The compact ZCI integrated bagger and weigher was unveiled by the Italian manufacturer at the Pro2Pac exhibition this week in London, which is a biennial processing and packaging exhibition dedicated to the food & drink industry.
Sergio Peracchi, managing director, PFM Packaging Machinery, told ConfectioneryNews.com: “It is compact so it can be included in small buildings.
“With a conveyer, it brings the products up. It weighs the product, then it is dropped into a bag that the machine forms and seals.
“It is really for a small business or a big company where they want to start with a low investment to test the market.”
He gave the example of small individually-wrapped sweets that may need to be packed in bags at a certain weight as a suitable use for the machine.
However, it could also be used for other dry free-flowing products such aspasta and snacks such as biscuits.
Typically small companies have a range of products and need a quick change-over from one to the other, which is said to be easy to do with the ZCI vertical form, fill and seal machine (VFFS)
It combines the company’s existing Zenith bagger and its C1 multihead weigher, which is mounted on the bagger with no need for supporting gantry.
PFM sales and operations director, Chris Bolton said: “The ZCI has been developed to meet the need for an inexpensive system that nevertheless offers a high degree of flexibility and accuracy and is simple to use.
“The absence of a gantry reduces cost and machine footprint compared with a conventional system while the compact nature of the unit also allows elevator and other support equipment to be downsized for further saving in capital and running cost.
“In addition, drop height is kept short, which improves performance and provides more gentle handling for delicate goods.”
It is capable of mid-speed duties up to 80 bags a minute. Bagging and weighing controls are integrated in a single control system which is also designed to allow other equipment, such as coding or labelling machines, to be integrated.
Last year PFM introduced a compact horizontal form-fill-seal (HFFS) machine called the Pearl flowrapper, also aimed at smaller companies.
Flowrappers are commonly used in the food industry for end of line packaging, as they can pack a huge range of products using almost any heat sealable or cold-seal wrapping material.
The Pearl was aimed at the bakery market, as it produces a pillow-style pack for biscuits, cakes and snack bars.
However, Peracchi said that it was also suitable for packing a chocolate tablet, for example.
PFM is a global packaging firm with manufacturing facilities in Leeds, Italy, Germany, Russia and Canada.