibility for individual strips to be of varying lengths to hold different numbers of packs (typically six, ten or twelve). Also, the spacing of the packs on the strip can be adjusted depending on pack design and bag size, to ensure that they can be presented to their best advantage in the store. An extended length of tape at the top of each strip can also be created to allow for additional merchandising or pricing information to be included. Up to ten settings can be stored in the P-SPA’s memory for easy call-up at the touch of a button.
In addition, the Ishida strip tape does not require bags to have a hole or a Euro-slot, thus freeing food manufacturers and packers from having to specify bagmakers with these facilities.
The P-SPA also delivers environmental benefits as the weight of the strip is only 3.8g compared with the typical 17g for traditional plastic strips, thereby greatly reducing the weight of packaging and the amount sent to landfill.
The P-SPA operation is very simple so operators can be trained on the machine in under one hour. Once familiar with the machine and its operation, a typical packer should be able to handle up to about 50 bags (or five strips of ten bags) a minute.
Strip-packs are an excellent format for impulse purchases and because they do not take up shelf space they provide the ideal opportunity for a product to gain a first retail listing. They can also be used for special promotions or placed strategically next to complementary items in any part of the supermarket; for example, snacks next to the beer section. Such benefits mean that a correctly merchandised strip can deliver up to 30% increase in sales.