Dutch Producer Installs Four Multivac Thermoform Packaging Machines
Peka Kroef BV in the Dutch town of Odiliapeel is a producer of pre-cooked potato specialties that used the opportunity presented by the replacement of some of his packaging machinery to further improve the reliability and security of his overall packaging process.
The company, which with its 320 employees and turnover of some EUR100m is one of the leading suppliers of potato specialties, and has “its roots literally in the soil”, as Frans Habraken, corporate engineering and maintenance manager, at Peka Kroef explains.
Multivac packaging machines have been used at Peka Kroef for around 25 years. In order to be able to increase productivity, efficiency, and pack quality, as well as meeting the strong demand for the company’s products, the decision was made to replace the previously used thermoform packaging machines with four new models of the R 535 type.
The integrated seal seam inspection system makes a major contribution to guaranteeing that only perfect packs are delivered to customers, and therefore ensuring the optimum product shelf life can be achieved. The smallest product particles or air bubbles in the seal seam can cause leaks in the pack, and this means a reduced shelf life or premature spoilage of the product. “We do not want to leave anything to chance, when it comes to the quality of the product or pack. Since our company was founded, we have established an outstanding reputation with our customers in the catering and retail sectors, as well as with consumers. We therefore needed a system which could reliably detect faults in the seal seam and eject the reject packs,” explains Frans Habraken.
In conjunction with Multivac, the decision was therefore made to equip the new high-performance packaging machines with the latest inspection systems, which would allow automated pack inspection even at very high output.
The efficiency and flexibility of the packaging lines had to be increased, while at the same time maintaining the pack quality and long product shelf life. This was because the company was now also offering a wide range of specialty products, from potato gratin to roast potato dishes and rosti potatoes, which could be used as main meals, side dishes, or as the basis for consumers’ own creations.
The R 535 machines are equipped with intelligent quick-change systems. The die change required for the three different pack formats, which are produced on the machines at Peka Kroef, can be performed extremely quickly, and machine downtime is therefore minimized as much as possible.
The company can pack the products in either MAP or under vacuum in all the different pack sizes. “And last but not least, we were able to further optimize the pack design so that we can now produce attractive and even more secure packs with less film – an important step in the direction of sustainability,” explains Frans Habraken.