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ULMA eliminate trays with high speed produce packaging solution

Oct 05, 2009 05:33 PM

Atlanta E horizontal form fill and seal flow- wrapper designed to cut costs and reduce waste.

ULMA eliminate trays with high speed produce packaging solution

fresh produce packaging

Ulma Packaging continues to consolidate their market leader position in fresh produce packaging with an innovative new application to reduce packaging materials in the fresh produce market.


The specially designed, state-of-the-art Atlanta E horizontal form fill and seal (HFFS) flow-wrapper has been specially developed to securely wrap fresh produce at high speed, whilst eliminating the need for a tray and maintaining complete product and pack integrity.


As producers strive to reduce their reliance on packaging, Ulma have seen considerable interest in this innovative approach and have invested heavily in enhancing electronic, rather than mechanical, auto in-feed systems to protect soft fruit and vegetables whatever the production speed.


For example, customer English Village Salads has become one of the first produce growers in the UK to benefit from these improvements on what was traditionally available, allowing them to supply tomatoes in tray-less packs. The Ulma Atlanta E flow wrapper features a special integrated feed system designed to automatically load graded, loose fruit on to the unit’s high-speed in-feed conveyor. The fruit is orientated and held captive in groups of six as it is moved through the machine.


As one of the fastest and most flexible tray-less systems on the market, The Atlanta E can handle up to 120 packs per minute. According to EVS, the machine has reduced packaging by 25 per cent whilst maintaining high speeds, something other tray-less flowrappers are unable to achieve.


Elsewhere, T Wilson & Sons have increased the speed and efficiency of their tray-less wrapping operation by 100 per cent. The company has recently installed the high performance Atlanta at the grower’s facility in Merseyside where it is wrapping unsupported mild onions and peppers. These are fed manually onto the machine’s four-metre in-feed conveyor where they are orientated and held captive in groups before being progressed through the system and wrapped at 50 packs per minute.


Rob Wilson, Operations Manager at T Wilson & Sons comments: “We did look at other methods but none where suitable because we needed to increase the speed and efficiency of our tray-less wrapping operation. My only requirement was that the machine had to accurately and securely wrap groups of unsupported onions. The machine was easy to install and set up and the fact it has already increased capacity by 100 per cent speaks volumes.”


Derek Paterson, Ulma Packaging’s Managing Director continues; “Everyone is now looking to reduce packaging both from an environmental point of view and with a close eye on the bottom line. The Atlanta is proving to be the obvious solution for many of our customers, achieving significant cost reductions whilst maintaining production speed with no detrimental effect on the products wrapped.”


The fully automatic Atlanta’s cantilever construction makes it easy to install, set up, operate and clean. It requires virtually no maintenance and is suitable for medium to high volume production requirements. It also offers a variety of advanced features, including left to right operating direction; rotary cross sealing jaws; self centring film reel holder; two-metre long in-feed conveyor; adjustable film folding box; and touch screen controls which store parameters for up to 25 different products. For added flexibility, the machine can work with a variety of films – for example, BOPP, PVC, polyester, cellulose, complex laminates and cold seal materials.


Requiring minimal maintenance, the system’s cantilever construction makes it easy to install, set up, operate and clean. Size range is 90-450mm long and 10-250mm wide. Windows based software can be provided and options include stainless steel design, a longitudinal seal trimming device, a second reel unwind and a rotary jaw carry over conveyor.