Blood-sucking meat trays to go global

The technology behind Vampirella expanded polystyrene (EPS) meat trays is now available for licensing globally. The single-layer trays feature a closed-cell surface structure and an open cell core layer that absorbs the blood excreted from meat through needle punched holes in the surface layer, thereby presenting a cleaner appearance to the consumer.

Speaking at a customer event at the Tiprex show in Bangkok, Thailand, Reifenhaüser (Troisdorf, Germany) Managing Director Ulrich Reifenhaüser said his company would provide the equipment and materials formulation, and processing expertise on a turnkey basis to processors interested in developing the market for the non-CFC EPS trays. In Europe, Vampirella trays are manufactured by Reifenhaüser group company Silver Plastics in Troisdorf, Germany. Reifenhaüser plans to license one processor per country.

Reifenhaüser Managing Directors Klaus and Ulrich Reifenhaüser. “Expect a speedy integration of Kiefel.”

Vampirella trays are currently extruded off-line from EPS sheet that has been aged for one day, versus the five normally required for conventional EPS sheet. In the future, the plan is to develop in-line thermoforming capability. When stacked, the trays save between 10% and 70% in space compared with standard trays, making for easier shipping.

Reifenhaüser also commented on the integration of recently acquired Kiefel Extrusion, saying, “Turnover in the machine building business is lousy right now; very lousy. But we therefore have engineering capacity available so that instead of taking nine months to integrate Kiefel, we will take three.”

Reifenhaüser also presented details of its film-flattening device for blown-film applications where a high degree of flatness is required, such as label film. “Processors demand gage accuracy but if they achieve this, it doesn’t mean they also achieve film flatness,” says Kurt Freye, director of sales worldwide at Reifenhaüser Kiefel Extrusion. “If the film has bagginess, wrinkles will appear when it is laminated onto a rigid substrate like paper.” The film flattening device heats the film between rollers, stretches it by 1-2%, and then cools it in order to remove the bagginess. Stephen Moore

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