A packaging machinery manufacturer is experiencing strong demand for equipment that provides fresh-cut processors overwrap packaging.
ATW Manufacturing Co. Inc. has upgraded the overwrap machines it sells to fresh-cut operations that process watermelon and cantaloupe quarters and slices as well as pineapples, said Tom Drew, president.
Demand is increasing for the equipment and, following customer requests, the Eugene, Ore.-based ATW has upgraded the machinery to stainless steel, which makes for easy washing or wiping, he said.
Advancements in shrink wrap food packaging via heated shrink tunnels make for less expensive, faster and more efficient operations, he said.
The tunnels are used primarily to overwrap sliced fruit for carryout retail single-serve containers.
Shrink wraps are applied for tamper-evident protection bands or for bands or sleeves that combine separate containers into single stock-keeping units, Drew said.
Customer recommendations are helping ATW’s business increase as operators are replacing older, larger and more complex equipment, he said.
The plants prefer less complexity, Drew said.
“The biggest benefit we hear about is they’re set up with temperature compensation so that there is no real expertise needed to run the machinery,” he said. “Companies have a lot of turnover and they need something that’s bomb-proof and not so dependent on one operator so that anyone in the shop can run the equipment and achieve the same results in terms of consistency.”
ATW primarily services customers in the Fresno, Calif., region, the Pacific Northwest and Florida, Drew said.
The shrink tunnels are sold in 15-inch width by 8-, 12- or 20-inch height units.
The company makes packaging machinery for a variety of food and nonfood industries.