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DISPATCHES FROM PACK EXPO 2012, CHICAGO

Optima fills gap for ‘important’ small-scale coffee pod producers

By Ben Bouckley , 28-Oct-2012

Optima fills gap for ‘important’ small-scale coffee pod producers

Optima is citing the increasing world popularity of coffee in portion packs, as it launches an easy-use pod filling machine aimed at small-scale producers.

Introducing its entry-level Optima CFL1 at Pack Expo in Chicago, Optima said that large production demands (up to 1,500 pods per minute) were served by its Linear Filler CFL (pictured), whereas its new machine was particularly suited for smaller quantities.

But citing smaller-scale producers as an important segment, the firm said its machine was suited for coffee or instant beverages in paper filters (soft pods) or plastic pods.

What makes it unique?

Able to produce up to 75 pods a minute, the CFL1 involves single-lane pod handling, and Optima said a rapid changeover was possible from soft paper to (harder) paper espresso pods.

“This is mainly due to quick-change format parts allowing for the production of a wide range of different pods in various designs,” the firm said.

Optima added: “What also sets the Optima CFL1 apart in the market is the very short time required for infeed, start of the production line and cleaning of the machine.

Given an increasingly important trend towards individualization – and the fact that a wide variety of products was a powerful marketing tool that boosted sales – Optima said that the ability to perform such fast changeovers was an advantage.

Fills plastic pods too

Optima claimed that the machine’s augur filler (weight regulation is governed by a static weighing cell within the machine) was highly effective, while it was also possible to compress espresso pods according to client specifications using a compacting press.

For buyers who wish to pack pods into sachets, the CFL1 can be connected to a single-pouch module at its outfeed, which seals pods into printed packaging film in a protective atmosphere.

Different capsule feeding systems were also available that allowed buyers to use plastic coffee capsules with the new machine, Optima said, which could be closed with either plastic lids, plastic- or aluminium membranes.

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