It recently upgraded its packaging operations by installing a Model R140 horizontal thermoform/fill/seal rollstock machine from Multivac Inc. to handle 1-lb retail packages.
Ted Arena CEO of Swiss American says “Pizza chains and foodservice operations represent most of our customer base for pepperoni. We have been successful in creating large packages for these markets with rollstock. But moving into retail required us to implement a faster and more efficient system capable of producing a higher volume of smaller packages.”
The new machine which also gives Swiss American the flexibility to produce 2.5- and 5-lb pepperoni packs for nonretail customers incorporates modified-atmosphere nitrogen/carbon dioxide gas flushing for extended product shelf life. Estimated refrigerated shelf life is two months.
The R140 machine heats roll-fed flexible barrier film and uses a forming die to create a pocket of the desired dimensions. Pepperoni is loaded into the pocket and a top web barrier film is automatically applied as the package is gas-flushed and hermetically sealed. Engineered for easy integration into existing packaging lines the R140 was fully operational at Swiss American’s Lathrop plant within two days of installation. Multivac’s service department provided on-site system training of plant personnel.
Arena cites cost efficiency simplicity of operation and easy package size changeovers as key reasons for choosing the R140 machine. “For a relatively small investment the R140 has provided us the flexibility to extend our products into retail. We’ve already seen a 20% increase in new sales opportunities. This compact machine is very simple and efficient. We get better film utilization which results in less trim waste. Combined with the higher output we’ve got an efficiency improvement of 25%.”