The salmon, mackerel and haddock delicacies from this Scottish supplier are destined primarily for catering companies and event organisers, but also for the retail and wholesale trade, for export and for companies that carry out further processing. “Our product range is very diverse. There are for example different varieties in the type and cut of the product, as well as in the different recipes and flavours. This means we can offer the right product for every occasion,” explains William Callaghan, Production Manager at Lions Speciality Foods. The company, which is part of the Browns Food Group, places great value on quality and freshness. The new, modern factory in Bellshill in Central Scotland meets all the requirements of international standards and has been certified to the BRC Global Standard.
Since July 2015 a fully automatic T 300 traysealer from MULTIVAC has been in operation there. It is particularly compact and is designed for running a wide spectrum of trays in small and medium-sized batches. “We were looking specifically for a machine manufacturer, with whom we could work together to produce our innovative new products in attractive skin packs for retail,” says William Callaghan.
Since the parent company already uses various packaging machines from MULTIVAC, and the cooperation between the two companies was judged by all involved to be very constructive and partner-like, the decision on the machine was easily made. “MULTIVAC’s good reputation as an established and innovative company was also crucial for us. This is because it is important for us to work together with a partner, who gives expert advice, delivers reliably on time and who gives excellent needs-based service, as well as always coming up with new technology.”
Hot-smoked Scottish salmon is packed on the T 300 traysealer in Bellshill in three pack formats. Two different MAP packs as well as one vacuum skin pack can be produced with a very quick change. The skin packs in particular are a real enhancement for the products, since the packs are allover sealed with a special skin film on the pre-made tray after they have been evacuated. The shape and structure of the fish are retained, and the shelf life is extended. Since the product can not slide around in the pack, a first-class presentation of the product at the point of sale is assured. Lions Speciality Foods also uses black trays, which look attractive and show the colour of the fish to advantage.
Despite an overall length of only 2.45 metres, the T 300 offers a loading area with two loading positions, enabling the trays to be filled in the tightest space. The machine features energy-efficient drive systems for the tray infeed, lifting unit and film trim winder, and it can also be combined with the widest range of discharge systems. Thanks to the IPC control with touchscreen and graphic HMI 2.0 user interface, its operation is very user-friendly. The T 300 is capable of being washed down and, due to its high-quality and durable stainless steel construction in the MULTIVAC Hygienic Design™, it is designed for the highest hygiene requirements.
Everyone is particularly pleased at Bellshill, that there were absolutely no problems in any of the project phases, from the first discussions right through to the installation and the training of the operators. As William Callaghan says: “With the new packaging machine it is practically a case of a plug-and-play system. MULTIVAC delivered the machine to us in a faultless condition and well packaged, allowing us to put it straight into operation. The support was also first-class. This really impressed us.”
As William Callaghan says: “The positive feedback from our customers and the very pleasing rise in sales show the new salmon products have been well received by the retailers and consumers.”
Pack tracks ≤ 3
Tray depth (mm) < 125
Output (cycles/min) ≤ 10
Hygiene standard MULTIVAC Hygienic Design™
*Depending on the equipment