The North American company which designs, customizes and manufactures stretch wrappers for customers including Kellogg’s, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, and Land O’Lakes, created the machine to slice stretch film, creating bands of the product, during the wrapping process to create gaps in the wrap so that the food can ‘breathe’.
Cuts packaging & shipping costs
Graham Nicholson, sales executive, Phoenix Wrappers, told FoodProductionDaily, it created the technology because existing customers expressed a wish to cut their packaging and shipping costs.
“Our product eliminates the need for an expensive breathable specialty film with pre-cut holes in it. The cost of the special film was straining budgets and was not conducive to high-speed automatic wrapping.
“Customers were experiencing production downtime. It wasn’t good from a cost or efficiency perspective. However, by using standard stretch film and slicing it on the fly, we are able to increase production speeds and reduce overall costs.”
Nicholson said the firm is getting requests for the technology and to further customize the machine for specific needs.
“It’s opened the door for other applications that require high tension, but the films before could only be tensioned so far before breaking. With the stretch film bands, the breaking point is much higher and it creates more opportunity for other types of customization and use.”
Talking about changes within the industry he added: “Gone are the days when large corporations have their own engineering group to develop, test and refine equipment to suit their needs.
Customers rely on their suppliers to look at their challenges
“Now customers rely on their suppliers to look at their challenges and come up with ideas, designs and technology.”
He said other challenges were managing company growth.
“We are known for customizing equipment to suit our customer. However, this taking the time to ensure the customization is done exactly as required.
“Much of our growth is solving problems that most would not even consider stretch packaging problems,” he said.
“In some cases it is making it possible to do packaging pieces such as adding top caps and folding the sides, or adding corner boards that have typically outsourced as an off-line product.
“Now they can be produced on the main lines with a custom stretch wrapper doing it automatically.”