Machine maker sales are turbo charged

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Business is booming for UK-based Turbo Systems, which makes
machinery mainly for bakery, ready meal and dairy processors in UK
and across Europe, reports Ahmed ElAmin.

Turbo Systems​ had a 47 per cent increase in sales for its last financial year ending in April and demand is on track to achieve a recordin the current year, said Andy Lang, managing director of the private company.

The 50-year-old private company holds an estimated 27 per cent market share in depositing machines for the food processing market in the UK and a 10 per cent share in the rest of Europe, hesaid. Its major markets in Europe are Germany, Holland, Belgium and to a lesser extent, France. Prior to the jump in sales the market for the company's machinery was static.

"We are forecasting a massive increase in budgeted orders,"​ Lang told "We just had a big order yesterday. Our current order board is the biggestsize we have ever had in our history."

Food processors have been buying more machinery to meet a rising demand for their products. In the bakery sector much of the spending has been to replace aging machinery, he said. Food processorsare also looking for more automation as they are finding it increasingly difficult to find cheap labour.

BSE (Mad Cow Disease) and salmonella outbreaks over the past four years made manufacturers' more reluctant to invest in processing machines as consumers changed their eating habits.

"This had a knock-on effect on the industry,"​ Lang said. "We are beginning to see a come back in sales throughout Europe and the UK."

In the latest move to meet the rising demand, the company announced yesterday it has become the UK distributor of the Shuffle Mix, a machine using a patented technology that does not transfer asmuch heat when aerating bakery products as other conventional methods. Other machines use a rotation system at high speed which can add heat to bakery products, a problem for food processors.

"The patented system of Shuffle Mix is based on the traditional method of churning milk, in which a handle, attached to a disk with several holes, moves up and down mixing the liquid in a woodenbarrel,"​ the company said in a press release. "Shuffle Mix uses this principle and operates using a stainless steel bar with multiple disks mounted on a tube, pumping both the product and the air. Whenthe bar moves back, turbulence behind the holes is created, which mixes the air with the product to create an evenly blended mixture."

The mixing process virtually eliminates any resistance to the product, which ensures the temperature remains low and allows a large number of products to be processed without the need for additionalcooling, the company said. A cooling system can also be fitted if required.

The latest model can handle particle sizes as small as 5mm cubed and is designed to allow 95 per cent of the product to be processed effectively, the company said. The Shuffle Mix is made by acompany of the same name in Holland.

Turbo Systems is based in Hull and also manufactures machines for the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, pet products and automotives sectors. The company has 70 employees. Lang along with Vaughan Daviesand four other managers bought the company in September 2003 from GEI Group and engineering and packaging firm. GEI is now in liquidation.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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