Technical Help in Engineering and Marketing (THEM), a leading provider of flexible packaging solutions, and the exclusive North American representative for Sanko packaging machinery, recently showcased the Sanko FR-3 Pouch Filler at Pack Expo 2013.
"Our booth was mobbed from start to finish," commented an excited T.H.E.M. CEO and President, Neil Kozarsky. A wide range of food, beverage and personal care brand executives were literally lined up for a first-hand demonstration of the FR-3, the world’s fastest pouch filling machine. The unit on display by T.H.E.M. did not disappoint. "We were demonstrating the FR-3 at fill speeds of over 300 cycles per minute," added Kozarsky.
With an estimated 1,500 installed units currently operational in Japan, the FR-3 is an established and central part of Sanko’s packaging machinery portfolio. "It’s fast, proven, efficient and highly versatile," commented Tom Martin, Vice President of New Business Development at T.H.E.M. "It’s no surprise that North American CPGs want access to this technology right now."
T.H.E.M. reports a number of projects already moving forward using the FR-3 at the company’s FDA-certified contract packaging facility in Marlton, NJ. They also confirmed that several Pack Expo attendees expressed immediate interest in purchasing both narrow web and multi-lane FR-3 units.
The FR-3 is capable of packaging a wide range of liquid products including condiments, soup concentrates and salad dressings, in addition to lotions and cosmetic products. The adaptable system can accommodate liquid filling for a broad range of consistencies, including gels and pastes. A proprietary ultrasonic sealing system allows sealing of products containing particulates. And the speed and efficiency of the FR-3 represent advantages not available from many of the traditional form-fill-seal machines in operation in the U.S. today.
Martin added, "Most pouch filling systems in North America are of the intermittent type, and their speed is limited. By contrast, the FR-3 is a continuous motion machine with rotary sealing dies. An additional benefit is its ability to eliminate air and headspace from the packet."
T.H.E.M.’s unique continuity-of-supply-chain approach offers complete flexibility and end-to-end support for customers interested in an FR-3 packaging program. Martin commented, "We have the ability to perform pilot runs on the FR-3, and then sell our customer the machine, or support scale-up production at our facility."
Kozarsky concluded, "We are extremely pleased with all the attention the FR-3 received at Pack Expo. The potential for this system to gain share in North America appears very apparent, sooner rather than later, and for a broad range of consumer product applications."