FEI Foods installs high-speed pouch line
With the UK alone experiencing a 6% rise in the rice market over the past year, FEI Foods have chosen equipment from Holmach Ltd’s exclusive partners Jorgensen Engineering of Denmark and Lagarde Autoclaves of France for their new state of the art high quality ready-to-eat rice products.
Working to tight deadlines and budget, the fully automated Jorgensen robotic handling solution takes pouches running from high speed pouch fillers and arranges them into pocketed retort trays that are then piled into stacks. These are then automatically loaded into the autoclaves for Lagarde’s patented steam/air process.
Simon Lewis, European managing director of FEI Foods said: “FEI has worked with Holmach for nearly 20 years and we are very comfortable with Lagarde and Jorgensen as high technology partners for what has become the best ready to heat, pouched rice, on the market. We have the highest capacity manufacturing facilities of this type worldwide. The equipment will allow us to produce many different types of product with any type of packaging. Holmach has offered us good UK based process, technical and engineering support.”
As the world’s leading manufacturer of steam/air systems, Lagarde’s process minimises water consumption whilst the steaming process gives fast heating with perfect cooking to preserve colour, taste and texture. Once the rice has been steamed, it is cooled using showered water before being drained and the pouches being unloaded by robots and sent down the line for packing.
As part of the system, Jorgensen, one of the world’s leading handling solutions providers, also supplied the pouch drying system, the conveyoring and finally the robotic palletiser, taking production from two different lines onto two different pallet stations.
Using tracking systems throughout the process and specialist FDA compatible equipment on the autoclaves, means that FEI can supply their customers wherever they may be around the world.
Both Lagarde and Jorgenson work to Industry 4.0 and offer compliance with all standards for the production of ambient foods.