With the launch of the new A380, Etihad Airlines needed to investigate new packaging concepts for their inflight airline meals. PA guided them through the process of switching to heat sealing resulting in a high class premium looking inflight meal.
One difficulty faced by airlines is that by the time meals have left the kitchen and reached the passengers they no longer look as they should due do the movement of the aircraft. A meal sealed in a tray is given some protection against this as the packaging is sturdier than other formats. The robustness of trays also aids transportation and storage reducing wastage due to damaged packs.
As the team at Etihad had no previous experience of tray sealing, PA arranged a visit to their headquarters in the UK as well as a tour of a local ready meal packing facility to demonstrate a tray sealing machine in a working production environment.
Several trials took place in PA’s sealing and test facility to check the compatibility of the tray and lidding materials as well as suitability for aircraft ovens. Special castellated profiles were supplied to provide a venting system in the pack to allow the air to escape and not balloon when cooking. PA also worked with the lidding film supplier to specify a film that would facilitate easy opening once the meal was cooked enabling the consumer to quickly and easily open the meal without risk of spillage.
Etihad installed a number of high speed tray sealing machines giving a combined output of approximately 150 packs per minute.
Matthew Pegg Senior Manager from Etihad commented:
“We were completely new to tray sealing, PA made the process easy for us and provided excellence guidance and support with trays and film. I would highly recommend PA to anyone looking to start tray sealing”.
For further information please contact:
Packaging Automation Ltd