The versatility and performance of Proseal’s range of tray sealers are meeting a variety of packing solutions for fresh prepared salad and vegetable producer Bryans Salads.
The company is using the portable semi-automatic Proseal GTR for shorter run products and a fully automatic GT0 for specialist products such as Garlic and Cream Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms packed into foil trays. And as part of a recent £1m expansion of its packing area, Bryans Salads has now installed a state-of-the-art Proseal GT2, which has the flexibility to handle a range of products packed into both plastic salad bowls and foil trays at speeds of up to 40 and 55 packs per minute respectively.
The GT2 is operating in conjunction with a Proseal OC linear conveyor as part of a complete packing line which also features two multihead weighers. The multihead weighers handle the different salad and vegetable products for discharge into the bowls or trays; these are then transferred via the OC conveyor into the GT2.
The GT2 has been designed to maximise throughput while coping with shorter production runs and fast changeovers and is therefore ideal for the dual requirements of this line. The tray sealer’s advanced lightweight and high strength ‘Auto Tool’ connection system enables tool changes to be carried out in around three minutes, while downtime is further minimised by the use of quick-change conveyor belts, and an auto-lock film reel holder.
High speeds are achieved thanks to a servo-controlled pack transfer which creates a smooth movement for trays throughout the sealing process, and self-centring pack guides, which ensure trays are accurately positioned for sealing, a vital factor in particular after a tool change. Other useful features to help maintain consistent operation include automatic film snap and film end detection.
A user-friendly menu-driven control panel provides ease of set up and operation, which can be remotely accessed and controlled. The screen also provides detailed production data, production monitoring and full diagnostics.
For the salad products, the machine features high speed gas flushing with reduced cycle time to maximise throughput.
A third generation family business growing lettuces, Bryans Salads diversified into the prepared salads and vegetables market 15 years ago and is now one of the UK’s larger suppliers to a number of major retailers. All lettuce is still grown within 1½ miles of the company’s production facility in Tarleton, Lancashire, with the company packing over 30 tonnes every week, producing up to 23,000 salad bowls each day.
Equipment reliability is vital in the fast-moving fresh produce sector, and this was a key reason why Bryans Salads switched from its existing tray sealer supplier to Proseal.
“We not only get better performance out of our Proseal machines, but the level of service and support we receive is very good,” explained Jon Bragg, Bryans’ commercial and technical director. “The machines were installed with no problems and Proseal engineers stayed on site to ensure everything was running smoothly. Since then we have had no issues with the equipment but we know that if anything does arise, it will be dealt with promptly and efficiently to ensure our production keeps running. This type of peace of mind is invaluable.”