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Packaging Automation has helped one UK-based baker to diversify its

Packaging Automation has helped one UK-based baker to diversify its operations.Nottinghamshire-based Laurens Patisseries, which is one of the UK's biggest suppliers of fresh cream cakes and other cream-filled bakery products, wanted to branch out into a new line - trifles for supermarkets.

In order to achieve this, the bakery firm needed equipment that would allow it to expand. The firm turned to Packaging Automation, having employed the company on a number of previous occasions.

"Our company is 10 years old and started by producing cakes for a single supermarket chain,"​ said Laurens Patisseries engineering executive Ron Chillery.

"We now produce for five of them - not just cakes, though they are our main product - but things like apple pies and muffins.

"We were also producing doughnuts for supermarket coffee bars, and we needed to heat-seal them. We hired a Packaging Automation manually operated machine and ran it for four years.Then we moved away from that type of business and didn't heat-seal anything. But when the trifle contract came up I told colleagues we had had lots of satisfaction from the Packaging Automation equipment."

The result is a PA240 machine, complete with two-impression tooling and a twin-lane denest unit putting lids on round plastic bowls of trifle, initially for Safeway supermarkets but with hopes of other superstore chains also taking them. Everything was installed within six weeks of commissioning.

Packaging Automation generally uses standard aluminium, but Chillery felt that this might not be a good idea because of the cleaning chemicals Laurens Patisseries uses. He suggested using cast nylon instead.

"We always listen to what they have to say and if we possibly can we meet their specifications to the letter,"​ said Packaging Automation managing director Carol Royle. We have done it with Laurens and are delighted they are happy with the end product. And it is always nice when somebody comes back with a repeat order - even 10 years after the first one!"

Packaging Automation​ was established in 1963 and is a leading manufacturer of heat sealing machinery for the food industry in the UK. The business employs 120 people and produces a wide range of equipment.

These range from simple manual units and semi-automatics through to in-line fully automated systems. The company also manufactures volumetric fillers, conveyors and various other ancillary equipment.

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