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Traysealer boosts efficiencies for potato processor

07 April 2018

The installation of an Ishida QX-775 traysealer at potato processor, Friweika, has enabled the company to boost process efficiency on its fresh potato dumplings line by 25%. 

In order to meet the growing demand for its convenience products, Friweika is now producing chilled potato dumplings in a variety of formats – as ready-made dumpling dough in bags or pre-formed in MAP trays – making up to 700 tons of dumpling dough every week, equivalent to around three million dumplings.

To enable the packing process to keep pace with the increasing production volumes, Friweika needed to replace its two semi-automatic traysealers with a fully automatic solution. Christian Möhr, head of the value-added department, outlines the company’s requirements: “We wanted a machine with the potential for future expansion that was not only robust but also – importantly – did not take up too much space.”

The Ishida QX-775 Flex traysealer is able to seal up to six trays simultaneously at a maximum speed of 15 cycles per minute (outside cut, inside cut and shrink film). One of the reasons for the machine’s high speed is that it has separate vacuuming and gassing systems. Servo technology ensures a controlled tray delivery and film supply – even at high speeds.

Measuring 3114mm length by 1340mm width, the single-lane machine is also compact and was easily integrated into the existing production line. A key benefit of the solution for Friweika was the tray feed system, which is fitted with plastic belts. The traysealer can handle all common tray types and films with the use of MAP and allows fast and frequent product changeovers. 

Friweika currently packs fresh potato dumplings in two tray formats, for which Ishida has designed specially customised tools. The protective atmosphere, which helps to prolong the products’ shelf life, is composed of a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The QX-775 Flex features an integrated gas analysis system for each sealing cycle. The composition of the protective atmosphere is continuously monitored – and if the gas mixture is not as it should be, the system is automatically stopped.

The traysealer has also proven to be easy for operators to use thanks to its automatic set-up and up to 100 pre-sets, while a range of quick-change functions are available for film and tools changeovers. “In the three months since the machine was installed, process efficiency has increased by 25%. In addition, one less machine operator is needed,” said Möhr.

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