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VC999 touches on skin trend

The best things come in small packages, and VC999 was certainly hoping that to be the case with the launch of its new in-line thermoformer packing machine, the RS420jr, at IFFA.

"It's a very compact machine," said Peter Craig, manager of VC999 UK. "It's just 4m long and we managed to reduce the length by putting the film up on top."

The machine does thermoformed, gas-flushed packs and skin packs, he added. "We're seeing a strong trend towards skin packing of fresh meat, particularly at the top end of the market."

The company also had a fully automated mince line on display on its stand, processing up to 60 packs a minute. Craig said the line was to demonstrate that VC999 can be a one-stop-shop for processors.

Weber offers better slicers

New slicers and the latest automation were on display on the Weber stand at IFFA.

The company took the opportunity to show off its new range of slicers, including the 404, which replaced the 402, and the 604, which replaced the 602, said Jim Sydenham of Interfood Technologies, Weber's UK agents. "The 604 allows rear loading of raw material and has improved cycle times. It also does a variety of different styles of cuts, which the older machine couldn't do. It allows access to more presentation options, but at a lower price."

Also on the stand was Weber's robotic end-of-line and automated cutting offerings. Sydenham said automation was gathering pace: "More and more people are looking at it. It limits human contact with the product and reduces labour costs."

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