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      Investing in Advanced Process Technology

      Developed in partnership with German manufacturer, Illig Gmbh, the thermoforming system was transported to the UK of five hevicles and is the first of its kind in the world. Here is just one part of the 25 tonnes of advanced technology being uplifted by crane and gently set in place at the entrance to our production hall.

      PFF Group has installed cutting-edge machine process technology at our Sedgefield site, as part of the firm’s investment programme.

      It has been developed in partnership with the German manufacturer, Illig Gmbh, Europe’s leading designer, developer and manufacturer of high-performance thermoforming machines.

      The machine was transported to the UK on five vehicles and is the first of its kind in the world.  It will be used to produce IMPAC-T, PFF’s new food-grade packaging concept.

      PFF contacted Illig Gmbh two years ago, and challenged them, along with its own technical team, to design a precision-engineered system to produce the firm’s unique rPET hybrid pot with a card wrap in one single process. This in turn offered a large reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the product.

      PFF chose Illig Gmbh because of the company’s well-regarded reputation in the marketplace and the companies’ shared synergies of entrepreneurialism and innovation. This has been a joint project between PFF Group and Illig Gmbh, with the latter rising to the challenge from their base in Heilbronn, Germany.

      PFF’s development team was led by CEO, Andy Bairstow who worked closely with Illig Gmbh throughout the project. PFF and Illig Gmbh colleagues are pictured alongside the new machine, following the Factory Acceptance Test and sign-off in Germany.

      Andy said: “The IML-T is a technological breakthrough for the manufacture of food-grade packaging in the UK. As a business, we have always focused on innovation, sustainability and creativity, and this machine meets each of these attributes. It’s been fantastic to see both companies work closely together to deliver the project.

      PFF’s bold strategy to invest in advanced technology once again demonstrates our commitment to the complete recycling process. Using rPET gives industries like dairy an opportunity to switch from traditional polypropylene to circular economy packaging.

      IMPAC-T has the potential to revolutionise not just dairy, but all other food sectors where sealed-in freshness is essential and where reduced plastic and lower carbon footprint are sought after by customers.”

      Matthew Revels, sales and marketing manager at Illig said: “We took on this exciting development project in partnership with the team at PFF nearly two years ago and this week we have the pleasure of consigning this brand-new technology to the UK market.

      This partnership between Illig and PFF has proven highly successful through each stage of the design and development process. It has produced a strong working relationship between the two teams and established sound foundations for future development projects which are already in place to meet the demands of the ever-changing packaging market.”