Foodpro, the three-day international exhibition on food processing, packaging and technology, recently came to a close at Chennai’s Trade Center. At the 12th edition of the show, we at Packaging South Asia caught up with Mukesh Agarwal, assistant general manager – marketing, engineering business, Uflex, to witness the live demo of the company’s well-known and continously upgraded automatic Pick, Fill & Seal (PFS) machine launched 30 years ago.
Agarwal talked about Uflex’s heightened focus on the southern region as “South is an early adopter of technology and people here are always keen to invest in the latest machinery.” He explained that Uflex is laying a lot of emphasis on the business in South India and already has some big players that it supplies its machinery to.
Giving an insight into the features of the automatic Pick, Fill & Seal (PFS) machine the company demonstrated at its stand, Agarwal said, “It is a fully automatic, 10 station machine that is apt for packing liquids, powder, granules and paste in preformed pouches like center seal pouch, three-side seal pouch, stand-up pouch and zipper pouches made up of heat-sealable laminated film. Since it features a close loop smart control system, no filling is done in case the pick-up fails and similarly, the pouch will not be sealed if the filling has not happened. It is truly a state-of-the-art mechanical robotic system so to speak. Hygiene is specifically kept in mind by providing the shutters/doors around the operating part of the machine. Also there is no manual touching of the product while packing, as the product moves directly from filling system to hopper to chute to pouch. Needless to mention, it is always desirable to run the machines in a clean factory environment.”
The close loop system basically means almost zero wastage of both the packaging material and the product. Running at speeds of 45-50 pouches per minute (depending on the kind of pouch to be used), the machine has an automatic in-feed conveyor system for preformed pouches and an out-feed dispensing ramp for filled and sealed out-going pouches. Job changeover takes just about 10 -15 minutes and can be done while the machine is running, thus enhancing productivity.
L-R: Mukesh Agarwal, assistant general manager – marketing; C Naveen Kumar, officer – sales and servicing; and S Gopal, manager – marketing, at Uflex Engineering Business with the Automatic Pick Fill Seal (PFS) machine at Foodpro event in Chennai.
As per Agarwal, “Consumers these days demand products that feature a premium look and feel. They don’t mind shelling out extra for attractive packaging. Our Pick, Fill & Seal machine is the answer to their demands. Moreover, with the option for a zipper lock system, consumers can reuse the pouches once opened and retain the freshness of the product as well.”
One of the biggest advantages of the machine is that it can be run 24×7 and any preventive maintenance can be done even while it is in operation. Launched around 30 years ago and upgraded over the years, the Pick, Fill & Seal machine is the most reliable, robust, advanced high-speed machine from the house of Uflex.
As far as competition is concerned, Agarwal said there are some players who are vying for the same space in the market as commanded by their Pick Fill Seal machine but they are far behind in terms of the technological prowess that Uflex brings to the table.