Manufacturers and processors involved in both solid and pulp food processing can now gain from a new automatic can opening machine being introduced to the UK market by specialist packaging equipment suppliers, Glenvale Packaging.

The Kaltenbach (k-ma process) system, available exclusively in this country through Glenvale, brings the benefits of accuracy, speed of throughput and versatility to a wide range of processors using bulk food ingredients. Significantly, the development overcomes many of the accepted drawbacks associated with using products in larger volumes.

“Importantly, the k-ma process unit enables operators to take full advantage of ingredients supplied in canned format with its ability to handle cans from 2–10 kg in weight,” comments Garry Coleman, Partner at Glenvale Packaging. “This method of ingredient supply is regarded as the optimum approach by an increasing element of the food production and processing industry, particularly those involved in shorter run or lower volume operations.

It replaces, for example, conventional 1,000 litre tanks, which can present significant considerations relating both to handling and to the need for the full volume of ingredients to be used quickly once open.

“The k-ma CEM-600-NT which we are now supplying – the first unit of its type available in the UK – addresses these issues head-on and combines handling, opening and disposal of cans into a single self-contained operation,” adds Garry Coleman.

With a footprint of just 1.6 m x 1.00 m – including a 400 mm feed chute – the design can be readily installed within or adjacent to a production facility, and only requires connection to standard power, water and air supplies. The unit receives cans via a roller conveyor feed into a dedicated can opening station for lid removal. This is followed immediately by a tilting operation where a combined compressed air and water blast process ensures all contents are removed. The empty cans are then transferred to a can compression facility before being ejected for efficient disposal off-site, while the emptied ingredients are discharged through an outlet for onward handling and processing.

The new unit requires minimal operator involvement and offers the additional benefits of quick cleaning and cost efficient energy consumption. The design also helps to ensure maintenance costs are kept to a minimum while the majority of industry standard can sizes can be handled without a change to the unit set-up. The system has already been widely proven across Europe with products of both a liquid and highly viscous nature.

“Because the operation ensures that the can is fully open and tilted, and with the removal of all residue then by the combination of water and compressed air, can emptying can be achieved to a remarkable level of 99%,” continues Garry Coleman. “Moreover, following can compression, waste material disposal volumes can be reduced by up to 80% which clearly has a beneficial impact in terms of onward handling, as well as gains from an environmental point of view.”


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