The new ReadyPack machine is slower than the majority of Somic’s other packaging systems. But it’s designed to appeal to smaller companies with less production volume, food and beverage CPG brands in particular.
Somic said ReadyPack is a smaller version of its 424 T2 (D) machine, which collates, groups and packages products in open cases and trays. ReadyPack does the same for trays and open, wraparound, display, and folding cases, but more precisely.
Peter Fox, senior VP of sales for Somic America, said “The majority of our machines run much faster, typically three to four times quicker. But there is a market segment where high speed is not the main issue.”
Shelf-ready packages manufactured with ReadyPack have a reduced footprint, better automation and greater affordability, according to Somic. It is the third new machine Somic has featured in as many years at Pack Expo.
“ReadyPack is a solid, entry-level case packing system with unique benefits and plenty of flexibility. While our last two machines have proven to be popular with our customers, we learned there is room in the marketplace for a machine like ReadyPack,” Fox said.
Ready Pack’s capacity is 160 products per minute. In tray packer mode it can case up to 18 packaging units per minute and 12 as a wraparound machine.
“Most of the people I spoke with at [Pack Expo] were satisfied with its slower pace. They were more impressed with the advanced mechatronics of the machine, including the Rockwell Automation controls. They also gave it high marks for sheer simplicity and user-friendliness,” Fox said.
ReadyPack aims to be versatile for single component packaging, and is able to run standup pouches, flow packs, glass jars and many other formats. Fox believes this will make it a popular machine with Somic’s North American customers.
“ReadyPack is what I consider a perfect machine for retail, food and beverage and consumer goods manufacturers. There are endless possibilities and that’s what triggered many of the conversations I had,” he said.
Fox noted there were a number of cheese manufacturers to inquire about the machine at Pack Expo, as well as coffee and snack companies. Much of the machine's potential lies in cheese, as the precision is a key selling point for perishable dairy items like cheese.
Last year, Somic debuted the Flexx III at Pack Expo 2018. It utilizes both single and multi-component packaging to combine the ability to pack primary packages in a flat, nested position or a standing display orientation.
Its versatility and capacity for high production has driven the company’s expansion in North America. Somic has packed European products out of Germany since 1974 and now works with US brands like Hershey, General Mills and Wrigley.