Compac, part of the Tomra Food family, has extended its box filling platform offering with the new-generation Gentle Box Filler+ (GBF+) model developed for delicate produce. Combining faster throughput with gentle handing, the solution enhances operator’s operations with improved productivity, efficiency and flexibility.
The new GBF+ platform gently deposits the fruit into the bottom of the pack, and uses vibration to settle it delicately, preventing damage during the filling process. This makes it ideal for bulk packaging of produce such as kiwifruit and stone fruit, which bruise easily, and for repacked and ripe produce, that are softer and more susceptible to damage in handling. It can also be deployed for pre-grading setback packing of produce, which is handled twice – once for pre-grading into single-grade containers, then a second time for packaging into final container.
Paul Ramson, director, solutions architecture product management at Compac, explained: “Today, we have box fillers topping one million boxes filled. The new-generation GBF+ builds on this experience. It is just as delicate in its handling of the fruit, and it works faster. For example, in a typical New Zealand kiwifruit application, it roughly doubles the throughput that can be achieved – with no compromise on the quality of the product. We have tested it extensively in-house and validated it in a 10-filler installation at a New Zealand packhouse.”
The high throughput allows packers to achieve their volume of packout with fewer outlets, so the sizer does not need as much length, resulting in a smaller footprint. This gives the packhouse greater flexibility to diversify the product line to meet changing consumer demand.
Another highlight is the fewer fillers will be required, resulting in operating and financial benefits for the packer – on one hand, the initial investment in equipment will be smaller; and on the other, fewer people will manage, operate and maintain them.
The GBF+ also integrates with the operator’s upstream and downstream materials handling equipment, as well as Compac’s systems to ensure full pack and batch traceability.