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2 minute read - 19th December 2022

PFF Group invests £1m in sustainable production

Food packaging manufacturer PFF Group has invested a further £1m in a bespoke thermoforming system, bringing the total invested in new process technology at its Sedgefield site to £5m.

The state-of-the-art system enables PFF to significantly and immediately increase production capacity of thermoformed products while reducing its carbon footprint. The machine offers an agile supply solution to an increasing demand for packaging from the soft fruit and stone fruit sector. It presents an opportunity for reactive local sourcing rather than cash intensive stock holding of imported products with longer disrupted supply chains.

The higher heating capacity and the machine’s servo drive, which has an energy recovery process, leads to considerable energy savings. PFF is one of the UK’s largest independent food packaging manufacturers providing innovative packaging solutions to supermarkets, multi-national food manufacturers, food service and fresh produce companies across the UK.

PFF Group has invested a further £1m in a bespoke thermoforming system, bringing the total invested in new process technology at its Sedgefield site to £5m / Picture: PFF Group

The business produces its own sheet plastic from high quality food-grade post-consumer recycled (PCR) polymers and converts more than 8,000 tonnes of post-consumer waste PET bottles and trays back into rPET food packaging annually.

John Conway, general manager at PFF Sedgefield, said: “Our strategy to continually invest in advanced technology demonstrates our commitment to the circular economy. At a time of higher haulage charges, spiralling energy costs and the continuing knock-on effect of Brexit on imported goods, we have seen increased demand for punnets for soft fruit being grown and packed here in the UK. The new KMD 78.2 system is three times faster than our previous process enabling us to manufacture our products more sustainably using less energy.”

PFF has invested heavily in technology and software to drive efficiencies and reduce energy consumption. This latest investment follows a £2m investment in thermoforming equipment earlier this year, £200,000 in transformer technology to reduce carbon emissions and a five-figure sum invested in extrusion measuring systems to enable the production of sheets of uniform thickness. A new £50,000 hybrid adiabatic cooling system has also been installed to supply chilled water to production processes, cutting carbon emissions and supporting a scale up of production.

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