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IMA, always new: as is its long-standing custom, IMA has news. News of its tea and coffee packaging machinery. News too of its employees. Jonathan Bell sits down with Gaetano Castiglione.



[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

A leading packaging machinery source for the international tea industry, IMA (Interactive Multimedia Association, Annapolis, MD) An earlier trade association founded in 1988 originally as the Interactive Video Industry Association. It provided an open process for adopting existing technologies and was involved in subjects such as networked services, scripting  has for many years regularly launched new machinery and equipment. With factories and headquarters in the greater Bologna Greater Bologna is a group of municipalities in the urbanized area around the city of Bologna in Italy, compose of the cities of Anzola dell'Emilia, Calderara di Reno, Casalecchio di Reno, Castel Maggiore, Castenaso, Granarolo dell'Emilia, Pianoro, San Lazzaro di Savena, Sasso  area, IMA has earned its position as sales leader in teabag making machinery worldwide--and more recently as a player in coffee soft-pod making machinery. This has been achieved by emphasizing electronics and software in packaging machines and lines, alongside the company's continuing focus on a traditional excellence in engineering and tooling--a specialty of the Bologna Bologna (bōlô`nyä), city (1991 pop. 404,378), capital of Emilia-Romagna and of Bologna prov., N central Italy, at the foot of the Apennines and on the Aemilian Way.  region.

IMA also now keeps pace in various global packaging sectors as the company has grown exponentially ex·po·nen·tial  
adj.
1. Of or relating to an exponent.

2. Mathematics
a. Containing, involving, or expressed as an exponent.

b.
 in recent years. As a result some might ask about the status of IMAms commitment to tea, and to coffee, which combined makes for a smaller share of corporate turnover then in the past.

Tea Bag Makers--Faster and Slower

Such concern ought to be allayed by the introductions of IMA's C24 and C27 Tea Bag Makers and Lines. The C24 is IMA's production star, being a high-speed maker of a double chamber bag of non-heat sealable paper. The bag formed is staple-free as the C24 employs a string knotting technology to bag and to tag. Various hard tag An electronic identification or security device that is adhered to merchandise and shipping cartons. Hard tags contain metal strips or electronic circuits encased in a plastic housing. See RFID tag, RFID and EAS. See also hard token.  shapes can be used. Speed is at up to 350 bags/minute. The bag can be finished naked or, more typically, enclosed en·close   also in·close
tr.v. en·closed, en·clos·ing, en·clos·es
1. To surround on all sides; close in.

2. To fence in so as to prevent common use: enclosed the pasture.
 in a crimped crimped

said of grain that has been passed through corrugated rollers after previous exposure to moist heat so that the grain is fractured but there is a minimum of dust.
 outer envelope. The maker can also produce bags in a heat sealed, airtight air·tight  
adj.
1. Impermeable by air.

2. Having no weak points; sound: an airtight excuse.


airtight
Adjective

1.
 and waterproof outer envelope.

The C24 has been engineered to include such hi-tech features as a video-camera control of the knotting functions plus programmable PC control of the entire working cycle. The maker is hailed by IMA for its advanced, automatic, single-bag quality control function, whereby ejection ejection /ejec·tion/ (e-jek´shun)
1. the act of casting out or the state of being cast out, as of excretions, secretions, or other bodily fluids.

2. something cast out.

3.
 of an inferior bag and replacement with a proper bag is integrated for an assured counting process of a virtually identical product.

Like the C24, the C27 incorporates many new IMA bag-forming technologies to produce a double chamber, staple-free bag in non-heat sealable paper. It uses, for example, the same knottings functions and offers the choice in tags and for a production of naked, paper enveloped en·vel·op  
tr.v. en·vel·oped, en·vel·op·ing, en·vel·ops
1. To enclose or encase completely with or as if with a covering: "Accompanying the darkness, a stillness envelops the city" 
 or airtight sealed bags.

Yet overall, the C27 is a simpler maker, although it still incorporates the main electronic and programmable features of its cousin--such as the automatic bad bag ejection and advanced counting functions.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It is designed for easy use and maintenance; it allows greater focus for the use of herbal herbal, early botanical book containing descriptions and illustrations of herbs and plants with their properties, chiefly those qualities that made them useful as medicines or condiments. Most of the herbals were written between c.1470 and c.  and non-free flowing products, as well as of teas. The C27 incorporates a special feeder feeder

abbreviation for self-feeders. Used in feeding groups of animals at intervals of several days. Feed has to be dry and comminuted so that it will run down the spouts from the hopper into the troughs.
 for non-tea contents. It also can be readily adjusted for hand-retrieval of bags from five to 50 units. As a simpler, friendlier-to-user, dedicated machine, the C27 is also a medium-speed maker, running at 250 bags per minute, for lower production demands.

Both the C27 and the C24 can be complimented by the same IMA integrated, highly versatile, Cartoner Attachment.

The New CA3 Pod Maker

Quite new, on the coffee side of IMA, is its CA3 pod maker. While building on the speed and technology of the CA series--the CA1 for example produces 800 soft pods per minute, gas flushed flush 1  
v. flushed, flush·ing, flush·es

v.intr.
1. To turn red, as from fever, embarrassment, or strong emotion; blush.

2.
 in heat sealed envelopes--the CA3 is a departure for IMA.

The CA3 is designed for lower pod speed requirements, producing 250 units per minute, while maximizing flexibility and minimizing machine size. Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
, the CA3 makes both espresso and regular paper coffee pods Coffee pods are pre-packaged coffee beans in their own filter. Senseo is a patented coffee maker which uses these. A court ruled that their patent does not cover the pods, and that other companies may manufacture and sell pods that are compatible with the Senseo system. .

The CA3 also has an integrated cartooning unit to put the pods into a carton box and can be easily connected to a unit producing heat sealed top packs. The CA3 machine will be displayed for the first time at the SIC Exhibition taking place in Milan, Italy on October 19-23, 2007.

IMA People

Gaetano Gastiglione--A short discussion with the new president of the IMA Tea, Coffee & Beverage Division.

Bell: What is your professional experience in teabag machinery and with IMA?

Castiglione: At university I studied economics and political science, and also took an additional technical degree. I joined IMA in 1985, working in the design area of the Research & Development Department. In 1989 I moved to IMA's Marketing Department.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

You could say that through time I've 'experienced' IMA in almost all its departments as I later joined sales, becoming sales director of the Tea Division in 1998. I was named general manager of the Tea Division in 2001. Most recently I am managing the IMA Tea, Coffee & Beverage Division and Pharmaceutical packaging division.

Bell: Can you quantify Quantify - A performance analysis tool from Pure Software.  IMA sales growth in teabag making machine sales over the past two decades?

Castiglione: By number of makers sold, growth has been more than four fold since I joined IMA in the mid 1980s. But number of units sold is misleading as through time the market value of the technology involved has far outpaced unit count.

For example, IMA has built a market share worldwide of more than 50% of teabag making units sold. But in considering value of the units, then one is talking of a two-thirds share of the market.

Bell: What are the salient development features of the IMA teabag maker in recent times?

Castiglione: Higher speeds, more dedicated software, more flexibilities in making and cartooning, ever greater emphasis on quality control functions--all these factor. A particular development focus has been in electronics. An IMA maker is now about 50% in electronics.

Bell: What are current trends in demands on teabag making machinery?

Castiglione: Developments in making must be both a reply to packers and to consumers. Dosing for example has become a key focus in our developments. As markets have flourished for flavored, fruit, herbal 'teas,' dosing requirements have changed from those for regular tea. In its technological reply to this demand, I think IMA has found a unique functional strength.

Consumer expectations have also been changing, not only for a variety of teas and related infusion beverages, but also for greater purity. The demand is for more heat-sealing to preserve flavor.

This is also why IMA makers now knot knot

In cording, the interlacement of parts of one or more ropes, cords, or other pliable materials, commonly used to bind objects together. Knots have existed from the time humans first used vines and cordlike fibers to bind stone heads to wood in primitive axes, and were
 the string as staples staples

U-shaped stainless steel or vitallium units with sharp points used for surgical fixation.


epiphyseal staples
used to staple epiphysis to metaphysis; have metal bracing at the corners.
 become unfashionable on the bag. For this same reason, bag paper qualities are also changing toward more transparency--the drinker wants to see what is in the bag. There are also mounting environmental concerns involved, to which our Research & Development Department is committed to engaging.

Bell: What financial support does IMA provide for R&D in its tea and beverage packaging sector?

Castiglione: IMA is, and has been in recent years, putting some 7% of turnover back into this division's R&D. I think this is what makes the difference for us.

We have built a place for IMA as a global resource for teabag research and development. As a company, the return to beverage packaging development is in fact higher than that in its pharmaceutical division.

IMA has known remarkable expansion in packaging, but it is important I think to stress that the tea area, coffee shares now in this too, remains a standard of company pride.

Bell: What national teabag markets are of special importance to IMA, and where are the developing markets?

Castiglione: Every national market is of interest to IMA. However, the U.K. remains a key market, after all it is where the fashion for teabags had such amazing a·maze  
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es

v.tr.
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.

2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.

v.intr.
 growth and actually can be said to have created the teabag maker manufacturing sector. To this day, tea retains its stronghold in the U.K., per capita [Latin, By the heads or polls.] A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will. It means to share and share alike according to the number of individuals.  consumption there is 50 times what it is in Italy, for example. The U.K. is consuming 150,000 tons of tea per year so it naturally holds importance to IMA.

Germany, Poland and now South Korea are big markets for teabags too. Many markets are growing around the world, but certainly Russia is a standout as it moves from loose tea to teabags. I would say the biggest recent gains in the market are in Russia.

Everyone knows, of course, that China and India are currently the sleeping giants Sleeping Giant may refer to:

In geology:
  • Sleeping Giant (Connecticut), trap rock ridge system located in the Mount Carmel neighborhood of Hamden, Connecticut
 of potential growth in teabags. But should the fashion for teabags not catch on in these huge markets there remains a strong future for teabags and teabag makers.

Bell: Turning to IMA coffee pod makers, how is IMA positioned on the pod maker market?

Castiglione: Pods and pod makers have become a strong growth sector and thus highly attractive. IMA started late in the sector, however, and has had to play catch-up. Our goal in pod makers is to become the leader--just as we are in teabag makers.

Bell: What strategy are you following to achieve this goal?

Castiglione: The division has made a commitment to focusing on developing and manufacturing top quality pod makers, the very best. Cost is not an issue to us in achieving this. We are giving our pod makers the same unique qualities in dosing and paper handling that have made the global reputation for IMA teabag makers. Doing this we want also to give coffee itself the finest possible handling so as to preserve it best taste attributes.

Bell: What is new in your pod maker line?

Castiglione: IMA now has three pod making models. The newest is the CA3 just now being marketed. It will be an important entry in the sector and we are excited by its potential.

In general we are moving forward to cover the demand of pod manufacturers and of the pod consumer market place. In this, IMA is offering a total packaging solution, from bean to pod to pack to over wrapping to palletization pal·let·ize  
tr.v. pal·let·ized, pal·let·izing, pal·let·izes
To store or move (freight, for example) by means of pallets.



pal
.

Bell: Where are IMA pod maker sales?

Castiglione: They are sold in many nations, but IMA is currently seeing promising sales of its pod makers in the north of Europe, U.S., Italy, Spain and around the Mediterranean basin The Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around and surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which .
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Title Annotation:Company Profile; Gaetano Gastiglione; Food processing machinery industry
Comment:IMA, always new: as is its long-standing custom, IMA has news.
Author:Bell, Jonathan
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 1, 2007
Words:1616
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