Speaking to FoodProductionDaily.com at Simionato’s imPACKED 2014 in Italy last week, Ian Bickerdike, business development leader, Horizontal Systems, HayssenSandiacre, said it started from the ground up redesigning the machines this year.
New methods of assembly
“The Merlin Blu is our entry level horizontal wrapper, but to take a step back on the legacy of Rose Forgrove, they’ve been around since 1910 and are one of the longest established machine manufacturers globally,” he said.
“The legacy names of Merlin, Minerva and Integra have been around for many years but we felt the design was a little dated. While technically very good, we wanted to be more competitive with better features.”
Hayssen acquired Sandiacre/Rose Forgrove to form HayssenSandiacre in 2006.
Bickerdike said with the redesign it has ‘gone right back to our supply chain’ and developed components and new methods of assembly to reduce man hours to build the machines with a demand for high specification.
The entry level Merlin Blu is made of stainless steel, it has a built in feed system and is tool less. The sides, top plates, base plates and end cover are interlocked and they all come off in around a minute to allow access for cleaning and adjustment.
“It is important manufacturers can demonstrate to their end customers that what they are doing in their factory is clean and hygienic,” added Bickerdike.
“The Merlin Blu is ideal for bakery products, waffles, chocolate bars, trays, produce, and is really easy to adjust.
“It comes with standard features of ‘no product no bag’ and optional features of misplaced product. Because it is an electronic machine there is no waste material or jams in the jaws. It’s a competitive price for the features it has.”
Bickerdike said the first machines have been ordered, even as it carries out beta testing for bakery and cookie products and confectionery applications.
“They haven’t been installed yet but the clients are based in the UK and North America,” he said.
“The bigger brother is the Minerva - there are some common components to the original machine, but this one is faster. Its Allen-Bradley and Rockwell Automation controlled rather than B&R (PC industrial based control system) which is a Merlin model.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging
“Other features include a twin reel holder and auto splice. Because we’re running faster clients don’t need to change the reel, and have the option of multi belt feeding rather than hand feeding.
“The third machine is the Integra a long dwell machine for MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) or hermetic sealing, again similar features with the multi belt feeding system, twin reel and auto splicing and top and bottom film feed, these are coming though now.”
HayssenSandiacre will be showcasing the Merlin and Minerva at Pack Expo but not the Integra. That is currently going for beta testing into a food factory running cheese products.
“We will get the data back from them on the quality of our seal and to check we don’t have any leaking packets. We want to do that before we launch it to market,” he added.
HayssenSandiacre is headquartered in South Carolina and is part of the family of Barry-Wehmiller Companies.
It will be exhibiting in the South Hall S2106 at Pack Expo.