Exotic mushroom grower Smithy Mushrooms says the switch to top sealed trays using a Proseal GT1 tray sealer has delivered improved product presentation and extended shelf life for its range of specialist mushrooms, including Oyster and Shiitake, supplied to leading retailers.
The GT1 has also increased throughput, achieving around 60 packs per minute on a standard 150g punnet and 30 packs per minute for a special three-compartment tray.
Originally a white mushroom farm, in 1989 Smithy Mushrooms identified a gap in the market for the supply of exotic mushrooms. Today the company produces a wide range of varieties for retailers including Tesco and Marks and Spencer.
With the decision to move from flow wrapped to top sealed trays, the company sought a reliable and efficient tray sealer to deliver the quality packs required.
“We have been very impressed with the Proseal GT1,” comments John Dorian of Smithy Mushrooms. “The seal quality is excellent and this has added several days to the shelf life of our mushrooms, as well as creating a better look for the packs on shelf.
“The GT1 is also extremely easy to use, including fast set up and changeovers, while its reliability is outstanding – in two years we have had only a couple of minor issues. And what has been most impressive has been the speed of service on both these occasions with an engineer on site the same day. That level of response is vital in a fresh produce operation, where downtime can be extremely costly.” …./
Central to the GT1’s operation is its advanced Touch Screen Control. This provides full graphical operator interface that allows complete machine and tooling set up to be fully ‘recipe’ controlled, meaning all settings are easily stored for fast retrieval. The Touch Screen can also be viewed and controlled remotely from any PC and provides detailed production data and monitoring and full diagnostics.
High speeds are achieved through the use of a servo-driven infeed conveyor and a high accuracy tray positioning system. An intelligent film feed system provides enhanced control of the sealing system for improved seal quality, with easy film threading and dynamic control of the movement of the film throughout the film feed cycle in order to maintain constant tension.
Proseal’s pioneering Auto-Tool’ connection system enables tool changes to be carried out in around three minutes, while the GT1 has also been designed to be easily accessible for assembly, maintenance and wash down.