Tailored process line for Spanish meat producer

Wednesday, 23 September, 2020 | Supplied by: GEA Group


Located in the north-east of Spain, Ramón Ventulà is a family business that produces a range of meat products, including traditional Catalonian and Spanish sausages, as well as bacon and serrano ham.

With four plants producing 5000 tons of food every year, the business makes 90 separate products in 750 packaging formats. To help process these products, it has installed a slicing and packaging line from GEA which brings together scanning, slicing and thermoforming technology from a single source. The line is designed to achieve improved yields, greater efficiency, less downtime, reduced use of packing materials and greater product flexibility and consistency.

Pilar Ventulà, Managing Director at Ramón Ventulà, said that making the traditional Catalonian and Spanish sausages starts with selecting the best quality raw materials then putting them together in a meticulous process. “This requires us to employ precise and reliable process technology,” she said.

GEA has a long experience of designing automatic slicing, loading and packaging systems and can provide a modular approach to designing production lines specifically to meet individual customer needs.

According to Norbert Brunnquell, Senior Product Manager Slicing & Loading for GEA, it is this modularity and compatibility of all the GEA equipment that allows the company to create holistic production systems for a wide range of customers.

“Each part of the line is perfectly matched and synchronised with each other to create a seamless process that is efficient, safe and environmentally sustainable in today’s market,” Brunnquell said.

The process line

Ramón Ventulà required a process line that provided the finest quality slicing, easy handling, low give-away and high output.

To achieve this level of productivity and control, GEA advised the use of its GEA DualSlicer II 1200 slicer with its new GEA PowerPak PLUS thermoformer, which are designed to work together with supporting control equipment.

Slicing and packaging line from GEA.

The complete the line, the GEA OptiScan is used to scan two logs at a time for density and shape prior to slicing. This helps ensure accurate weight control of each package and provides high yield with the minimum give-away.

The DualSlicer with interleaver can slice two calibrated product logs such as a round sausage or an uncured ham at the same time. The system synchronises all components to produce perfect slices with the minimum give-away, maximum yield and a high percentage of on-weight packs.

The interleaver is designed for high-speed operation, operator safety and easy handling. With two separate film drives the slicer can process each log independently even if the products are different. The interleaver film is positioned in between every single slice in the slicing process of the product and makes it convenient to separate the portions. Operators can fix the overall paper length for each portion, which allows the tare weight to be set into the calibrated checkweigher GEA Check 4000. This prevents unnecessary rejected packs. Paper jams can be cleared without stopping the machine.

The GEA ShingleLoader 600 automatic loading system provides a continuous flow of product to the thermoformer. It also allows the products to be overlapped within the package to create a more attractive shelf appeal and to reduce the size of the overall packs to minimise the use of plastic materials and make the best use of available retail space.

Thermoforming is performed by GEA’s new PowerPak PLUS thermoformer. The new machine includes features that combine to improve packaging quality, reduce film consumption, make handling simpler for operators and improve overall reliability.  These advancements have allowed GEA to reduce the forces on the top web by around 75% allowing the use of thinner films (and even mono films) without losing structural integrity or pulling the labels out of shape.

The line at Ramón Ventulà is completed with the GEA PowerGuide Speed that funnels multiple pack lanes into one for final packaging. The integration of the GEA equipment throughout the line enables it to produce slices of the highest quality, with consistent thickness and an output of 1600 kg/h.

Top image caption: GEA DualSlicer II 1200 in use with interleaver.

Online: www.geagroup.com.au
Phone: 03 9439 4122
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