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Framptons order first Dimac for PET line

12 March 2010

The Shepton Mallet based family owned contract packer is now well in to its second century. Much has happened to the business but 2009 was something of a milestone.

Clive Frampton, the fourth generation Chairman of the business, said “In 2009 we have made some major investments and have significantly increased our processing and filling capabilities. It was a busy year for our outstanding team who relish the challenges that our business growth presents.

Framptons have long been a leading independent co-packer and have developed considerable experience in liquid food processing. They process and pack a wide range of products in ESL Gable Top and ambient cartons, currently operating six Tetra lines, with two more to come on stream this year. Working with brand owners Framptons provides everything from product development through to delivery of the final products, with a current portfolio of products ranging from cows and goats milk, fruit juices & smoothies, dairy alternatives including soya, rice, oat & coconut, and a range of egg products.

When the Sun Juice operation ceased in the early part of 2009, Clive Frampton was quick to spot an opportunity by purchasing the PET line so that the business could add ESL bottling for existing and new customers. So by acquiring the wet end Federal line, coupled with a 20,000 sq. ft. factory adjacent to the existing site, the company then looked at the labelling and packing areas of the line.

Derek Tiley, Engineering Manager, who had experience with Gaymers, Strathmore and Hildon Water (who also have a Dimac st@r), discussed with Clive the options available to offer the best variation of secondary pack to the current and future customer base.

Derek said “We wanted to stay with paper self adhesive labels so we chose a Graham Captain unit, and we stuck with Videojet to provide the coding requirements. The case erector and shrink wrapper had to be a versatile machine with quick change over and therefore minimum downtime. I had experience of all the major German and Italian manufacturers but my main aim was flexibility and reliability, plus U.K. support team. We needed a machine that could offer tray or pad, film only, and print registered film, in a number of pack configurations of 8x2, 6x2, 3x3 and 2x2.”
Derek continued: “I was very impressed with the design and build quality of their Dimac St@r One machine that is capable of 30 p.p.m.”

“Aetna were well known to Framptons, having supplied three Robopac semi auto pallet stretch wrappers, so their ability to support a customer with after sales support, service and spares, certainly helped in the decision to acquire the Dimac. Furthermore, when the machine arrived at Shepton, it was fully up and running within three days and hasn’t missed a beat since.”

The ‘we can do’ attitude at Framptons is very much echoed by Aetna both in the UK and Italy. As Framptons are co-packers, they have to have line and equipment efficiency at the highest levels. Without it they would struggle to maintain the business.

Colin Barker, General Manager of Aetna UK Ltd said, “Framptons are a natural fit for us as machine suppliers. We have invested heavily in the UK and Italy in both machine design and support services. Aetna completely redesigned their Dimac range in 2008.”

The St@r range is their most advanced series of machines to date and is available in three designations, Blue, Green and Gold. All machines are single roll, continuous movement machines without sealing bars. The ‘top level’ electronic management system ensures high production performance. Designed to be operator friendly; the colour touch screen panel can be used to control all machine parameters, record production statistics, manage and modify size changes as well as control tunnel temperatures for individual applications.

The machines are pre-prepared for connection to a centralised production data management network if required, and remote monitoring is available via an optional modem to allow fault diagnosis, program setting adjustments and up-grades to be made remotely on-line.

The newly designed tunnel provides high shrinking performance and increased thermal insulation to save power and a new cooling fan at the exit of the tunnel provides improved pack presentation and integrity.

The machines in the St@r range include centralised lubrication, air conditioned electrical cabinet, two film antistatic bars, and two film reel holders with disk braking, newly designed film flight bars for high precision and reduced vibration. The new fan, optional on Blue St@r, located under the shrink tunnel maintains the mesh conveyor belt travelling through it, at a constant temperature. High capacity blank magazine, 400 blanks for Blue St@r and 800 blanks for Green & Gold St@r machines, are hand wheel adjustable.


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