Over the past decade, sustainable packaging has become less of a niche and more of an industry standard. Adopting sustainable packaging and processing practices and developing solutions that reduce waste, reduce material usage, reduce energy usage and provide recycled, recyclable and biodegradable options is high on the agenda for manufacturers. AUSPACK 2022 will showcase a broad range of solutions designed to help manufacturers meet sustainability goals. Find out about some of the latest sustainability news and products that our exhibitors will be launching at AUSPACK 2022:

Reduce waste and extend shelf life with sustainable packaging

Australia is on a roadmap to a better and more sustainable way of life and is currently ranking 35th on the global climate change. Striving to contribute less and make an impact, machinery manufacturers are continuously developing new and innovative solutions to minimise wastage and maximum recycling and composting opportunities. Perfect Automation support the market change and offer a range of solutions that fit within the new scheme of environmental change.

Cardboard Cartoning to replace plastic wastage – a smart cost-effective solution

Introducing our ICE Carton Sleever, this machine is one of our best sustainable alternatives to existing plastic packaging for produce. The carton sleeve is completely recyclable and offers product protection while still allowing the consumer visibility of the produce. Offering ultimate flexibility, this machine can handle a range of varying product sizes, accommodating production line changeovers and eliminating the need for multiple machines. Engineered for precision, product care is achieved with a carton picker that then places your product in single or multi-packed sustainable packaging.

Sustainable solutions for extended shelf life products

Leepack Pouch Machines are engineered with innovative technology that allows for the flexibility of pouch application and changeover of pouch configurations. Forging the way for sustainable packaging solutions, our Leepack machines can handle a variety of pouch types including home compostable pouches.

Offering a unique solution, home compostable premade pouches breakdown in compost bins instead of adding to our landfill. With developing resources home compostable pouches are even finding a solution for resealable zipper closures, offering the consumer product longevity with no added wastage to our environment.

Pouch Machines are designed for any type of production line and can operate as single, duplex, or quadruple stations to meet distribution demands and even allow for vacuum pouches. With Leepack’s innovative technologies these machines also offer advanced sealing solutions such as ultra-sonic sealing.

Watch a demonstration of the Leepack Pouch Machine using their Australian certified home compostable pouches at Perfect Automation’s stand G215.

Energy efficient upgrades drives savings

SMC Corporation Helps Fletchers International Exports Realises Real Savings

Fletcher International Exports has evolved into what can best be described as one of Australia’s greatest agribusiness success stories.

Founder Roger Fletcher established the business by purchasing mobs of sheep from sale yards and selling them on auction. While much of this private, family-owned business still revolves around lamb and sheep farming and processing, Fletcher has since developed a range of high-quality co-products, ventured into grain exports, and has purchased a company-owned train to assist with logistics.

Fletcher operates from two facilities in Dubbo (New South Wales) and Albany (Western Australia); combined, these plants process up to 90 000 sheep per week. Gabrielle Ryan, Project Manager at Fletchers, says that the industry is privy to various interwoven and uncontrollable factors. “We face ongoing challenges around climate conditions, livestock supply fluctuations, international markets and currencies, competition, geo-political factors and increasing operating costs”,

In addition, the notable increase in the average weight of a sheep carcass meant that Fletcher’s had to evolve to accommodate changing processing demands. Explains Gabrielle: “The more kilograms per animal, the more meat needs to be processed, packaged and refrigerated which in turn requires investment in additional capacity. Adding to this is the rise in ‘quick serve’ restaurants and changes to portion sizes”,

“To accommodate this, we have expanded and upgraded our facilities in terms of processing machinery, chilling, and refrigeration plants – all whilst keeping overheads front of mind.”

Realising Savings

Mick Toovey, Maintenance Manager at Fletchers worked closely with SMC throughout the two-year process. “Compressed air is costly,” he says. “SMC conducted a full audit on our air systems which gave us further insights into possible savings. In fact, our air compressor is now down from a 165kW compressor to a 110kW compressor following the improvements we have made.”

Mick says that the savings have been substantial. “We have saved around $65 000 per annum on our energy bill!”

Best of all, Fletchers has continued to increase their production without compromising on their bottom line.

Speaking to project highlights, Gabrielle says: “A highlight was the installation of metering across the site. This was a huge job, but it now allows us to understand our plant’s inner most workings in real-time. To give you an example, we installed over 30 water meters across site during the peak of the drought when our town’s water supply was sitting well below 1%. The metering enabled us to slash water use by 30% because we understood how and where it was being used. We now look at energy saving holistically and consider all aspects of the plant for potential savings.”

The new approach has put Fletchers in a strong position to cope with rising costs and increasing global competition. The company exports over 95% its produce to over 90 countries and sees more developments on this front in future.

Visit SMC at AUSPACK 2022 to find out more about their energy efficient offerings – stand E140

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