Food packaging equipment
When the processing stage is over and the end product is finished, it is of importance to make sure product quality is uphold through a suitable and protective packaging.
That is why the packaging stage is just as important as any other stage in the food processing industry.
The packaging process could be characterized as "the science, art and technology of enclosing or protecting products for distribution, storage, sale, and use". This process also includes designing, evaluating and producing the packaging material.
Primary and secondary packaging
Packages can come in countless types, materials and forms. Beverages may come in a glass or plastic bottle, which is identified as the primary packaging. When these bottles are packed together, either in a box or wrapped, this is considered as the secondary packaging.
Thus, primary packaging is then the material that encloses the product directly, so therefore in direct contact with the product entity. This can be a bottle or a carton for liquids, or a container or bag for convenience foods.
Next comes secondary packaging, which is outside the primary packaging. The main purpose of secondary packaging is to keep primary packages together when these are being transported from the producer to the stores. Consequently, these secondary packages are being removed and recycled when the product pack has arrived at the store and ready to be sold to the end consumer. Sometimes the products are kept in the secondary packaging so that they can be bought in bulk.
Packaging machinery varieties
There are numerous packaging machines, both for primary and secondary packaging. So, the final choice depends on what is desired by the manufacturer. Their decision might be influenced by i.e. their budget, available floor space, available machine technology and running costs.
General types of packaging machines include the cartooning, cleaning, closing, coding and marking, conveyors, filling, form fill seal, handling, inspection, labeling, packing, palletizing and depalletizing and the wrapping of product units.
The packaging machinery can be incorporated into existing production lines. However, in this case, interfaces between new and used machines need to be well-thought-out. Also, it is important to take downtimes into account when new or used machines are being installed.
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