Petrow Food Group, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of dried fruit products, dates, nuts, seeds, coconuts and flour, can now offer improved packaging of dry mix and powdered products and more competitive prices for its customers after a major technology investment.
Petrow has invested close to £100,000 on a new Auger powder fill machine for dry mixes, which will be fully commissioned by mid-May in the company’s West London site in Perivale. The Auger with vertical form fill & seal packing machine (VFFS) volumetrically dispenses dry mixes such as flour and cake mixes. The machine enables bespoke programming for each customer’s order providing controlled and precise dispensing of a specific, verified and weighted quantity to meet the exact needs of clients every time.
One of the main advantages of the Auger is that the system is designed specifically to overcome needless waste in dry-fill packaging. It is therefore the ideal choice for cleanliness and sustainability, keeping dust to a minimum and ensuring optimum control, excellent performance and pin-sharp accuracy with filling.
This is because powders are difficult to fill by conventional multi-head weighing machines due to powder build up on weigh pans, which can slow down processes, take time to clean and lead to large amounts of waste. The new Auger, however, delivers improved speed and capacity that prevents product getting stuck in sealing elements, resulting in efficiency gains that can be passed on to clients.
The new line will lead to faster, more consistent packing of powders, while the horizontal sealing jaws will ensure a more reliable weigh and seal, and less packaging material waste. The benefit for Petrow customers, including independent and multinational food manufacturers, is more consistency in their packaged products, much faster turnaround of orders, and more competitive prices.
An easy-to-clean but robust cone-shaped hopper holds dry mixes and any sort of powdered product and feeds them into a variety of plastic (PPE) film packages that are then heat sealed by equipment configured with a wealth of overprinting and coding options. At the flick of a switch operators will be able to pack materials weighing up to 400g and the high-speed packing facility is able to achieve customers’ required speeds.
“The equipment will address problems that often blight conventional multi-head weighing, where the build-up of powder on weigh pans can make consistent filling difficult,” says Ian Tatchell, Managing Director. “Unlike conventional powder fillers, the Auger increases pack integrity and improves costs due to reduced ullage at filling reducing powder plume.”
The new line brings added value to Petrow’s existing two dry-mix filling lines in its Perivale site. Two lines featuring an Ishida multi-head weigher that feeds a Martini packaging VFFS machine, pack dry granular food products weighing from 5gms to 3 kilos and everything in between.
Products packed on the two Ishida Martini lines include peanuts, seeds, rice, pulses and snacks. These are fed into pillow packs, block bottom packs and quad packs, or they can be provided in retail-ready packs.
“The new Auger line gives more certainty when a specific weighted quantity of powders is to be dispensed, and can operate faster and more consistently, with lower costs and packaging savings, compared to multi-head weighing options used for filling of dry granular mixes,” adds Ian Tatchell. The net result is Petrow Food Group will be able to offer more competitive prices and better, more flexible packing solutions for both powders and dry mixes.”
Petrow Food Group supplies specialist ingredients including a wide range of dried fruits, nuts and seeds to a variety of food manufacturers, with product applications including chocolates, muesli, breakfast cereals, snack foods and bakery products.
Petrow Food Group Marketing & Business Development Director Fatma Akalin-McGee adds: “With the growing trend for free-from, customers are asking for more coconut flour, almond flour, walnut flours and other nut flours as alternative ingredients to meet the rising demands for high nutritional and gluten-free ingredients. With this new investment, we can now offer more flexibility in filling and packaging options alongside cost and operational efficiencies.”
The Group operates from two sites in the UK in Perivale, West London and in Haverhill, Suffolk, where the company opened a new £4 million, 80,000 sq. ft. factory and warehouse in 2015. Petrow products include coconut in a variety of formats; fruit pastes such as date paste; coated fruits and nuts; nibbed and heat-treated nuts; and nut flours.
This latest investment in the Auger with vertical form fill & seal packing machine, according to Ian Tatchell and Fatma Akalin-McGee, will ensure Petrow can embark on a new phase in its business – giving clients more packaging options and meet increased demand for their products from a reliable, versatile unit that operates seamlessly with its impressive existing portfolio of highly automated equipment.