UK-based food equipment firm Riggs Autopack is introducing a spot depositor for ready meal, bakery and dessert products that require accurate hand finishing.
The firm says it is seeing growing demands from customers seeking a more efficient filling system for smaller depositing needs such as adding the finishing touches to cakes or pastries.
"It is costs that are driving this demand," explained Bob Lumb, sales manager at the firm. "Traditionally depositing machines weren't so accurate. If you can deposit a product accurately within a gram or so, that helps save on ingredient waste."
High quality engineering in the dispensing unit of the new machine has raised the level of accuracy, Lumb told FoodProductionDaily.com. It is also around 10 per cent faster than older machines, provided that it is operated properly, and can run at more than 55 cycles per minute.
The 1000 mini fill spot depositor will be launched at this year's Foodex Meatex show, taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 6-9 April.
The Riggs depositing machine is also operator-friendly with a low-level feed hopper (operators do not need to climb up stairs to load the hopper with ingredient) and lightweight hand nozzle to reduce the chances of operator fatigue, says Lumb. These features allow operators to position the product accurately where needed.
"For party food or ready meals the finished product needs to look attractive. That doesn't lend itself to full automation. For good presentation, depositing needs to be done by hand," he explained.
The firm has built up a significant business in the UK where the bakery and ready meals industries are among the biggest in Europe. Other customers include meats suppliers, sauce makers, soup companies, salad packers and preserve producers.
Its 1000 series of depositors include stand-alone or table-top models as well as fully automated, PLC controlled multi-head conveyorised filling lines. It also produces a range of depositing nozzles and decorating heads for cream or fillings. The nozzles give drip-free cut-off.
At the Birmingham show Riggs Autopack will also showcase a twin head automatic filling machine, designed for filling jars and plastic containers with sauces, preserves and chutney, a ready meal make-up conveyor and various low level depositing machines. One of the low level depositors has a gentle agitation system in the feed hopper.
Part of the Fort Vale Engineering group, Riggs Autopack also exports equipment to Ireland, Australia, Africa and the Benelux.