Flexible packaging equipment specialist ILAPAK is using IFFA as the launchpad for its latest technological breakthrough – the world’s first fully integrated rotary vacuum packer for the protein industry. Following trials, the first RotaVac system will be on the show floor at IFFA 2016, demonstrating a new seamlessly integrated workflow for packing red meat and cheese in rollstock produced vacuum bags. ILAPAK will also be demonstrating its capabilities in frozen meat with an IQF burger packaging solution comprising an ultra-hygienic Vegatronic series vertical bagger fed by a dedicated multi-head weigher.
DELTA ROTAVAC: REVOLUTIONISING THE SHRINK BAG
The revolutionary RotaVac fully integrates ILAPAK’s hygienic design Delta 6000 flow-wrapper with an innovative rotary vacuum chamber that is optimised for different fresh red meat products – primal cuts, foodservice and retail products. This has created a highly efficient and labour saving solution for replacing more expensive pre-made shrink bags with lower cost film from a reel – ILAPAK’s system can reduce labour by 60% versus a pre-made bag solution, as total integration dramatically reduces the need for any manual intervention overall line efficiency.
“Whilst a rotary packing line using pre-made shrink bags will typically be manned by eight operators, with our RotaVac system, the number of operators can potentially be cut to three. This has a massive impact on the bottom line – six figure savings in real terms in most cases,” says Conrad Graham, ILAPAK’s Meat Industry Manager.
Rival systems do exist for vacuum packing meat from rollstock, but none are fully integrated by design like the ILAPAK Delta RotaVac.
“Now, rather than having to worry about linking machines from different suppliers, meat firms can simply ‘plug and play’ one or all of ILAPAK’s modular Delta RotaVac pre-made bag replacement solutions via an Ethernet based control platform. That means fewer operators and simplified installation, maintenance and support,” says Conrad.
The ILAPAK system is also faster than the competition, thanks to the product-specific design – a feature which is unique to ILAPAK. Whilst rival rotary vacuum packing systems use a general equipment design to cover multiple product types, ILAPAK offers industry-specific modules; depending on whether customers want to pack pork, beef or lamb, for example. Modules can be changed without purchasing a completely new system.
The ILAPAK system also consumes less packaging than rival rollstock fed systems, thanks to more accurate product management throughout the integrated system.
The Delta RotaVac’s integrated control platform introduces opportunities for users to maximise OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) through system monitoring, diagnostic and data reporting capabilities that aren’t readily available with rival systems. Features include seal and vacuum monitoring, as well as production performance statistics, and predictive maintenance features.
Hygiene is a top priority globally for meat processors and packers, and this is reflected in the sanitary design and full wash down capabilities of the open frame Delta RotaVac. The chassis is a free draining open channel design to prevent ingress of water into the machine, and the absence of any closed channel profiles eliminates the possibility of internal bacteria growth. All critical components and assemblies are constructed from high grade stainless steel or high impacted composite plastics.
The Delta RotaVac has been validated with all of the shrink films that are commonly used by the meat industry, which means users are not tied to a single film supplier, and remain free to choose the film partner that best suits their needs.
FROM FRESH TO FROZEN
ILAPAK’s expertise in the meat industry does not end at horizontal systems for packing fresh meat cuts. Years of working with IQF (individually quick frozen) meat products have established ILAPAK as an authority on packing processed meat parts carefully, economically and efficiently. At IFFA, ILAPAK will be demonstrating its capabilities in IQF with a vertical line for weighing and bagging frozen burgers. Integrating the Vegatronic 2000 OF (Open Frame) with the dedicated IQF industry Weightronic WA 14/50 multihead weigher, the line addresses the cost of ownership, hygiene and efficiency demands of this industry.
With its specific design for harsh environments and strict sanitary requirements, the Vegatronic 2000 OF machine has been built to stand up to the challenging washdown requirements of the IQF meat industry. There are no cavities where dirt and debris can accumulate, one-piece construction and sloped or perforated surfaces have been incorporated into the design wherever possible and the use of hollow parts and flat surfaces has been kept to a minimum.
The intermittent bagger can run off the full range of bag styles that can be produced on a VFFS machine, including pillow packs, block-bottom bags, Quattro and pouches, with or without web or transverse directional zipper, adhesive tapes or any other reclose solution.
The Vegatronic 2000 OF is supplied to meat customers in conjunction with the dedicated IQF industry WA 14/50 series multihead weigher, an ultra-hygienic multihead weigher that is suitable for full washdown environments. The other huge advantage of this combination is that customers deal with one single manufacturer, supplier and partner for their full system from weighing through bagging.