SFM sell a wide variety of tray packaging machine to suit all customers requirements. Whether you need just a seal only machine or a full in-line skin packing system we have a machine and model to suit you. For more information about the different types of tray packing machines available please read the descriptions as the bottom of the page.
Seal only tray packing machines have the quickest cycle time due to the machine only having to heat seal the film on to the top lip of the tray. However the normal atmospheric air from the room you are packing in is left sealed inside the tray with your product. So in theory the shelf life would be the same as putting into a container and putting a lid on it.
Vacuum & Gas MAP:
Vacuum Gas MAP tray packing machines work differently to the seal only as they first of all remove all the atmospheric air out of the tray by way of vacuum, an inert gas mixture (different mixtures for different product types) is then injected into the tray and then the film is heat sealed on to the top lip of the tray. The inert gas mixture that is left sealed inside the tray helps to prolong your shelf life of the product by up to twice that achievable from seal only tray packers. The inert gas mixture is usually specific to the product you are packing but there are general gas mixtures that can be used on multiple products. For red meat or pork products where you need to keep the red or pink colour in the meat then you need to use an Oxygen gas mixture and for safety reasons a special Oxygen protection vacuum pump is require for packing this type of meat.
Skin packing machines work differently again to seal only or Vacuum & Gas MAP tray packers. The film is heat sealed to the tray from the top lip to very close to the product edge where it sits on the tray. The film is then drawn down and around the product that is not touching the tray like a second skin. Skin packers can also be used to produce Vacuum & GAS MAP trays, by purchasing additional moulds that hold the trays during the packing process.
Skin packing can be done in various different ways: Non-protrusion, Protrusion and Paperboard.
Non-Protrusion: This is where the top of the product is below the top lip of the tray, for optimal performance the height difference should be between 20-30mm.
Protrusion: This is where the top of the product is above the top lip of the tray, the height difference can be up to 30mm (standard) or 50mm (with additional options), but for optimal performance this should be around 20mm.
Protrusion Flat Board: This is where the product is placed on a flat paper board, the height difference can again be up to 30mm (standard) or 50mm (with additional options). This is becoming more popular as this packaging method allows for the use of flat packaging surfaces, including cardboard, thus reducing the need for plastic.