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Case Studies | Packaging Automation

Case Studies

The Client:        Berry Gardens at AR Neaves & Sons  


The Neaves family, now in their third generation, have been growing fruit since 1941 and since the expansion and the investment of the packing facility in 2016, they have become an established player in the supply of UK Cherries.


The Problem:  Stalk in Seal

For cherry packers in particular “stalk in seal” is a common problem when transferring and sealing on most tray sealing machinery caused by the aggressive movements of the pack on transfer, stepping and sealing.


The Solution:  Revolution Heat Sealer

AR Neaves & Sons opted for PA’s high speed, fully electric Revolution heat sealer, which was the most advanced and innovative tray sealing machine. The Revolution incorporates patented motion control technology which means that the in-feed of the pack is always smooth and stable reducing fruit movement in the trays with a seamless transfer prior to seal.

In their own words: “the ‘stalk in seal’ entrapment has reduced by over 26% after the Revolution was installed, this gave us much better overall efficient and a huge reduction in reworked packs during the season”


The Result:  Faster and more efficient sealing.

PA reduced the “stalk in seal” issue by 26%, reduced unplanned downtime by up to 90% and tool warm up times are now up to 36% quicker.

My experience with PA has been fantastic, the service, support and response times have been brilliant, which ever team we talk to the team are helpful, pleasant and always endeavour to meet our requirements, I’m more confident that we made the right decision as we plan to begin the new season.

AR Neaves & Sons

The Client:         Blacketyside Farm        


Blacketyside Farm is run by the Todd Family, who have been farming in Fife, Scotland for over 20 years and supply the UK’s major supermarkets with strawberries and raspberries.


The Problem:  Need a faster, more efficient tray sealing machine

A 25% increase in orders for strawberries and raspberries supplied by Blacketyside Farm lead to the requirement for a faster, more efficient tray sealing machine to replace their existing model. As well as allowing different printed film designs on just one size of punnet sealing tool.


The Solution:  Revolution fully electric high-speed tray sealer

Blacketyside Farm installed a Packaging Automation Revolution fully electric high-speed tray sealer machine which is capable of sealing up to 200 packs per minute. PA were also able to programme different recipes for each film design which meant no mechanical adjustments needed for film changeovers.

In their own words: “We were looking for a new heat sealer and PA’s Revolution was the best option. The machine is fast, efficient, easy to use and provides more output than we had before”


The Result:  Faster and more efficient sealing.

PA not only increased the speed and efficiency of the tray sealing they also reduced unplanned down time by 90% thanks to the unique pod tooling system.

PA’s service team are very supportive and are available when we need them over the phone and in person

Blacketyside Farm

The Client:           World Leading Technology Company

One of the world's leading providers of life saving gas sensing solutions with a single-minded commitment to improving the quality of gas detection through innovative technology.


They have a range of more than 300 products detecting 28 different gases and a growing number of facilities in Europe, the USA and Asia Pacific.



The Problem:  Supporting the NHS in times of crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented demand on the NHS  and subsequently the supply chain providing essential equipment to them.

This long-time existing customer supplies the NHS with filters for ventilators  - a vital piece of kit for treating patients in intensive care with Coronavirus and other life-threatening illnesses.   They turned to  PAL with the need to not only manage the increased demand for filters but with an immediate sense of urgency for a quick turnaround.


The Solution:  2 x PA210 Tray Sealers

Acutely aware of the need to move quickly, PAL delivered two packing machines, PA2010 tray sealers and tools,  to enable the client to efficiently deliver the MOX lines and support the NHS.


Many thanks for your support and assistance in getting these machines turned around so quick. They have already been put into action on our packing line.

The Client

The Client:         RSF        


RSF was set up in November 2015 producing real Highland ready meals using finest, fully traceable local ingredients. Meals are cooked from scratch, chilled, packed and blast frozen for maximum freshness, flavour, and nutritional value.


The Problem:  Samples required for new customer

RSF contacted Packaging Automation looking for a quick turnaround on a tooling solution to enable them to make up some customer samples.


The Solution:  New Tool for tray sealer

The PA Team worked quickly to design and manufacture a new tool for an existing tray sealer to the customers exact requirements.


The Result:  Faster and more efficient sealing.

Within just 1 week the team at PA had designed, manufactured, delivered, and installed the equipment for The Highland Cookhouse in Inverness.

When I contacted PA about the urgent need for a new tool for my tray sealer, I knew I was setting them a big challenge. So, I was astonished when they said they could get it to me in just one week.

Not only did they manufacture it very quickly, it was also hand delivered from their factory in Knutsford by an engineer who had driven 400 miles to our site just outside Inverness. This was despite the country being enveloped in the Coronavirus pandemic and the obstacles that brought. With service levels like that, I would highly recommend PA as a supplier.


The Client:              Freshtime      


Freshtime is a Lincolnshire producer of value added, ready to eat vegetable and salad products


The Problem:  Improve the process of weighing their products into the tray

Freshtime approached Packaging Automation looking for a solution to a very manual element of the packing process with high labour costs and the potential for high value give away.   They were aiming to speed up the preparation of products and improve pack weight accuracy therefore reducing give away.


The Solution:  MiWeigh weigh scale system

PA’s R&D team worked closely with Freshtime, to develop the hardware and software to optimise the setup of weigh scales, improve the weighing of products into trays and punnets with a data collection system and simple to understand visual go-no-go graphics.


The Result:  Faster and more accurate weighing

The MiWeigh system has now provided a cost saving product that has had a direct impact on Freshtime’s financial performance, improving accuracy and efficiencies of weighing.


The new weigh scales have transformed our business, on average give away on some of our high cost proteins are as low as 1% which is a saving of up to 4.5% compared to before MiWeigh was installed and we are seeing some speeds have almost doubled from 12 weights per minute to 21 per minute.

We now have visibility of training needs which is provided by the system and have a more accurate and truer picture of the packing cost per unit from the batch report generated from each run. The scale interface is very simple to set up and helps reduce the need for line operative training.

Matthew Codd Continuous Improvement Manager 

Z-Web Team 2020

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