PA celebrates 50th year

The anniversary was a chance for Anthony Penn, the Chairman and the founder’s son to reflect on the development of food packaging and the advancements in tray sealing technology during the past 50 years. "We are proud to be a UK manufacturer employing so many talented people and it is due to them and the company's constant innovation and development of new products that we are here today to celebrate such a significant milestone."
Arthur Penn, the company’s founder, started the business from a workshop at his home in 1963 following a request from a friend to invent a machine to seal a plastic film lid onto a plastic food tray. The machine was christened the PA101 and proudly exhibited at the Food Packaging Show at Alexandra Palace in October 1963. Recently discovered hand written documents describe in precise detail the machine’s operation. They are accompanied by the first outline sketches which show the ‘finger mechanism’ for transferring the trays into the sealing area of the machine. This technology is still used not just in PA’s machines but in virtually all automatic tray sealers worldwide.
Arthur went on to invent a myriad of special purpose machines for household names in the 1960s and 1970s including Birds Eye, Cadburys, OP Chocolates, T Walls, Warburtons and Richmond Sausages. The company was instrumental in many of the key food packaging developments including the supply of machines to Marks and Spencer to seal the first pre-packed sandwiches and Golden Wonder to pack Pot Noodles. The partnership with Marks and Spencer continued beyond sandwiches into the packaging of many other products, eventually leading to the development of ovenable ready meals with assistance from BXL Plastics (a tray thermoformer) and FFP (a film manufacturer).


Packaging Automation Ltd was established in 1963 and is a leading UK manufacturer of tray sealing and pot filling and sealing machinery.
PA can offer customers a tray sealer or pot filler for a wide range of applications in the food industry including fresh produce packing such as salad, tomato, strawberry and soft fruit packing, fish, seafood, meat and chicken packing (including vacuum packing and skin packing), ready meal sealing and packing, and pot or tub denesting, filling and sealing for puddings and sauces.
Full packing lines can be specified and installed to include tray denesting, conveyoring, tray filling, film sealing including modified atmosphere packing (MAP) facilities. Foil tray sealing as well as plastic tray sealing can be accommodated on all machines as standard.
PA also has experience in the medical and consumer goods sectors offering machinery for blister packing a wide range of products.