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Compact sealer passes 'mustard'

It doesn’t get much more mom-and-pop than Fisher Horseradish & Mustard, run by Gideon Fisher, Sr. He heads the 20-yr-old family business on his property in Newburg, PA, where his wife has run a semi-automatic filler.
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He operates a new portable sealer a Compak™ Jr. from Enercon Industries which he purchased last summer. The 7’’x12’’x15’’ sealer weighs just 14 lb and has a hand-held sealing head on the end of an electrical cable.

Fisher uses it to seal a 38-mm flip-top closure with foil-laminate liner on 12-oz squeezable PET bottles of Hempzels-brand horseradish mustard. He says it takes just 1.6 preset seconds to seal each jar. “It’s easy to use” he points out. He double-checks the seals later and recaps them manually.

Fisher also does his own engineering. He connected the sealer to run off a car battery—exactly the self-reliance one expects from the Amish. To date he has used it for one production run of about 4 bottles.

With just one batch and one other worker can Fisher justify the purchase in labor savings? No he says but he has a higher priority—“product quality. I would have lost the horseradish business if I had not done something” he tells Packaging World. The pressure-sensitive seals he had been using weren’t holding resulting in leaky seals and dried product. “I get good seals with this” Fisher emphasizes. Soon he expected to use the sealer again this time on 12-oz squat jars of mustard dip which require a different ring insert on the hand-held sealing head that is easily changed.

And he’s already concocting a way to run the sealing head using the air-cylinder off the filler.

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