FISH IS ALWAYS AT THE CENTRE OF THINGS AT GADUS, A POLISH FAMILY COMPANY. THE FISH ARE CAUGHT SUSTAINABLY, FRESHLY PROCESSED AND RELIABLY PACKED. FOUR MULTIVAC PACKAGING MACHINES ENSURE THE PACKAGING PROCEDURE IS VERY EFFICIENT AND THAT THERE IS AN ATTRACTIVE PRODUCT RANGE, WHICH HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANTLY EXPANDED THANKS TO MULTIVAC PACKAGING MACHINES.
Gadus, which was founded in 1996 in the Polish city of Gdynia, specialises in catching, processing and trading fresh and frozen seawater fish. Over the course of the years and together with their father Leonard, the two brothers David and Arek Sztormowski have transformed the originally small family business into a successful production operation with a fishing fleet of 17 ships thanks to great skill, far-sighted management and the latest technology. “Our dynamic development is based on clever business policy and our highly motivated and trained staff, but also on respect for the fish product and on a great desire for quality,” explains Przemysław Kupc, Production and Quality Manager. Every individual process stage, from catching the fish right up to the end consumer, is subjected to precise control in the overall supply chain at Gadus.
High standards in all areas
The fish are caught primarily in the Baltic, the Barents Sea and the sea around Norway. The annual catch is around 1,600 tons of cod, 1,000 tons of flounders, 7,000 tons of sprats and 2,000 tons of herrings. The delicate products are processed in state-of-the-art production facilities, and the company has its own trucks to transport the finished products to destinations across Europe. Polystyrene boxes in various sizes (5 kg, 10 kg, 20 kg and 30-40 kg), filled with ice and lidded, are used to transport the frozen products. Fresh fish are packed chilled as individual pieces or blocks and are dispatched in boxes of 3 kg, 5 kg, 10 kg and 20 kg.
Since 2013 the packaging procedure has been undertaken by four MULTIVAC packaging machines: one R 225 thermoforming packaging machine, two R 126 thermoforming packaging machines and a C 550 double chamber machine with pivoting chamber lid. “We wanted to expand and open up new market areas. Our product range up to that point had been very limited and we were not able to react adequately to our customers’ needs,” says Przemysław Kupc explaining the steps taken. But the expansion of capacity alone did not solve all the problems. The greatest challenge was to improve the complete packaging procedure and also the pack design, allowing the products to remain absolutely fresh and enabling them to be presented attractively at the point of sale. This required the pack format to be changed. “We developed the ideal design together with our partners. We also experimented with various types of film, until finally we were able to make the right choice,” says the Production boss.
MAP packs for fresh fish
Fresh fish is now packed at Gadus under modifi ed atmosphere in rigid film on the R 225 thermoforming packaging machine, so that the shape, colour and quality of the fi sh are retained. The R 225 is easy to operate and can produce a wide range of packs reliably and efficiently. A metal detector from BIZERBA, which reliably detects all magnetic and non-magnetic metal objects, was also integrated into the line. A fully automatic labeller from the same manufacturer completes the packaging line and ensures that the labelling and marking procedure is also very reliable.
Vacuum packs for frozen fish When it comes to packing the frozen product, all the requirements are fulfilled by the pre-confi gured R 126 thermoforming packaging machine with its wide range of standard format sets, and this also includes the most important equipment options from MULTIVAC’s broad technical spectrum. This compact model scores highly with its small space requirement of just three square metres, and it offers an output of up to 10 cycles per minute. The appearance and functionality of the individual packs are matched at Gadus to the particular product with its specific shape and weight. Flexible film is used for producing the vacuum packs. The removal of oxygen extends the shelf life of the fi sh, since microbial spoilage is slowed down and the oxidation process is reduced. The product is fi rmly located in the pack and protected against mechanical influences.
A double chamber machine for large carcasses
When it comes to packing large fish carcasses under vacuum, a C 550 double chamber machine with pivoting chamber lid is used. The evacuation and gas flushing processes of the C 550 are pressure-controlled and thus guarantee reproducible packing results. The packaging procedure is very efficient, since products are being packed in the first chamber, while the second chamber can be unloaded and loaded again. Thanks to its even work surface, the C 550 can be washed down and meets the highest hygiene standards.
Gadus is so delighted with the packaging machines and the expert service from MULTIVAC, that the company is already working on plans for the further development of the business. The machine models meet all the expectations in terms of output, functionality and ease of operation, and they have been working perfectly from the start. “One reason for the smooth course of the project was certainly that, thanks to the professional cooperation and constructive communication with MULTIVAC, we were well prepared for all situations and eventualities. This meant there were no surprises during the management and implementation of the project,” says Przemysław Kupc. The biggest challenge for him in hindsight was the introduction of new products in conjunction with their customers. “We wanted to introduce a rapid working tempo and sound packaging procedure as quickly as possible, so that we could reliably process the orders we were receiving.”
Well equipped for the future
In Gdynia they look very optimistically at the coming years, since all their customers have expressed how satisfied they are with the product quality and attractive packs. The Production and Quality Manager sums up as follows: “We are a company with significant growth that is completely focused on top quality, innovation and cooperation with our partners. We only work with companies, which live up to our standards and live the same values. MULTIVAC is therefore exactly the right partner for us. Now and also in the future.”