JBT’s Sint-Niklaas, Belgium facility is continuing to support infant formula manufacturers across Europe and Asia with the supply of SeamTec™ Seamers for powder applications; solutions that are helping set a new standard in hygiene in the industry. Supplying both conventional, high-speed SeamTec equipment and “Combi” options for ease of can diameter change, the system was recognized at the Dairy Technology Awards 2018 for its outstanding developments for the dairy industry.
In fact, since its initial launch in 2008, the SeamTec Seamer for Powder has set a new standard in hygienic design, can format change-over, food safety and cleanability, leading the market for medium-to-high speed clinchers and closers for the infant formula powder industry.
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The SeamTec seamer’s success in the industry was again confirmed with the order of seven new machines, which are currently being manufactured and prepared in the Sint-Niklaas facility, where the SeamTec for Powder system was originally developed.
According to Bart Mertens (Product Line Director for Filling & Closing Equipment), three of the machines will be dedicated to the high-speed production of infant formula cans in superior hygienic conditions. The other four machines will be destined for infant formula packers in Europe and Asia. “These so-called ‘2 x 3 SeamTec Combi’s’ allow for can diameter and can height change-over in a spectacular, unmatched 30 minutes, without the need to adjust seam setting,” Mertens explains.
The SeamTec seamer was created as a response to the inadequacies of traditional can seamers for high value infant formula powders. Unchanged for decades, these seamers were essentially adaptations of standard designs for liquid applications, with minor modifications. Today, many of these machines no longer meet the needs of the modern infant formula powder industry.
Driven by ever-increasing regulatory requirements, infant formula canners demand the highest level of hygienic design, with no exposed lubricants, easy and quick cleaning, prevention of foreign particles and absolute product safety.
JBT’s response was a radical new approach to seamer design, with the development of a seamer specifically for high value powders. JBT worked closely with leading infant formula producers to understand their specific requirements in terms of hygienic design, operation in an inert gas environment, cleanability, and operator and product safety – and all at a reasonable cost with no powder spillage and foreign particle prevention.
The unique SeamTec seamer features set a new standard in the industry and makes this the most advanced seamer for powder on the planet. Since the system’s introduction, industry leaders like Nestlé, Wyeth, MeadJohnson, Abbott, Danone, Sodiaal, Abbott and FrieslandCampina have all embraced JBT’s SeamTec seaming technology.
JBT now boasts a strong presence in the infant formula segment, particularly following the 2017 acquisition of PLF International, a specialist manufacturer of filling machines and complete turnkey line project management for the fast-growing global powder product market. Combined with JBT’s own seamers, PLF is well placed to meet increasing worldwide demand for powdered products, especially powdered infant formula and nutraceuticals.