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Stainless steel packing lines meets supermarket demand for prepared fruit bowls

End of line equipment specialist, Endoline Machinery, has assisted a leading supermarket supplier of fresh produce in meeting a demand increase for prepared fruit bowls with the installation of five stainless steel packing lines – increasing output to 10 tonnes of fruit per day.

This company is one of the UK’s leading fresh produce manufacturers, specialising in the supply of bagged salads, prepared fruit and leafy salad bowls and trays to major retail and food service companies. As the company faced a surge in demand for prepared fruit bowls the need for greater production space grew as their Project Manager explains: "As orders increased so too did the need for greater capacity and we couldn’t fit any more equipment into our existing factories so a purpose built facility was constructed to house the processing and packaging of our fruit and salad lines."

Automation specialist Endoline was appointed to create five packing lines within the new site consisting of case erectors and case sealers to boost the production lines. "Historically box sealers were used within our factories however within the new purpose built site we were looking to enhance the automation to increase throughput," explains the project manager. A key requirement in the design of the machinery was for it to be constructed in stainless steel for a fully wash down specification to meet stringent hygiene regulations.

As all of their equipment range can be built with stainless steel Endoline recommended the installation of their 100 series of Semi Automatic case erectors. While being the ideal first step to automation this range offers an efficient alternative to manually erecting boxes and is capable of dealing with an array of different case sizes. Paul Ryder, Endoline’s Regional Account Manager, comments: "This company packs over a dozen different case sizes, including very narrow and low SRP cases, dependent on the customer requirements so it was essential that the equipment we installed was able to deal with the changes with no changeover time. Therefore our machinery was modified to both meet their mechanical/electrical specification and to cope with all of the varying case sizes."

The ready packed bowls of fruit are hand packed into the erected boxes via a conveyor belt which then feeds the filled boxes into the Endoline semi automatic random case sealer – automatically sealing both the top and bottom of the box simultaneously. Paul comments: "The sealers we installed automatically adjust its height and width settings to deal with the various box sixes running through."

Since semi-automating the packing lines this fresh produce manufacturer has dramatically improved their output and production efficiency with the redeployment of manual workers.

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