85 years of packaging solutions - since 1937
85 years of packaging solutions - since 1937
Meat, fish and protein

What Meat Processors Need to Know About Packaging Machines In 2022

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The meat processing machine industry is worth over £8 billion annually in the UK, so it's no wonder that technical innovation is at its forefront. It's a sector that is centred around machinery, with an array of advanced systems across the entire supply chain. Here, we focus on packaging machines and some important considerations for meat packers in 2022.

The 4 P's Of Meat Processing Machinery

The meat processing industry is a complex one and is divided into a vast array of products, activities and business sizes. It’s a market sector in which the daily operations rely heavily on packaging machines.

A meat processing machine can be split into the 4 P’s:

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For this blog, we will be focusing on the latter stages of the meat processing operation – preservation and packaging. The two are fairly interchangeable as, by its very nature, a packaging machine is designed to preserve and protect. 

Key Considerations For Meat Processing Packaging Machine

The three factors that meat processors must consider when selecting packaging machines and material:

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When working with food produce, strict hygiene standards are paramount. Microbiological safety must be considered and stringent tests should be run as a legal requirement.

Packaging must therefore adhere to all hygiene tests as well as preserve the meat for longer shelf-life.

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You’re only as good as your output, meaning for any production line operation such as a meat processing machine, speed is vastly important.

Additionally, meat packers and processors in particular are continually looking to increase their throughput through quicker line speeds.

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To build exponential success, a stable packaging system needs to be maintained and therefore reliable equipment is needed.

Furthermore, as technology and innovation advance, avoidance of machinery breakdown remains a key factor for meat processors.

Automation and Efficiencies

Amongst these operational considerations is the decision of automation. A few years ago, there were fears that the robots were taking over at the expense of workers. It’s now become clear that automation is actually providing more jobs than it is stealing, with staff needed to support and prepare the packaging machines.

Moreover, there are still of course jobs that cannot be replaced by mechanisation – preparing livestock for example. However, the choice is now there for those designing and maintaining a packaging system – to automate or not to automate? That is the question. 

Automated systems are chosen for their ability to increase productivity, provide a more efficient use of resources and produce a better quality of product on a more consistent basis. The main disadvantages of automation is the initial capital expenditure required to invest and a higher level of maintenance needed than with a manual operation.

If used effectively, however, autonomous technology can yield substantial opportunities for growth and it is being widely considered deployed in the meat processing market.

Strapping and Wrapping Packaging Machines

Once the meat has been processed, it is packed chilled or frozen into either cardboard or polystyrene boxes with the help of packaging machines.

The technology of these boxes are improving, with greater emphasis on food safety and ensuring the quality of the meat. However, there is still very little that is being improved when it comes to the overall protection of the boxes, particularly when they are in transit.

Furthermore, safeguarding the products during transportation is just as important as the protection in the meat processing plant, and the boxes need to reach their destination in the same condition that they left.

This is where strapping and wrapping machines come in. 

Plastic strap can be applied using heat-welding technology to the fresh meat boxes which adds strength to the package, as well as protects the box from any leakage. Stretch film can also be applied which wraps the product in plastic to keep it safe from damage.

Both strap and stretch wrap can also be applied to pallets or multiple boxes at once. Take a look at our strapping and wrapping machines.

The Packaging Machines Built For Meat Processors

The packaging machines below are a range of the highest quality strapping and wrapping machines on the market, built specifically for the meat processing industry. The brands include StraPack (Japan), PKG (Italy), Area (Italy) and OMS (Italy) who are some of the most prominent packaging machine providers in the world right now.

Our range of packaging machines come with a service contract which gives you access to our team of 16 mobile engineers – the largest team of engineers in the UK strapping market.

If you’re interested in speaking to us about one of our products, get in touch here. Additionally, if you haven’t read our previous article regarding commodity prices soaring, you can here

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