A new food packaging innovation from Flavorseal has the potential to improve ergonomics for packing line employees, cut down on clutter and waste in facilities, and contribute to more hygienic operations.
The product is Perforated Packaging on a Roll, a packaging delivery option for users of Flavorseal’s vacuum shrink bags, such as meat and poultry slaughter facilities and further processors of ready-to-eat products. With this option, vacuum shrink bags are provided on a tear-off roll format, with perforations between each bag. Each roll of 1,000 densely wound perforated bags is designed to be hung directly over packing line areas, contributing to neater, more organized work areas, more hygienic operations, and improved ergonomics for packing line employees.
Ryan Till, Market Manager for Flavorseal, says the company developed the option as a way to improve efficiencies and reduce waste, particularly during the subprimal fabrication and packaging process.
“Flavorseal always has an eye on innovation, and we’ve identified a packaging method that could add a lot of value to our customers’ processes,” Till says.
The benefits of this product are especially significant for subprimal fabrication plants, which experience high variability in the sizes and shapes of freshly cut meat and poultry products coming down the packing line. The employees responsible for loading these cuts need to quickly determine the bag size needed for each item and access the proper bag for loading. In a pork fabrication plant, for example, products may range from tenderloins, to pork shoulders, to hams, to spare ribs. That means packing line employees require up to a dozen different sizes of vacuum shrink bags be accessible on the line at all times to accommodate the different sizes and shapes.
“Managing the many different size bags on the line can be a real challenge,” Till says. “Having Perforated Packaging on a Roll is a big benefit because the rolls can be mounted closely on a spindle right over the packing line and within easy reach of the operator.”
That’s in contrast to the typical arrangement using a wheeled rack stacked with multiple cardboard boxes of variously sized vacuum bags that require packing line employees to move from one end of the rack to the other to quickly access the properly sized bag. The rack of cardboard boxes are normally wheeled in and out of the packing room between shifts and washdowns, adding processing time and exposing the boxes to grease, fats and contaminates. The assorted boxes of shrink bags also take up a lot of space, which means some of the bags can be hard for operators to reach.
Further processors handling more evenly sized batches of meat also can experience process improvements with Perforated Packaging on a Roll. Some of these facilities may be using loose bags stacked on a table which can slide around or fall on the floor. Perforated Packaging on a Roll can help reduce waste, contribute to a neater work area and improve ergonomics.
In both operations, the rolls of perforated bags contribute a cleaner, more organized look to packing lines, and the rolls may be kept in the area during washdowns. Each roll of bags contains the same number as normally supplied in a cardboard box. However with no cardboard used for the roll or the packaging, facilities will appreciate having less cardboard clutter to be broken down and managed. The rolls also contribute to faster changeover times: It takes about 10 seconds to change out a roll, compared to a minute or longer to replace a cardboard box.
Another key benefit of Perforated Bags on a Roll is that it can cut the facility’s need for warehouse space by as much as 50%. Fifty rolls of perforated packaging can fit on one pallet, compared to half as many cardboard boxes. For facilities where space is at a premium, this can be an important consideration.
The rolls can also improve the packing line’s appearance, which can be important for facilities bringing in visitors and prospective customers to tour operations. Mounted rolls of vacuum shrink bags present an orderly, hygienic appearance compared to stacked cardboard boxes which can quickly look unsightly if damaged or soiled.
Perforated Packaging on a Roll is available in a wide range of bag sizes for Flavorseal’s core vacuum shrink bag products: high barrier, bone-guard, poultry, and cook-in bags all can be supplied on perforated rolls.
For both fabrication plants and further processing facilities, the combined benefits of Perforated Packaging on a Roll add up to smoother operations.
“Many facilities will see improved efficiency, better ergonomics, a more streamlined use of space and more organized, cleaner looking work areas with Perforated Packaging on a Roll,” Till says.
For more information about Perforated Packaging on a Roll, please contact Flavorseal.