Multivac has landed a deal with Heinz Ketchup and will install one of its R535 thermoform packaging machines at a factory in the US next week.
Hans-Jürgen Heinrich, product manager, automation, Multivac, told FoodProductionDaily it won the contract in March last year but it has been a long integration phase with Factory Acceptance Testing guidelines and using third party modules for putting the systems in place.
The company will install its standard machine technology combined with an intelligent robotics and transfer system including its H240 Delta and Parallel robot and Racetrack conveyor.
Fast food chains
It will make portion packs for ketchup and mustard for use in fast food chains or hotels, where they supply small size condiments for breakfast.
“We are not installing a new product but a combination of different machine types, ” said Heinrich.
“We already have orders from other producers for these small portion packs for example, Bouillon Seasonings and we want to explore other markets for butter, honey and jam.”
'Smart cutting function'
He added by combining a wide packaging machine at higher tracks count and larger advances, it can produce many more portion packs at once and with the 'smart cutting function' combined with its own robotics, the portion packs are under control during the whole process.
“It’s quite challenging using machinery that is normally used for packaging meat cuts and cheese wedges because the portion cuts require different pressure on the controls,” said Heinrich.
“We have to use high force cutting tools to cut out a small portion of the packaging grid. Compared to our competitors they have smaller machines but we can produce more packs based on our cutting technology.”
Multivac will show visitors how its technology and automation systems can save costs on packaging material at Interpack from May 8-14, in Düsseldorf, Germany.
"In some customer projects we have achieved for example an output of approx. 960 portion packs per minute at just 15 cycles per minute", said Heinrich.
“This has a positive effect on the upstream and downstream processes such as filling, cutting, quality control, pack handling and secondary packaging in boxes.
"Also, to cut the large number of packs cleanly out of a film, we position two cutting tools one after the other. These cut the portion packs in two stages, similar to the pattern of a chess board.
Packs can be narrower
“Since not all the packs are cut out at once, the partitions between the packs can be designed to be narrower than with conventional die processes.
“Thanks to the reduction in the widths of the partitions, manufacturers of portion packs can save a significant amount of packaging material. This makes the investment in this cutting procedure economically viable,” he added.
FoodProductionDaily contacted Heinz and is awaiting comment.