What has changed in the production at Kellermann?
Kellermann: When we did the investment,
we made sure that the machines would be
compatible with each other. Therefore, we
use two identical Sealpac A6 traysealers that
offer flexibility in our production. This is highly
important, since we manufacture numerous
custom-specific products with different mixtures
in small quantities, including various private
labels. The time factor plays a decisive role for
us. It can happen that there are only two to
three hours between ordering and delivery. This
is quite challenging for our production plan-ning,
making the option to switch to a second,
identical line very helpful.
Benedix: With our previous sealing equipment
of another supplier, we had a lot of down-time.
Product safety was never in danger, but
we often did not have a constant production
flow. We approached Remo Weder at Seal-pac
Schweiz, who assisted us personally and
comprehensively from the start, regardless of
whether it concerned the product that needed
to be packaged, the output of the equipment
or their installation in the production room.
This allowed us to design our processes more
efficiently. For example, we used to have many
tool changes in the past, which disturbed the
production. Now we are working with two
tools. With one of them we can run our small
and large cups without changing. That way we
save at least 50 percent in set-up time.
Michael Karrer: From a quality assurance
perspective, I can add that cleaning is made
extremely easy, as the Sealpac traysealers only
have a few blind spots. Our salads have a shelf
life of five to seven days. Vegetables are less
problematic, because they absorb oxygen.
Incidentally, in the past they would add a small
amount of cabbage inside the salad trays, to
enable natural degassing. Depending on the
contents of the salad, we must achieve different
gas values inside the packaging. Their hermetic
seal allows us to maintain those values. All in
all, we have very little waste.
Weder: From a packaging technology point
of view, I can only underline that the vacuum/
gas process for these products is complicated,
as they are quite compact and have many air
pockets. To achieve the right gas mixture for a
fresh salad pack requires considerable know-how.
Take, for example, a transparent slice of
cucumber. Whether it was slightly frozen or
simply handled with too much vacuum, that is
hard to tell. In both cases, the cells have burst.
Kellermann: Our salads are ultra-fresh pro-ducts
that are packaged without preservatives.
This is a big challenge in terms of shelf life,
optics, taste and safety. When the salads are
cut, an irreversible process is triggered that
leads to optical changes, which will only slow
down by taking out oxygen. Initially, the Sealpac
traysealers were not on our mind, because we
thought they would be out of our league. In
retrospect, however, purchasing them has been
worthwhile. In terms of reliability, efficient use
of packaging materials and the quality of our
final product, we have made huge progress.
What sealing equipment do you use to manufacture your
Gordon Benedix: We have four Sealpac
systems. There are two fully automated A6
traysealers, used only to produce the shakers in
various sizes, our main product in terms of volu-
mes. There are also two semi-automatic tray-sealers,
which we use to package semi-finished
products for the catering and food industry.
Remo Weder: The compact, fully automated,
servo-driven lines start with a Sealpac AS-LS
1200 denester and Walking Beam in-feed.
This allows the trays, despite their challenging
shape, to be safely transported on a repeatedly
moving linear beam instead of a conveyor belt.
As such, a uniform high speed and precise stop-ping
at the various filling positions is achieved.
The various salad components are filled manu-
ally. In order to achieve the required opening
quality of Kellermann’s products, the sealing
system is of fundamental importance.
As the Sealpac upper tooling always uses
individual sealing heads per tray, an even seal
quality all around the tray edge is guaranteed.
Tool changes are extremely easy with our
patented tooling trolley concept, as they can
be carried out with minimum physical effort by
“We used to have many
tool changes that inter-rupted
Now we have two tools
in use. With one of them
we can produce our small
and large cups without changing it.“
“We have to achieve
different gas values
inside the packaging of
our salads depending on
the contents. A hermetic
sealing of the cups
ensures that the values are correct.“