Market-leading vacuum fillers

Vacuum fillers are at the heart of Handtmann's business and the company was keen to demonstrate the versatility of its offering at IFFA, as well as its new approach to collaboration with other suppliers.

The company had a wide range of equipment on show and a number of production lines, all of which featured its market-leading vacuum fillers at the heart. Andrew Cleaver, Handtmann's UK sales support manager, said: "The business has grown up on vacuum filling machines; it's our core competence and what we lead the field in."

The company had a number of new developments on show, and was keen to highlight the fact it is now working alongside other manufacturers, such as Antti Lindfors and Poly-Clip, to offer a complete solution to its customers.

It has also upgraded the screens on all its equipment, giving them touchscreen operation, based on Windows CE. "It makes them easier to use and simpler for training purposes," said Cleaver.

Attracting attention was the HVF670, a whole muscle cooked-ham filler, which the company said offers continuous performance and a better-quality product. The vacuum filling machine means a better fill, with no holes in the final product, said Cleaver, who also highlighted the fact the machine was operating in conjunction with equipment from Poly-Clip for the first time. "We're trying to get into partnership with other companies to offer complete solutions."

Another collaboration was with Antti Lindfors, which had supplied denesting machinery to run a mince line on the stand, enabling the company to offer a production line with speeds of up to 100 packs of 500g mince a minute, Cleaver said.

Also on show at the event was Handtmann's new ConPro-System, aimed at the industrial sausage production market. Using two vacuum fillers together, the machine uses one hopper for the meat and another for a liquid casing from VegaCasing. The finished sausage is then passed through a solidifying solution which causes a reaction that hardens the casing, Cleaver said. "You don't have to change things over, just make sure the hoppers are filled. You can produce a lot of product very quickly."

To help cope with the increased production, the company has also developed a new collating system for the other end, which gathers the finished product into batches for easier packaging.

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