In the 1940’s, tinned foods were extremely popular as a means of preserving products for extended periods of time. However, given the fact that heavy rationing was imposed on these products during World War II, frozen food packaged in paperboard cartons began to emerge as a credible alternative.
This continued into peace-time, as the business case for frozen foods remained strong. Fully automated cartoning machines were available on the market that were capable of packaging a wide variety of frozen goods – including the first generation of TV dinners, frozen fish fingers, pizzas, and of course, ice cream. As the trend towards cartoned frozen foods continued to gather momentum, many more products were brought to the frozen market that required packaging providers to innovate and adapt to clever new pack styles, shapes and formats. New machines were needed – and subsequently developed – to accommodate products that required some entirely unique packaging. Paperboard converters, carton designers and machinery engineers worked in partnership to develop the next generation of packaging for the sector – a collaborative effort that continues into the present day.
Today, the frozen food sector as a whole is valued at over GBP8 billion (according to Wabel’s Frozen Food Report) and a number of advanced systems are commonplace in manufacturing facilities. The advances made by pioneering packaging companies allows a vast number of products to be packaged and frozen using paperboard substrates, ensuring production targets are hit and retailer and consumer demands are met in a profitable manner. For items such as beef burgers, fish fingers, ice lollies and a wide variety of everyday products, top-load carton formers and closers are required. Carton formers available on the market today require the capability to combine lock-style or glue-style cartons on the same machine, with a dramatic increase in speed: up to 120 cartons per minute with a single carton forming head. Ergonomic waist-level hoppers allow for easy carton loading, while state-of-the-art touch screen HMIs are used for ease of operation.
*Bosch Packaging Technology contributed to this article. For more information, please visit click here
The full version of this article is available in the September-October print issue of Frozen Food Europe.