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‘Next generation’ filling valve sees Smurfit Kappa target bag-in-box gold

By Ben Bouckley , 28-Nov-2011
Last updated on 28-Nov-2011 at 13:22 GMT2011-11-28T13:22:07Z

 ‘Next generation’ filling valve sees Smurfit Kappa target bag-in-box gold

Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box is poised to launch a new filling machine this week, which it claims breaks new ground in terms of its ability to fill both bag-in-box (BIB) and stand-up pouch (SUP) containers and includes a ‘next generation’ filling valve.

The W700 filler (pictured) is due to be launched at the ‘International Exhibition for the Vine-Wine and Fruit Vegetable Sectors’ (SITEVI 2011) in Montpellier tomorrow, with Smurfit Kappa claiming numerous advantages for the product compared to previous models.

Its competitively priced machine was able to fill both bag-in-box (BIB) and stand-up pouch (SUP) containers - the latter via a 'Pouch-Up' extension - and was also worked with both compact or standard varieties of Smurfit Kappa Vitop taps, the company said.

Other touted benefits include a high output of 15 BIBs per minute for three litre products (the Smurfit Kappa range has an output of five to 30 bags per minute) with an instantaneous flow of 10,000 litres per hour.

Reducing oxygen ingress

Innovation and marketing director, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box, José Farinãs told FoodProductionDaily.com that the machine had a ‘next generation’ filling valve, which allowed processors to reduce oxygen levels in finished products.

He said:“The filling valve, with the separation of the nitrogen and vacuum circuits, allows for an optimisation of nitrogen injection after filling, preventing oxygen introduction into the bag during the filling process, and as a result increasing the shelf-life of the wine.”

Filling valve ergonomics also prevented any distortion of the spout, he added, and provided better efficiency in terms of bag vacuuming before filling, as well as better efficiency of nitrogen injection after filling.

“Use of this valve results in a reduction of about 23 per cent [in terms of] dissolved O2 in the bag,” he added.

Farinãs said the W700 was able to fill any bag fitted with a Vitop cap, and based on customer demand could be supplied to work with a wide range of caps.

He said: “Any bag-in-box bag available on the market – from 1.5 litres to 10 litres – is suitable for this filler, with the exception of few very special caps, which in that case, would be subject to a particular adaption study.”

BIB market development

Ahead of the official launch in France, Farinãs said that the company had installed the first production unit on a client’s premises to “finalise construction details”.

Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box was anticipating interest in traditional markets where BIB products were popular, such as Scandinavia, France and Portugal, he said.

“But there are also very strong markets in which the BIB – especially in the wine industry – is still developing and expanding its sales, particularly in supermarkets and in countries such as Italy, Spain, Chile and the Asian countries,” he added.

Although the wine market was the mainstay for BIB and SUP products, Farinãs said that appeal was growing from different sectors, “in particular, the cocktail market in the US, UK, Scandinavia, etc., mainly with SUP models”.

“Other applications such as fruit juice (apple juice, orange, etc.) are entering the market more slowly but consistently, he added.

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