Packaging Automation seals Yoplait contract

Related tags Packaging automation

Packaging Automation, the UK's leading manufacturer of quality heat
sealing and lidding machines, has just completed an unusual
contract for a well known dairy.

Packaging Automation, the UK's leading manufacturer of quality heat sealing and lidding machines, has just completed an unusual contract for a well known dairy.

Dairy products producer, Yoplait Dairy Crest​ wanted two machines working side by side and fed using the same conveyor. The Cheshire, UK-based Packaging Automation​ company turned out to supply the most appropriate equipment for the job.

Ultimately, the company ordered two PA Vision 182's, because of their ability to meet all of its requirements, which in particular included offering a smooth transfer of pots into the machines from the conveyor.

The reason, as Packaging Automation's sales manager, Neil Ashton explained, was that Yoplait was feeding the machines from one conveyor loaded with unusually-shaped pots - tall but with a small diameter base. ''The transfer from the infeed conveyor to the tool had to run very smoothly to prevent the pots from falling over,''​ he said.

These requirements were met by Packaging Automation engineers including Yoplait's stipulation that one of the Vision 182s should be made, as it were, 'wrong handed' so the machines can stand back to back but still allow the operator access to both consoles.

Yoplait Dairy Crest was launched in 1997, a joint venture between the UK's leading manufacturer of fromage frais and children's chilled yoghurts and desserts and Yoplait, which is owned by Sodiaal, France's largest milk co-operative. The whole group has a worldwide workforce of 6,200 people and a turnover of £1.87 billion (€2.82bn).

The turnover of Yoplait alone is £688 million while Dairy Crest, with its 3,600staff has a turnover of £760million. The joint venture operates from a number of sites in Britain and France.

It is the plant in Yeovil, Somerset, which has installed the two Vision 182s. Engineering manager Harry Buckle said they were being used to seal film lids with a peel tab to plastic pots containing a variety of trifles and other desserts, including crumble-type puddings. Some of the pots are 85mm deep with a decreasing diameter all the way from the top to the bottom of the pot. One particular application requires a pot with a top diameter of 95mm but it is less than half that at the bottom, only 43mm. Which is why the smooth transfer into the machine is essential.

Buckle said: ''We have had a long lasting relationship with Packaging Automation. For many years we have hired machines from them but this time we decided to purchase outright. We chose the Vision 182 for its flexibility in that its tooling can cope with a variety of products and the quick changeovers that are needed. They are doing the job very efficiently and working very well.''

Neil said: ''Yoplait is a long established customer of Packaging Automation, they have kept coming back to us because of our ability where necessary to design special equipment that meets their precise requirements. On this occasion they have chosen to buy - as many of our hire customers eventually do - and in keeping with our philosophy of providing exactly what the customer wants, we were able to juggle things about to meet their requirements.''

Related topics Processing & packaging

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