All-in-one dairy filling

Later this year Reitech SA will, together with its principal IMA Erca, install a form fill seal (FFS) machine at a South African company to fill six packs yoghurt. With the new capacity, the customer will more than double output from 21000 cups per hour to 49000 cups per hour.

IMA Erca’s FFS packaging machinery caters to customer demands for high capacity, high efficiency and flexibility in filling. The equipment producer’s EF line of FFS units is designed to fill a wide range of pasty foods to liquids at different outputs. Products can be filled into numerous thermoformed cup shades such as round, oval and rectangular cups as well as two-chambered and dual cavity cups.

IMA Erca indicates the units operate on various hygienic levels such as clean, ultra clean and aseptic. The clean option applies to fresh or pasteurised products with a short shelf life, maintained in a controlled, chilled chain. Units in this category feature a Class 100 laminar system and enable the user to treat the lidding foil with infrared technology.

The ultra clean machines are used for sensitive or ultra-fresh products with extended shelf life requirements. They the hygienic features of the clean range, but are also equipped with sterilisable fillers and tunnels that sterilise the filling zone with hydrogen peroxide vapour.

The aseptic range builds on the capabilities of the ultra clean collection with the addition of H2O2 sterilisation of the bottom web as well as the lidding foil.

According to IMA Erca, 2000 of its FFS machines have been delivered to dairy and food manufactures across the world. The company serves its customers from its headquarters and offices in France.

Reitech SA has found that more and more local food producers are buying packaging technology from European equipment suppliers like IMA Erca. Olaf Socher, sales manager at Reitech SA comments on this trends. ‘The high quality of these packaging machines increase their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), which leads to a higher output and better product quality.’ He notes that because of the higher OEE, the payback period of these machines is shorter.