Zero downtime, maximum output at Simons Halal
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Zero downtime, maximum output at Simons Halal

  • 20 March 2023
  • By: Esther van der Lelie

As a food producer today, you face many challenges. How can you still achieve maximum output? Simons Halal Food chose a Repak packaging machine that increases efficiency, has minimal downtime and is easy for everyone to work with.

For food companies, it's not just the shortage of staff that is a challenge at the moment; the many changes with flexible workers also require practical solutions. After all, it is a requirement to be able to deliver constant production despite the training of new staff and the rotations. Machines should not be a bottleneck in this respect. The production process benefits from zero downtime, maximum output and a minimum number of employees who can work quickly and easily with these machines. 

Efficiency and user-friendliness

The situation outlined above is recognisable for Simons Halal Food. In 2021, the company replaced three old machines with one Repak thermoforming packaging machine, which is able to handle 11,000 packages per hour, 15 hours a day. The design is "foolproof", the operation is simple and understandable for everyone, in their own language. A godsend for the different packaging Simons Halal Food is used to and for which the machine can be quickly converted. "We have aspirations for growth and, when the time comes, we will definitely acquire a second packaging machine like this," Mike Verheijden, operations director, says enthusiastically. 

Mike Verheijden (l) and Eelco van Schaik.

Halal is the future

Simons Halal Food is, as Mike points out, a "leading company in halal" with a production of half a million kilos of meat per week. The company is known for its halal luncheon meats, halal frankfurters, halal garlic sausages, halal sliced meats and a range of premium halal convenience products, which it exports to Germany, the UK, the Mediterranean and Dubai, among others. "We make beautiful products that appeal to a large group of consumers. As a Muslim, you now have little choice in halal ready-to-eat products and convenience foods. There is still growth potential there."

Being certain of continuity

For the ever-growing production of halal meat products, Simons Halal Food wants to maintain maximum assurance of continuity. Mike explains how they approach this: "We choose strategic partners who we are convinced can offer technical know-how and service. Competition in food is high, so we need to stay ahead continuously. We choose partners who can think and go along with this."

Packaging with Repak

Thermoformed packaging specialist Repak is the strategic partner in packaging. Eelco van Schaik, Area Sales Manager Repak, has been involved in Simons Halal Food's developments for two years. He sees that this food company confirms what Repak promises its customers: "Our machines are so easy to operate that even the flexible staff can handle them well. You don't need hours to operate the entire machine, just a few minutes. In addition, we do train a number of operators with more knowledge and skills, so that they can respond quickly to any changes. That makes for incredibly little downtime. The machine does what it is supposed to do: produce a lot of good packaging. As a result, the Total Cost of Ownership is low and the Overall Equipment Effectiveness is high."

Starting points for growth

Mike is happy with the cooperation with Repak: "As partners, we work together well and transparently. Half a word is enough for us and the technical staff to understand each other. From the start, including a test in the experience centre and while 'building' our continuity, a fine bond of trust has developed. We consider Repak a partner for life." Eelco adds: "We want to strengthen this bond by making our machines ever better and more durable. This applies to the machine, the parts, as well as the packaging." The current packaging at Simons Halal Food is of a recyclable plastic that ensures the desired shelf life. Mike expresses a desire to use thinner films in the future. "That will save on both plastic and costs," he says.

Eelco emphasises that Repak will continue to follow technical and sustainable developments closely, but that robustness and high user-friendliness of the machines will always remain the guiding principles. Because no matter what the machine of the future will look like, easy operation, zero downtime and maximum output are and will remain important conditions for continued production and growth.

Photos: ©Bert Jansen Fotografie

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2023