The new line integrates scanning, slicing and thermoforming technology to help improve yields and reduce downtime, as well as minimise the use of packing materials


The high-performance slicing and packaging line enables to meet each customer requirement. (Credit: GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft)

Spain-based meat products provider Ramón Ventulà has installed machinery manufacturer GEA’s slicing and packaging line to boost its production capabilities.

The new line integrates scanning, slicing and thermoforming technology, which is expected to help the Spanish firm to improve yields, reduce downtime and minimise the use of packing materials.

The contract has been valued at more than €1m ($1.17m).

Ramón Ventulà produces 5,000 tonnes of food per annum

Ramón Ventulà, which has four plants, produces 5,000 tonnes of food per annum.

It manufactures 90 products such as bacon, Catalan cured fuet and chorizo sausage in 750 packaging formats.

The company currently exports its range of products to around 70 countries. Last year, Ramón Ventulà purchased three GEA PowerPak thermoformer machines.

As these machines have been performing well, Ramón Ventulà opted for GEO to upgrade its older equipment.

GEA installed its DualSlicer II 1200 slicer along with the new PowerPak PLUS thermoformer and supporting control equipment to help Ramón Ventulà achieve enhanced productivity and control.

The complete line uses GEA OptiScan, which enables scanning of two logs at a time for density and shape before slicing.

This OptiScan feature helps to ensure that each package is precisely weighed and offers high yield with minimum give-away.

GEA DualSlicer with interleave helps in achieving optimal slicing quality and consumer-friendly handling. The DualSlicer has the capacity to simultaneously slice two calibrated product logs such as a round sausage or an uncured ham.

As all components are synchronized, the system is claimed to produce ‘perfect slices’. It provides maximum yield but with minimum give-away whilst having a high percentage of on-weight packs.

The interleaver facilitates high-speed operation, and as its film is positioned in between every single slice during the slicing process of products, it is possible to conveniently separate the portions.

The GEA ShingleLoader 600 automatic loading system delivers a continuous flow of product to the thermoformer. It enables to overlap the products within the package so that the use of plastic materials is minimized while the shelf appeal is enhanced.

GEA’s new PowerPak PLUS thermoformer enables to enhance packaging quality, reduce film consumption, make handling simpler for operators, and enhance overall dependability.

The line installed at Ramón Ventulà becomes complete with the GEA PowerGuide Speed, which funnels multiple pack lanes into one for final packaging.

The integration of the GEA equipment across the line allows Ramón Ventulà to produce slices with an output of 1.600 kg/h with consistent product thickness.

GEA senior product manager for thermoforming Volker Sassmannshausen said: “We’ve listened to the needs our customers and engineered our machines accordingly, simplifying product flows as much as possible. Our focus is to achieve a high level of process reliability, ease of handling and manageability.”

In June this year, GEA introduced a new rotary Aseptic Blow Fill technology (ABF 2.0) for shelf-stable, sensitive beverages and milk-based drinks.