Diversifying their expertise in fruit products, SPC Ardmona launched a new line of supermarket products in 2013 – bagged sliced apples. As a new product for the iconic brand, packaging speed and accuracy were key requirements in the packaging machinery they sought.
With an objective of offering Australian consumers a healthy alternative to fast food snacks, SPC Ardmona has launched a range of packaged-to-go sliced fresh apples in single packs and multipacks of four as part of their Goulburn Valley Fresh range.
The sliced red and green apples grown in Victoria are now available in supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Australia.
“Quality control is naturally a very important part of SPC Ardmona’s operations,” said Chris Johnson, Emrich’s Engineering Manager. “And this extends to the quality and accuracy of packaging too, which is also a critical concern of the supermarket chains and other retail customers.”
In researching packaging machinery options, engineers from SPC Ardmona conducted extensive Factory Acceptance Trials at the PFM factory in Italy using the PFM Comet vertical form fill seal bagger and MBP C2 Series multi-head weigher.
“Using both the bagger and multi-head weigher, the line speed trials ran at 100 packs per minute, with an accuracy of well below one standard deviation achieved,” said Chris. “As the Comet is a continuous motion machine, the line performed exceptionally well in terms of speed and accuracy, and therefore met SPC Ardmona’s performance requirements.”
Both machines are also easy to clean and the C2 weigher can be cleaned using a washdown process.
“SPC Ardmona’s engineers also cited the Comet’s setting flexibility, self diagnosis capability and durability as reasons for choosing to purchase the PFM Comet vertical form fill seal bagger,” said Chris. “They also valued Emrich’s back up and support in deciding to purchase the packaging equipment through Emrich.”
The packaging machinery was installed in SPC Ardmona’s Mooroopna factory in late 2012.
“The equipment is reliable and does everything that was promised,” said Chris. “The Emrich technical team installed and commissioned the equipment and we have also provided operator training, parts supply and ongoing technical support. Overall, the project has been successful for all parties.”