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Success for Planet Flowline in just four years.

Success for Planet Flowline in Just Four Years

Planet Flowline Ltd has made impressive progress in the four years it has been established as a manufacturer and distributor of specialist machinery for the food processing and packaging industry. Originally formed to expand the operation of its sister company, Planet Fabrications Ltd, which has been established for over 25 years, the company now has a comprehensive range of machinery to offer the canning, freezing, chilled foods, bottling, pickling, preserves and snack food industries and is able to supply both individual machines and complete turnkey installations, using a combination of machinery manufactured at its Northampton Plant and that supplied by several specialist manufacturers on the Continent and in the USA.

Planet manufacturers a variety of equipment including all types of product and container handling system, inspection machinery and a wide range of special purpose machinery to meet specific customer requirements. In recent years a complete extruded snack food line has been developed; this includes a high pressure short crew extruder and a successful range of triple pass dryers for a wide variety of applications.

Many complete lines for the snack food industry have been installed in the UK and more recently the company has been particularly successful in Eastern Europe.

In order to expand the range of machinery in its portfolio, and to offer a wider based series of machines, Planet Flowline set up distributorships four years ago with several specialist overseas manufacturers of equipment, which have enabled it, in many cases, to offer complete turn-key projects.

Breitner of Germany produce a range of advanced capping machines which are very successful in handling sauce products into plastics bottles at high speed, using inductive flow measurement systems to accurately fill such products into a wide variety of containers. The machinery features full computer control and monitoring systems, CIP and rapid changeover from one size of container to another.

To complement the Breitner equipment, Planet also distribute for Niko of Germany, who produce a wide range of stainless steel equipment from container depalletization through cleaning, filling, pasteurizing, cooling and associated machinery, primarily for the pickles, sauce, preserves and bottling industries.

For root vegetable processing equipment, Limas of Sweden produce a range of machinery including washing, destoning, inspecting, preparation and peeling machinery. A particular success for Limas has been the installation of several high capacity roller peelers for the potato preparation industry, with one of the largest units yet built currently being installed by a UK processor.

One area of particular success for Planet has been their distributorship for Stock of Germany, probably the world's leading manufacturer of batch-in-container sterilizers. In the past four years, more than 35 of their computer controlled sterilizers have been installed by Planet in the UK, primarily sterilizing product in cans, glass jars and especially the ready-meal type of product in low profile barrier film plastics containers. The sophisticated computer control system offered on the Stock sterilizers, together with their ability to rotate the product end-over-end during processing, has made them an ideal machine for this rapidly expanding high value market.

On the packaging side, Planet distribute machinery for Involvo of Switzerland, who manufacture a range of wraparound casing equipment, primarily designed for applications, such as carry-out packs and display packs that are widely used by the beverage industry.

After case packing the product can be palletized on equipment supplied by Zecchetti of Italy, who manufacture a wide range of palletization and depalletization systems for shrinkwrapped packs and cartons. They have also been very successful in supplying equipment for the handling of empty PET bottles, with many complete air conveyor systems and empty bottle palletization systems installed in the UK-a recent example being the installation of a complete blow moulding hall at Cantrell & Cochrane in Cork.

With the latest designs of palletizer for these very unstable containers, speeds of excess of 24,000 bottles an hour can be handled, fully automatically.

Because of the 'green' issues being raised in Europe, much interest is now being shown in the Zecchetti equipment, which can automatically palletize full cans and bottles, using a minimum amount of packaging, allowing pallets and half pallets or cages of products to be supplied to major supermarket chains.

Having palletized the products, Planet are able to offer equipment from FIS of Italy for stretchwrapping and shrinkwrapping finished goods, prior to their distribution. FIS equipment, which is fully automatic, features special prestretch systems, giving great economy in film usage.

A new range currently being launched by Planet is equipment from FEMC of the United States, which is designed for the sealing of plastics trays, either for the frozen or chilled food markets or for the more specialised requirements of long life ambient trays, using barrier films. FEMC, a well established American company, offer a range of sealers and associated filling and handling equipment to accommodate a wide variety of trays at high speeds, using vacuum and modified atmosphere packaging.

Planet Flowline are now in a position to offer complete line installations, back up and service and are constantly searching for equipment that will help the end-user improve both plant operation and profitability.

Planet Flowline Ltd are to be found at Station Road, Thurlby, Bourne, Lincolnshire, tel: 0778 393888.

PHOTO : Part of a Planet 100 extruded snack food line

PHOTO : A Limas continuous vegetable peeler

PHOTO : Zecchetti and FIS equipment installed at Cantrell and Cochrane
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:60 Years of Food Trade Review: 1931-1991
Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Company Profile
Date:Oct 1, 1991
Previous Article:Pritchitt Foods' successful growth and development.
Next Article:Willett philosophy leads to success.

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