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Trends > Convenience

Portable snack strips packer said to cut factory footprint

By Jane Byrne , 29-Jun-2010

Ishida Europe has launched a portable version of the packaging machine it launched last year for the packaging of bags of snacks and sweets into strips for retail hanging displays.

The manufacturer said its Portable Strip Pack Applicator (P-SPA) has a small footprint, making it suitable for contract packing operations but its portability enables it to be moved to different packing stations within snack, confectionery and other food production.

The P-SPA, it continued, is a table top type semi-automatic application, and it is not integrated as an in-line solution.

The supplier said that its new portable model is suitable for small volume production, and can handle up to about 50 bags (or 5 strips of 10 bags) a minute, once the operator becomes familiar with the equipment, with Ishida claiming such training can be completed in under an hour.

In August 2009, Ishida launched the Flexible Strip Pack Applicator (F-SPA) to respond to the growing popularity of ready-to display pack strips. That machine takes bags that weigh up to 100g and attaches them to a strip at up to 80 bags a minute.

A spokesperson for Ishida told BakeryandSnacks.com said that the portable version can make the same type of strip application as F-SPA, but by having such mobility and low cost investment, it is affordable for many potential users.

"However, large companies also have the potential to use P-SPA as off line quick short production requirement, and also mix application such as several different flavour pack attachments on the same strip," said the spokesperson.

The P-SPA also delivers environmental benefits as the weight of the strip is only 3.8g compared to the typical 17g for traditional plastic strips, said the UK based equipment supplier, and this, it claims, greatly reduces the weight of packaging and the amount sent to landfill.

Moreover, the portable applicator heat seals the top of each pack to Ishida’s patented strip tape, said the company.

The machinery supplier explained that the temperature, attachment pressure and placement of its P-SPA are 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 but still being easy to remove by consumers.

Ishida said it has developed this type of equipment based on the fact that hanging strips of bagged food products are growing in popularity in retail as a means of encouraging impulse buying without losing shelf space.

Crisps can be hung at the end of the alcohol aisle or sweets can be gathered in the detergent section to tempt the shopper to make impulse buys.

Strips can also be an attractive option for manufacturers looking to sell to a retailer for the first time. The task of persuading a retailer to buy is easier when shelf space does not have to be cleared for the new entrant.

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