Kliklok Woodman said it has received a record six orders in Europe over the past seven weeks for its wraparound cartoning machines. Themachines are being used to package a variety of different products in pots, bowls and trays.
The huge growth in the chilled and prepared foods market has lent itself towards the sleeving of trays, bowls, and pots rather than placing them in fully enclosed cartons, company representativeMichelle Tatum told FoodProductionDaily.com.
"In fact the initial design and development of the Certiwrap machines was as a direct result of this noticable upturn in the market three years ago," she said. "It isdifficult to state a percentage rise, suffice to say that since the launch of the Certiwrap sales have steadily increased alongside the growth in the prepared foods market."
The terms "sleeving" and "wraparound" are used interchangably in the industry. A sleeving operation involves automatically plucking a 'flat blank' carton or 'sleeve' from amagazine and placing it over the top of the product. Mechanised guides on the machine then wraps the sleeve around the product, leaving the sides of the product open.
The sleeving package gives space for the food processor to promote the brand while leaving some of the product exposed for customers to see.
Now Kliklok says it is attempting to drive the market for is sleeving machines by developing a smaller model aimed at business that are currently hand packing their products and want to move towardautomation.
This year the company launched its Certiwrap80, a smaller version of its Certiwrap150 model. The C80 takes up less factory space and runs at a slower speed to suit small to medium sized producersof prepared food, Tatum said.
The C80 is capable of wrapping up to 80 sleeves per minute while the C150 wraps at 150 per minute.
"The wraparound concept for this market is a relatively new development - it uses less carton board and is therefore a cheaper packaging option for the producer," she said.
The company has also developed an automatic bowl orientation unit that can be integrated with either the C150 or the C80. The system can orientate shaped bowls that were previously thoughtimpossible to handle automatically, Tatum said.
One company making the transition to automation is Rachel's Dairy in Aberystwyth, UK, which will get a C150 machine later this month. Rachels Dairy started off production as a 'back kitchen'operation with a handful of staff and have gone rapidly with the increasing demand for organic produce.
Rachels Dairy will use the machine to wrap its four-pack organic yogurts, which come in two different sizes. The packaging will have a special 'kick-in' feature in the sleeve to retain the potswithin the wrap.
Premier Foods in Lifton, Devon has also ordered a machine for sleeving its four pack pots of custard under the "Ambrosia" brand name.
A Swedish producer of ready meals and convenience foods has ordered a Kliklok C80 to wrap oval and round plastic bowls. The bowls have 'ears' which protrude through cut-outs in the side of the sleeve.