Kerrygold boosts production capacity

Related tags Milk Pack

Irish dairy firm Kerrygold has installed Ilapak's Delta 3000 HSR
inverted, electronic flow-wrapper system and the Vegatronic 2000
fill and seal (VFFS) series. This is hoped to boost production

It's all change at Irish dairy firm Kerrygold. The company has boosted production capacity using Ilapak's Delta 3000 HSR inverted, electronic flow-wrapper, and has also managed to increase throughput on its resealable zipper pack lines using Ilapak's Vegatronic 2000 vertical, form, fill and seal (VFFS) series to pack its range of grated cheese products.

The improvements made to the firm's processing capabilities are part of an overall strategy to increase output. Ilapak's Delta flow-wrapper can achieve speeds of 150 packs a minute, around double the speed of Kerrygold's previous flow-wrapper. The machine is currently wrapping blocks of cheese in sizes from 200-gramme packs to one kilo packs, which are supplied to major multiple retailers and also sold under the Kerrygold brand.

The Delta 3000 HSR uses a single jaw, long-dwell sealing system to ensure high speeds together with high integrity sealing. Film is fed into the machine from below the level of the product flow, allowing loose pieces to be placed directly onto the film. This makes it suitable for irregularly shaped or unsupported products such as cheese or meat.

According to Ilapak, another advantage of the Delta series is its long dwell sealing system that ensures high integrity, hermetic sealing to produce consistently high quality packs with a longer shelf life.

"To meet the growing demand for Kerrygold products, we needed a machine capable of high speeds, top quality packs, low leakage rates, quick product changeovers and machine flexibility,"​ said Kerrygold production director Carl Ravenhall. "Ilapak's Delta 3000 HSR met these performance criteria exactly."

A problem that has limited food processing technology for years has been the fact that as machine speeds increase, seal dwell time is reduced. Manufacturers have often found that this compromises pack quality and can increase leakage rates. Ilapack claims to have solve this problem by increasing the dwell sealing time.

"While we have doubled throughput to 150 packs a minute, we've maintained high integrity, hermetic sealing with half the previous leakage rates,"​ said Ravenhall. "This gives us high quality packs with a longer shelf life, vastly increased productivity and the ability to offer consistent quality."

Kerrygold's installation of Ilapak's Vegatronic 2000 VFFS machine to produce resealable zipper packs for its grated cheese products has also met with success. The firm has increased throughput on the zipper pack line by around 33 per cent while the machine's versatility means that the company can now easily produce up to 20 different pack formats to meet market requirements.

"We worked closely with Ilapak on the zipper pack line to ensure it met our exact requirements in terms of seal quality and performance, increasing speeds by around a third,"​ said Ravenhall. "Many manufacturers claimed that they could do this but only Ilapak were willing to work with us to make it happen."

The Vegatronic 2000 is a versatile VFFS machine capable of producing a wide range of pack styles, from pillow packs, block bottom packs and stabilo packs to three-sided sachets and Doy packs.

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