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Frozen seafood manufacturer doubles packaging speeds

13 May 2018

Whitby Seafoods has been able to double its packaging speed by installing a new packaging and distribution line from processing and packaging equipment provider, tna, enabling the company to provide additional capacity and seamless integration between systems, helping to save time and increase efficiency. 

A recent rebrand required the company to update its packaging design. New pack sizes range from between 200 and 300 grams in a standard pillow bag format. A flexible packaging and distribution system would allow the company to expand its product portfolio and allow efficient product changes and integration with existing elements of the production line. 

Whitby Seafoods needed to increase capacity with the addition of a third packaging line. It chose to install the tna robag  FX3ci – a vertical, form, fill and seal (VFFS) packaging solution that would allow consistent high quality at a fast speed for a range of bag sizes. 

Packaging line speed is crucial to maintaining food safety with frozen foods like seafood. While the company’s two existing production lines operate at 70 bags per minute (bpm), the new line works comfortably at 140 bpm, effectively doubling product throughput. 

The robag FX 3ci features a rotary jaw design that uses a sealing technology which is said to offer improved seal integrity at high speeds. Its compact design, including a shorter bagging system height and small footprint, was also an important feature for Whitby Seafoods as its facility has low ceiling heights. With the ability to walk around upstairs, operators have better visibility of the line and therefore stricter quality assurance standards. The new equipment also has a user-friendly interface, making it simple and easy to operate. 

The packing system was fitted with the tna intelli-weigh omega 314 multi-head weigher. With capabilities for a 2,200 kg per hour in-feed to the packaging system, it was important that any upstream equipment could keep up with the fast speed of the bagger. The intelli-weigh omega 314 has allowed for the necessary high-speed weighing.

Due to the frozen nature of the product range, it is important to maintain a continuous production process and keep the product moving throughout the line to avoid thawing. Lengthy stoppage times for a film or product changeover would compromise food quality and safety, as well as increase wastage. The tna robag FX 3ci and its simplified film system for easy film threading and high accuracy control has improved efficiencies by reducing film waste and cutting changeover procedures from two minutes to 30 seconds. 

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