Award win is ‘perfect conclusion’ to tray sealer innovation

Paul Hitchin (Ishida Europe general sales manager, UK) and Adrian Bishop (Ishida Europe protein area manager, UK)

ISHIDA is celebrating award success for its recently introduced QX-500 tray sealer.

The machine won the Innovative Packaging Machinery category at this year’s PPMA Awards.

The QX-500 was created as a result of feedback from the company’s customers and partners, which identified the need for a compact tray sealer that could fit easily into new and existing packing lines, offer ‘excellent’ seal quality, high throughput, and help meet sustainability targets.

Ishida added that the QX-500 delivers a 66% increase in cycle speed, a 44% reduction in weight, a 46% reduction in size and a 50% reduction in energy consumption.

To meet the different requirements of products and pack formats, the machine offers a variety of sealing options – seal only, gas flushing, MAP, stretch film and skinpack – across different tray designs and materials, including plastic, board and recyclable formats. The QX-500 is also available with integrated film coding, gas mixing and integrated vacuum system.

The design focused on driving down the size and weight of all major sub-systems of the tray sealer. Each component was individually assessed to calculate its carbon footprint and, where appropriate, alternative materials selected to reduce environmental impact. Ishida explained that the use of servo motor technology minimises energy consumption and cost of operation, and the QX-500 monitors power consumption during production to ensure it is running at the most efficient setting.

The machine features Ishida’s new ‘IntelliSeal’ technology, designed to ensure seal integrity for extended shelf-life while providing ease of opening. The system constantly measures the sealing force of the tray sealer to optimise sealing pressure, temperature and time for each cycle.

In the factory, a tool change system allows tools to be changed within ten minutes, while a new tray delivery and transfer system is said to offer ‘smooth’ tray and product handling.

“The winning of the PPMA Award is an outstanding achievement and a fitting tribute to everyone who worked on the development of this game-changing tray sealer,” said Ishida Europe’s marketing director Steve Jones. “Understanding and responding to customer needs and concerns has always been central to Ishida’s new product development programmes.

“The positive response we have received to the launch of the QX-500 demonstrates the value of this approach and the Innovative Packaging Machinery Award is the perfect conclusion to this hugely successful project.”