Case Study: GA Pet Food Partner’s 3rd KernPack sleeve wrapper

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“We knew the decision to purchase our third system from KernPack was the right one.”

Andy Kettle, Joint Managing Director
GA Pet Food Partners

The Challenge | Response to Higher Output
An international leading independent manufacturer of private label dry extruded pet food, GA Pet Food Partners is based in Leyland near Preston. A ‘one stop shop’ working closely with its customers in partnership from initial concept design and product development, all the way through to storage and logistics. An in-house team of expert animal nutritionists help to develop approximately 5-6 new products per week, which equates to almost 280 per annum! Expertise, product innovation and newness, plus the perfect packaging for product freshness and presentation, is why GA Pet Food Partners continues to propel its business forward as the market industry leader.

Proud of its humble beginnings as a family run farm in the 1960’s with just 5 employees, the family discovered in 1992, how to turn their wheat into a simple extruded dog food, which initiated the new journey of a progressive and extremely successful business. In 2015, with a current turnover of £84 million and 350 customers, its client base is made up of approximately 60% in the UK and 40% in Europe, whilst also exporting to Russia and the Far East.

The Challenge | Response to Higher Output
Over the last 3-4 years, the demand for GA Pet Food Partner’s dry pet food products has continued to grow at a rate of 20-30% per annum, “with 3 packing lines already in place, a 4th line had to be created to cater for the additional volumes, hence the requirement for another sleeve wrapper” explains Andy Kettle, Joint Managing Director of GA Pet Food Partners.

To cater for the additional 4 tonnes of product being processed per 12 hour shift, it was essential for a new sleeve wrapper to seamlessly slot into place within the newly created production line “system compatibility with the products being produced combined with consistency in terms of production operation had to be achieved,” stated Andy.

Also, in a location that’s unforgiving on equipment that isn’t built to last, Andy explains why robustness is key “in the production environment, equipment is going to be knocked around and so you need something that’s durable and will stand up to some wear and tear!”

The Solution – Robust Sleeve Wrapper
As part of the new packaging line, GA Pet Food Partners sought an additional sleeve wrapper to securely enclose bags of dry pet food product in preparation for transport, destined for leading independent brands in the UK and Europe.

“We considered competitors’ kit however, in the end, the decision was a straightforward one”, remarks Andy, “we’ve road tested KernPack systems over the last 10 years and they’ve continued to remain reliable and haven’t let us down since they were installed. Furthermore, in comparison to the competition, they’re uncomplicated and easy to use.” Undeniably, the price is a factor for consideration too, “I was pleased that KernPack offered us an extremely competitive price too!” enthuses Andy.

KernPack’s SFE 800 semi-automatic sleeve wrapping system was ultimately the perfect choice for GA Pet Food Partners to install into their demanding production environment. Alongside two well proven KernPack systems, Andy had the confidence and peace of mind that the 3rd system would deliver straight away.

Providing consistent and secure wrapping for GA Pet Food Partner’s private label products, the SFE 800 SA caters for a wide range of different sized packages and shapes. The system achieves total enclosure by overlapping and shrinking the film securely around the products. Being tightly secured together and protected during transit means that the products are consistently delivered to their customers in pristine condition.

The Benefits – Investing in a KernPack System
Evidenced with almost 10 years of reliable and stress free KernPack system operation, Andy knew what to expect, “reliability is essential and the new system hasn’t failed since it was installed, which is a major benefit for us.”

Together with reliability and consistency; another factor is also at the heart of this multi-functional system, “it’s so easy to use” states Andy, “as per the other two systems, the staff took to it really quickly and without any issues”, adding “I like a machine that even I can operate (if needed) without having to learn a weighty instruction manual! Sometimes new equipment can take a long time to settle in, however not in this case, the entire process has been unquestionably stress free for us.”

Overall “it’s enabled us to significantly grow our production output. With the help of the additional KernPack sleeve wrapping system, we’re producing 25% more than we were 12 months ago” confirms Andy.

Of course, it’s not all about delivering the perfect system. KernPack is also a family run business, and GA Pet Food Partners enjoy the similarities of working in partnership with a like-minded organisation, ‘it’s easier to communicate with an organisation who operate in a similar way to the way we do and with KernPack, I’ve felt that” comments Andy.

Conclusion – Reliable and Stress Free
This compact in design, user friendly and low maintenance system provides high speed and precision packaging within the most demanding of environments, and continues to prove itself as one of the most reliable sleeve wrapping systems on the market today. “Easy to maintain and problem free from a maintenance point of view, we knew the decision to purchase a 3rd system from KernPack, was the right one” concludes Andy.