In Sync – SF Engineering Newsletter #2


Welcome to the second issue of In Sync! Thank you for all the great feedback on thepublication of our first newsletter…keep itcoming.We have a lot more exciting news to tell you, the two biggeststories being the success of our Production Line SolutionsEvent and our acquisition of Opal Engineering in the UK.Firstly, we are happy to announce our partnership with OpalEngineering which further strengthens the SF brand in the UK.Over the last 25 years, OPAL has been synonymous with thered meat industry with an extremely good reputation and track record throughout Europe.

This acquisition allows SF to retain our UK installation and manufacturing base, but adding in design and high tech manufacturing capabilities from our Irish base.Secondly, we ran a very successful first ever Production Line Solutions Event in Dublin, so thank you to all the customers who attended. With an excellent turn out we were able to carry out full product trials while also giving people the opportunity to have individual consultations with the SF experts on the day.

The Fresh Food Weigher was the star of the show with three systems sold from the show to three different industry sectors namely red meat, poultry and fresh produce. Based in the Europa Academy in Dublin (an excellent venue) owned by well known entrepreneur Bill Cullen. Bill even managed to drop in to see what was going on, however I don’t think I will be on the Irish apprentice any time soon though. So watch this space for the next event!

Seamus Farrell Managing Director

Dublin Production Line Solutions – Event a Great Success

We recently ran our first ever ‘Production Line Solutions Event’ in Dublin’s Europa Academy under the watchful eye of Mr Bill Cullen, Ireland’s very own Alan Sugar. The event was an all round success with a huge attendance of both existing and new customers over the 3 day event.

Customers had the opportunity to not only speak directly to the experts from SF, Ishida Europe, Stork, Ilapak, CEIA, Roser, Jeros, but try out first hand full product trials. In the current economic climate SF were in a position to focus strongly on payback on investment with the Fresh Food Weigher being the star of the show with three systems sold from the show to three different industry sectors namely red meat, poultry and fresh produce.

The Fresh Food Weigher has a small footprint, is easy to install and can create batch weighments at speeds of up to 60 pieces per minute. Two of the systems sold at the show have a payback of less than 3 months, so you can see why it attracted such attention. Ishida have successfully sold their 100th Fresh Food Weigher unit this spring and it is being sold throughout various food sectors and within various applications, revolutionising batch weighing across the fresh food industry in the same way as multihead weighing revolutionised dry batch weighing. The event was a real eye opener to both the production line systems and expertise available that could really add value to any business.

It was great to be able to put live product through the machine to build confidence in its ability. Bobby Kane, Heat and Control Well known entrepreneur Bill Cullen who owns the Europa Academy even managed to take some time out of his busy schedule to stop by and check out the event. Feedback from partner suppliers and customers was all very positive so we hope to build on this for the future.

SF Engineering acquires Opal FPS Ltd

SF Engineering establishes a firm base in the UK by acquiring Opal FPS Ltd., a key provider to the red meat industry.

SF Engineering has acquired UK based Opal FPS Ltd., a key system provider to the red meat industry. Headed by new general manager Johannes V. Gunnarsson, Opal FPS Ltd is now operating under the name SF Opal. The company will focus on providing complete solutions to all areas of the food processing industry.

SF Engineering specializes in the delivery of high quality customized process and packing production-lines. Over the years SF Engineering has gained a broad spectrum of expertise across all the main food industry sectors while Opal FPS Ltd has been a key supplier to the red meat industry in the UK and Ireland and is well known for its high quality butchering systems.

Growth in the UK Marketplace

The acquisition has strengthened SF’s product portfolio and marks the company’s strategic move out of Ireland.

“As the SF brand continues to grow across the Irish and European marketplaces we are really excited about the added dynamic of SF Opal,” says Seamus Farrell, managing director of SF Engineering.

“We now have a manufacturing base in both Ireland and the UK. This enables us to serve our present and future customers in both countries better.”

“Opal adds incredible value to our already dynamic solution range.”

Seamus Farrell, MD, SF Engineering

Expanding on Experience

Opal FPS’ founder and former managing director, Jon Christie, stays on with the company as its leading red meat expert.

“It was important to us to have Mr. Christie onboard,” says Farrell. “He and his professional staff are at the core of Opal’s success.” Opal’s expertise in the red meat industry has added a new dimension to SF’s operations.

“With the increased investment in R&D that SF has seen in recent years, we will expand upon the Opal product range,” says Farrell. “We will match their robust performance with our ever increasing technological innovation.”

Strong Customer Focus

The integration of these two individually strong and competent solution providers creates a company that is both stronger and more capable of offering the exact systems customers need. “It is exciting and to establish a strong supplier to the food processing industry in the UK based on the experience and expertise of both SF and Opal,” says new SF Opal general manager Johannes V. Gunnarsson.

A veteran of the industry, Gunnarsson brings years of experience from Marel Food Systems to the table, adding his in-depth knowledge of the food processing industry to the equation. Headquartered in Cambridgeshire, SF Opal focuses on adding value to the whole production chain, from the production floor to the supermarket shelf.

Dynamic Duo Creates Strong New Operation

From infeed conveyors to ultrasonic package sealers, SF Opal offers food manufacturers tailored solutions to every processing need. Building on the broad experience of SF Engineering across industry sectors and Opal FPS’ expertise in the red meat processing field, SF Opal emphasises the motto of working in sync with customer needs to provide the best possible solutions to all sectors of the food processing industry.

In an increasingly difficult operational environment the new company has already shown its strength. “Since the merger in April 2009, we have seen benefits to both operations,” says SF Opal’s general manager Johannes V. Gunnarsson. “In the current economic climate we have been able to maintain our focus on the customer, increase our operational capacity and deliver more cost-effective solutions to our clients.”

The Best of Both Worlds

Jon Christie, founder of Opal FPS, is pleased to team up with the professionals at SF and new SF Opal general manager in creating a new platform that enables the operation to grow as well as increase customer profits.

“We are combining the best from both companies, creating a strong player in the market,” says Christie. “We are able to offer the customers a wider range of solutions and increased support, both in Ireland and the UK.”

New Challenges, New Solutions

As SF Opal’s leading red meat expert, Christie sees the main issues facing processors today as opportunities for SF Opal. “Our main focus is on the customers, their needs and operational challenges. We are here not only to provide them with equipment and processing machinery, but also with ways to reduce costs and increase operational efficiency.”

Merging Strength and Flexibility for the Future

The merger has gone really well for these two former competitors. Both Christie and Gunnarsson agree on why; “We think it is basically because the work ethic of the two units is the same,” explains Christie. “Both companies are equally driven to succeed.”

“I am pleased to say that the professionalism of all the staff has made the integration very successful,” says Gunnarsson. “Employees and management in both companies have been happy with the added strength this brings to both units and the future potential it offers. Together we are determined to see our current and future customers equally satisfied with the products and solutions we provide.”

Newly established SF Opal delivers increased benefits to customers based on SF Engineering’s broad industry experience and Opal FPS’s red meat expertise.

Keep Your QC under Control

Increase compliance and reduce giveaway with the right QC fit SF Engineering can assist you in maintaining your pack weight, accuracy and compliance while reducing giveaway and increasing earnings with Ishida checkweighers and Ceia metal detection systems.

Quality control requires accurate, reliable systems that perform with integrity and consistency at all times. Two of SF Engineering’s long term partners, Ishida and Ceia, have joined forces to create some of the most sophisticated, robust QC systems around. Ishida offers state-of-the-art checkweighing technology and Ceia high-tech, accurate metal detection that has been incorporated into Ishida’s DACS Checkweigher series.

Highest Levels of Product Safety

Together these companies offer processors fully integrated inspection systems as well as stand alone QC units that help maintain the highest level of compliance available. The DACS checkweighers with the Ceia metal detector have proven to be fast, accurate, reliable and cost-effective to boost.

Successful partnership

Originally Ishida invited a number of metal detector manufactures to submit a metal detector for evaluation. Ceia’s THS was recognized as an outstanding product and Ishida nominated Ceia as their preferred supplier. Ceia’s Metal Detectors detect metal contaminants accidentally present on industrial products, with levels of sensitivity, immunity to interference and response speeds designed to satisfy the strictest QC requirements.

Capable of handling various pack types, including bags, trays and cartons, Ishida’s DACS Checkweigher range enables manufacturers to ensure their products remain within specification every time while meeting the strictest legislative requirements. Checkweigher with fully integrated metal detection “The DACS Checkweigher has total integration with the Ceia metal detector,” explains Pete Johnson, Ishida’s Checkweigher Product Expert. “This provides complete access to the metal detector parameters through a replicated display on the checkweigher screen, thus eliminating the danger of having unmatched programs selected from each machine against a variety of different products.”

A Fit for All

A wide range of models and options from Ishida and Ceia are available at SF Engineering. On offer are Ishida’s top of the line DACS H, W and Z series checkweighers as well as Ceia’s full range of metal detectors, from hand held devices to their tried and tested THS standard metal detector. Working seamlessly with Ceia’s robust design, Ishida’s checkweighers offer unrivalled reliability and accuracy with easy cleaning and low maintenance requirements.

SF Engineering has the expertise and experience to fit your operation with the right checkweighing and metal detection system from these two trusted partners.


Sanieco PLUS Hygiene Control System Sanieco PLUS has been specially designed to control and guarantee washing and sanitizing of all employees before getting into the plant or before getting into a high risk area. It includes automatic hands wash, automatic rinse, hands drying with paper towel, and hands sanitizing.

A turnstile door will allow access only to those employees that have washed, rinsed and sanitized both hands. Flow of people is one person every eighteen seconds. It has a heavy duty design and performs with superb cleaning results. The Sanieco PLUS has compact dimensions that make it very easy to be installed in many different areas of any food processing plant. This Roser integrated hygiene system is designed following the strictest hygiene and safety standards.

The KubiBag – Ilapak’s New Bag Concept

The KubiBag is an environmentally sustainable, flexible film concept with exceptional stand-up stability. It is ideally suited for dry and fragile product and is easily stackable. The KubiBag’s features include innovative,stylish presentation, minimized product drop, and low environmental impact with less waste volume and weight. This innovative solution from Ilapak is cost-effective and has unbeatable shelf stand-up steadiness.

Film Techology – the KubiBag works with a wide range of laminates
with different degrees of rigidity, softness and barrier to meet your product
needs, and comes in either a transparent or ecorated film.


  • Dry fragile products: sweets, chocolate, biscuits, snacks
  • Granular: coffee, tea, sugar, salt, rice, pasta, dry fruits
  • Fresh, Dairy, Culinary,Beverage

System composition:

  • Vegatronic 1000
  • Bottom shaping carousel
  • Filling and top sealing carousel

Stand-Alone Equipment That Suits Your Needs

As a flexible single source supplier, SF Engineering emphasises the service and support it can offer small and medium sized businesses that need standardized, standalone equipment and one-off solutions.

Over the years SF Engineering has created a strong, hands-on relationship with its partners ISHIDA Europe, Ilapak, CEIA, Roser. Together these companies have decades of experience in providing standard equipment that fits perfectly into different production processes.

SF sells, installs and services each company’s standard product range in close co-operation with partner and customer, making sure that every operation runs with maximum efficiency.

One-Stop-Shop for All Your Processing Needs

“We can provide everything from one-off conveyors and rotary tables to individual checkweighers, metal detectors and packing machines,” explains Padraig Regan, SF’s senior project manager. “Our guiding principle is to select the right machine for the job, make sure the installation process is smooth and provide reliable after sales service.

Our goal is to help our clients maximize efficiency and increase their profit.” The benefits: a single source supplier of standard equipment that knows what you need and provides it with expertise and proficiency.

SF Team CV Managing Director Of SF Opal

Mr. Johannes V. Gunnarsson, MBA, has joined the SF Engineering team as the new general manager of SF Opal. As former Technical Director of Marel Deutschland, Gunnarsson has over 20 years of experience in the food processing industry. Gunnarsson will be based at the SF Opal headquarters in Cambridgeshire, UK. “I am excited to join the powerful team at SF Opal,” says Gunnarsson. “There are tremendous opportunities ahead for the new operation that we intend to explore. The integration of Opal FPS and SF Engineering has been very successful so far with both management and employees showing strength and professionalism throughout.”

Talk to SF Engineering Now

Call us now at +353 71 91 63334 or +44 (0) 1487 740131 or email or to discuss your requirements with us. Alternatively click on the Request a Callback button below to arrange for one of our team to contact you.