In response to market demand for a truly integrated and fully flexible tray packing line from a single source, Ishida Europe has launched the world’s first high performance split dual-lane tray packing system for fresh foods that enables food manufacturers to create bespoke packing lines for their specific requirements and achieve significant savings in labour, downtime and consumables.
The Ishida Flex-Line comprises a set of integrated modules that fit together to make up a variety of complete, high-efficiency tray packing lines, capable of handling a wide range of applications including different packaging materials and pack sizes while delivering speeds of up to 15 cycles per minute.
The main Flex-Line modules cover filling, sealing, checking and case-packing. Specific equipment within these includes tray denesters, multihead weighers, tray fillers and sealers, foreign body detection, checkweighers, seal testers, label inspection and end-of-line packing, all of which are tailored to precise product requirements. All units have been designed to work together in terms of product handling, signalling, data sharing, data collection and interfacing.
One key feature of the Flex-Line is its option to run two different products simultaneously and independently of each other. Those two products can differ in terms of type, size and weight and also in the type of tray or film used or in the MAP gas mixture. They can even be destined for two different end-customers. The Flex-Line also has the ability to allow one lane to be changed over while the other remains in operation.
By sourcing all equipment from a single supplier, each system is fully integrated for maximum efficiency and reliability. Users benefit in particular from Ishida’s extensive expertise and experience in all areas of food handling and packing. The system is also highly space efficient to boost return on floor space by up to 50% compared with two traditional single lane systems.
The entire line can be set up via a sophisticated but easy-to-use control from a single human / machine interface, including automated set-up and pre-programmed product details, with minimal manual handling. It also offers advanced remote supervision, monitoring and analysis.
The result is perfect pack presentation with accurate filling and intact seals, while end of line quality control and traceability features ensure correct weight, contamination protection, seal integrity, correct label position and printed data accuracy. Such features reduce product giveaway and rework, and minimise manpower requirements, to deliver a fast return on investment.
All Flex-Line elements are built to industrial design standards for ease of use, with an open design that benefits from self-draining curved surfaces and easy access for cleaning and maintenance, ensuring the entire system can meet the stringent hygiene standards of fresh food environments.