GEA has launched two innovations in vertical packaging to help meat and poultry manufacturers increase uptime. The SmartPacker CX400 packaging machine, available in both sanitary and standard configurations, is equipped with induction sealing capabilities that reduce changeover times to less than two minutes.

It also produces the most popular bag types with reduced air and zero perforation, allowing for easy secondary packaging, lower shipping costs and providing a product with enhanced tamper evidence at full production line speeds.

The upgrades have been developed based on direct customer feedback from producers of fresh and frozen meat and poultry products. The first upgrade is a new induction temperature controlled sealing system used to close polyethylene bags and a wide range of laminate films common in the meat and poultry sector.

Martijn van de Mortel, product manager vertical packaging, commented: “The SmartPacker, fitted with a conventional PTC sealing mechanism, currently operates at 98 percent uptime, with the remaining 2 percent attributed to both maintenance and changeovers.

The second innovation to launch at the show is a shape-absorbing air reduction system that allows bags to be produced without any form of perforation. The new air-expeller absorbs the shape of the product via inflatable silicon bellows directly before the bag is sealed. All residual air is expelled, leaving the correct amount of air to divide the products within while keeping the integrity of the packaging film.