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Diary Farmers of Britain LtdOne of the UK's leading dairies has purchased automatic stretch wrapping equipment from Midlands-based Orion Packaging Systems (UK) Ltd for its main operation in the East Midlands.

Dairy Farmers of Britain Ltd, the UK's leading farmer-owned dairy co-operative, supplies milk from its dairy in Lincoln to distribution depots and convenience stores across Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

After the milk has been bottled, the bottles are packed into crates or cardboard boxes and then palletised before wrapping.

Production and dispatch are clearly a time-critical operation given the perishable nature of the product, but the company made the decision to switch to semi-automated wrapping for a number of key reasons as well as speed, as Kevin Jackson, Site Manager, explained.

"We are enjoying substantial cost savings on materials, while pack presentation is now of a consistently high quality, meaning pallets arrive safely and intact".

“We had one semi-automated wrapper already but, by itself, it could not cope with our increasing throughput so we were having to hand wrap a large proportion of the pallets. Also, at any time that machine was not operational for any reason, all the pallets had to be wrapped by hand.

“Not only was this highly time-consuming, it did not make optimal use of the wrapping film as there was no pre-tensioning of the wrap, meaning wrapping consistency was not as it should have been. This created problems further down the line as some packs were becoming loose and even collapsing during transit, leading to damage to the product and potential health and safety implications.

“Clearly this was a situation which needed to be addressed to save money on consumable and ensure optimal pack presentation four our depots and the stores we supply.

“We were keen to buy British and had been recommended to Orion by another company. They had a good reputation and were quick to understand our needs.”

The machine supplied by Orion is an LP500 semi-automatic turntable wrapper with power pre-stretch film delivery to ensure the wrapping film is stretched before application for optimum economy and load retention. It is operational for 12 hours each day, wrapping up to 500 pallets, with Orion also under contract to maintain the machine.

Kevin Jackson continued: “Already we are enjoying substantial cost savings on materials, while pack presentation is now of a consistently high quality, meaning pallets arrive safely and intact. Our previous machine now acts as a back-up to the Orion product, while hand wrapping is very much a thing of the past for us. Orion has provided the ideal solution to our requirements.”

Established in 1987, Orion is today one of only a handful of UK-owned manufacturers of end of line stretch wrapping equipment for palletised and unpalletised goods. Orion offers a full range of automatic and semi-automatic systems, available either as stand-alone units or fully integrated into the production line. It has also diversified into materials handling, giving customers access to the complete offering for product movement and packaging prior to dispatch.

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