Word from the top

SF Engineering looks towards summer with optimism as the order books are filling up. Coming through a challenging winter, the company has seen a substantial increase in business, making the next few months an exciting time for us.

We see this as an indication of increased trust in a steady recovery within the food processing industry. SF has been busy installing tried and tested standard solutions as well as new innovative applications from the R&D team. Our commitment to technical innovation has produced the latest addition to the SF portfolio, a new Batch Distribution System that we are proud to present in our R&D corner.

In this issue we focus on two of the major trends we’ve responded to in the packing field; seamless multi-head weighing and bagging and the new Unsupported Fresh Chicken Packaging Solution that meets the latest supermarket requirements. We continue to explore the cost of conveyor ownership with a closer look at cleaning costs and belt hygiene.

Tray buffering and tray denesting are other areas where SF offers efficient, cost effective applications that we introduce in this issue.

Our guest columnist is Mr. Lester Manley, who takes a look at the value in putting consistent time and effort into your branding activities, product innovation and partnerships with customers to provide the best solutions, creating customers that rely on them time and time again.

Seamus Farrell, Managing Director

Leave No Trace

Unparalleled sealing application meets advanced plastic film technology in the new Unsupported Fresh Chicken Packaging system offered by SF Engineering

Poultry producers aim to deliver the right quality product to their customers, ensuring both supermarket and consumer approval. Currently supermarkets are ardently pushing for seal guarantee and leak proof packaging from their suppliers, a trend that has strengthened over the last year.

Contamination Concern

While poultry producers might want their brand to leave a mark, they do not want their product leaving a trace behind on the supermarket shelf. SF Engineering has evaluated the applications on the market and is proud to present the new Unsupported Fresh Chicken Packaging Solution from Ilapak. The company offers one of the best applications on the market for packing whole chicken with out a tray. The Delta 3000 DL flowrappers offer guaranteed seal integrity and sanitary shelf presence.

No Leak Guarantee

Ilapak’s unparalleled sealing technology delivers guaranteed hermetically sealed bags. “The hermetic seal carried out by the Delta 3000LD gives our customers an absolute leak proof pack with good shelf presentation using a very hygienic process, “ explains Guy Levy, Managing Director of Ilapak.

“The main advantages of the Unsupported Fresh Chicken Packaging Solution are overall better hygiene, better pack presentation, better utilisation of supermarket shelf space and extended shelf life.”

Better Pack Presentation

One of the major advantages of the new Unsupported Chicken Solution is the excellent pack presentation of the final product as a result of Ilapak special film and product handling technology. The flowrappers remove as much air out of the bag as possible, shrinking the film tightly around the product. This helps manufacturers deliver exactly what the supermarkets need.

Limited or No Tray Costs

The system SF offers treats packaging material economically incorporating, Ilapak’s successful ‘no product-no bag’ concept. Overall packaging material reductions mean less film used and limited or no tray costs. “The system also offers better utilisation of transport space and less product end of life wastage,” explains Patricia Molloy, SF Engineering Sales & Marketing Manager. “Add to that less usage of mother bags and what you get is overall packaging reductions that benefit both supermarkets and consumers.”

Tough Printable Shrink Film

The barrier, shrinkable, no leak packing delivers exactly what the supermarkets need using Cryovac BDF printable shrink film. The film is a thin, multilayer, polyolefin film with superior gas and aroma barrier properties. It provides outstanding performance and abuse-resistance as well as excellent transparency and gloss. Printing possibilities make it an excellent branding tool for added consumer appeal.

Certified By Cryovac

“Our flowrappers are cerfilm,” explains Levy. “The Cryovac film works perfectly for wrapping whole fresh chicken or other fresh chicken products. Combining our advanced technology with their quality film creates one of the most efficient, hermetic shrinkable packing applications on the market. ”

Lower Cost of Conveyor Ownership – Wipe Out Your Cleaning Costs

Save time and resources in the cleaning process with the right belt fit for your operation

Achieving perfect hygiene in the shortest time possible could be considered a mantra in the industry. Every food processor strives to maintain the highest levels of hygiene while reducing cleaning costs. Cleaning costs money, including water and man hours, not to mention time between changeovers when necessary.

The right belt significantly reduces costs

“One of the major factors in operational costs is belt types and their cleaning and maintenance,” says Padraig Regan, Senior Project Manager at SF Engineering.

“Using the right belt for your application is paramount in keeping operational costs low while securing the best hygiene. We’ve worked closely with Intralox to supply our customers with the best quality conveyor belts. Their belts are not only high-tech and durable but also provide ingenious hygiene solutions, less cleaning time and lower operational costs than other belt providers.”

75% reduction in cleaning time

“We recommend using Intralox belts as their product has performed above and beyond our highest standards,” says Regan. “Processors have experienced up to 60% reduction in water consumption and 75% reduction in cleaning time, as well as increased product throughput.”

Substantial new belt benefits

A case in point is an Intralox customer that has installed the Series 800 hygiene solution, a modular plastic conveyor belt featuring molded-in external sideguards, an EZ Clean-In-Place System, and offset sprockets. One of the elevators equipped with this solution spanned an elevation change of more than eight meters.

“With the new solution, the customer experienced great improvement in cleanability, cleaning time and maintenance.”

Product sticking reduced by 20% while maintenance costs for parts and labour were reduced to negligible amounts and risk of belt contamination were also reduced to negligible amount. What is more, overall hygiene improved and cleaning time was significantly reduced due to improved belt and component cleaning access.

Long term cost reduction

“It is our job to help our customers understand the implications of each purchasing decision by giving them a full overview of the entire costs; including cleaning, maintenance and power costs,” says Regan. “It is imperative to factor all these into the initial purchasing decision for long term cost reduction.”

New Tray Buffer System

Streamline your tray denesting with the new Automatic AnyTray Buffer

A new and improved version of an automatic tray buffer has been added to the SF Engineering portfolio. A part of the well known AnyTray line, the new buffer is based on the strengths of the preceding model with some ingenious re-design added to the equation. The result; a band new tray buffer that is easy to operate and far more efficient than the previous one.

Ideal for high-speed operations

Fast and versatile, the new buffer holds from 500 to 3000 trays at a time, depending on tray size, making it ideal for high-speed operations. Nothing has been sacrificed in terms of reliability and operational security. The new buffer is as robust and reliable as before and works perfectly in sync with the AnyTray Denester. The AnyTray Denester is the quick and easy answer to tray denesting without complicated, bulky machinery or manual labour. See our special offer on the back.

Built-in tray stack alarm

Available in different specifications, depending on length, width and height requirements, the new and improved Automatic Buffer is simple to operate. The new buffer significantly lowers the need for personal refilling attendance, thanks to the larger tray buffer. The buffer also gives you full control of operational speed and maintains product flow with built-in tray stack alarms. The automatic alarm lets you know if a tray was missed or if the tray stack is low or finished.

A competitive price

Solid craftsmanship meets quality design in this enhanced version of the AnyTray Automatic Buffer. The AnyTray line now offers a modular, high-speed tray buffering and denesting solution at an even more competitive price than before.

Premium Protection

CEIA’s innovative new TSH 21 metal detectors quickly and efficiently detect magnetic and non-magnetic metals in food with an unrivalled level of sensitivity

The new generation of metal detectors from CEIA incorporate innovative functions that deliver far better metal detection than possible before. Automatic learning, testing and calibration functions ensure maximum production safety and deliver the security and product quality required in today’s demanding market. Using patent-pending technology, the THS 21 prevents false rejects by adapting to different product conditions with continuous automatic self-calibration.

Innovative technology – accurate results

CEIA’s new detection technology delivers the highest sensitivity to all magnetic and non-magnetic metals available in food processing today. The THS 21 has proven to be extremely sensitive and accurate while maintaining high tolerance to environment interference in different operating environments.

Compliance with standards

Suitable to a range of food product, the new system is considered one of the best metal detection solutions for compliance with both FDA Title 21CFR110 and FDA 21 Part 11 requirements on manufacturing, packing or holding human food.

SF Product Spot – Out of the Bag!

Seamless weighing & bagging solutions from our packing line experts ensure accurate weight, gentle product handling, and less giveaway.

Their valued clients know the secret, and now it’s time to let it out of the bag! SF Engineering is THE expert in multi-head weighing and bagging. They have installed hundreds of weighing and bagging applications that are up and running across all major industry sectors in both Ireland and the UK. From snack foods and candy, coffee and tea to fresh veggies and frozen pre-cooked meat and poultry, you name it, they’ve done it.

Bagging is our business

“Our extensive experience in developing and installing weighing and bagging solutions covers the entire spectrum of food manufacturing,” explains Patricia Molloy, SF Marketing Manager. “This is what SF has been doing for decades and we have the expertise and the equipment range to provide our customers with the right solution for any weighing and bagging requirement.”

From single machines to multiple lines

Building on SF’s own extensive range of platforms, conveyors, feed & distribution systems combined with select equipment from world leaders in their field like Ishida, Ilapak, and CEIA, the company offers first rate weighing and bagging solutions that surpass others on the market.

“Because we’ve been immersed in the weighing and bagging business for decades we also have vast experience in installing anything from a single machine interfaced to an existing weigher or a bagmaker to large turn-key weighing and bagging systems,” explains Molloy.

Getting that extra percentage

Weighing and bagging is an art and the SF Team has in-depth understanding of the process and how various products are weighed and flow in to bags. Their expertise is getting that extra percentage in increased throughput, and less giveaway that ensures payback. The right weighing and bagging combo can significantly reduce giveaway and increase yields from fixed batch sizes.

Increased throughput

When asked about recent installations Molloy points out an example that has substantially increased throughput for one client. “Our weighing and bagging capabilities are flexible and diverse. An example of a recent solution was to the fresh produce sector where we have given the unique capability of accurately weighing and vacuum packing on the same machine with speeds of 7 bags per minute on 5 kilogram bags and up to 800mbar vacuum, to name just one.”

Unrivalled multi-head weighing technology

Ishida’s unrivalled multi-head weighing technology guarantees absolute weighing accuracy that lowers giveaway to the extent of making it almost non-existent.

Minimising giveaway is only one of Ishida’s capabilities. Not surprisingly Ishida have 50% of the world market in multihead weighing, and they are unrivalled when it comes to weighing at high speed. Ishida weighers are used by all major leading snack food producers where speed and accuracy are of the essence.


Ishida’s new ‘Screw Feed’ multihead weighers with scraper hoppers have opened possibilities in bagging fresh, sticky product that were impossible before. The new multihead weighers are particularly ideal for fresh, meat, poultry, spaghetti and rice, which cannot be moved by feeder vibration, or where manual product feeding is not economically viable. Diced beef, chicken breast or strips can now be weighed and bagged fully automatically. Ishida’s innovative approach to multihead weighing has opened the door to new protein markets for processors.

Lowest cost – highest quality per bag

Another major contributor to the advanced solutions SF offers is renowned packing expert Ilapak. Ilapak’s flexible packaging machinery and fully automatic lines produce an impressive array of pack styles with robust seals, hermetic seals for MAP applications, three and four side seals, sachets, block bottom bags, doy packs, adhesive and zipper re-closable solutions and pillow bags for food applications.

The packing experts

Aiming for lowest cost per pack while always maintaining high quality, reliably and seal integrity, SF works closely with Ilapak to deliver the perfect bagging application for any product. The wide variety of packing available from Ilapak ensures that the right application is available for different needs. Ilapak’s fully automatic product feeding and handling systems will meet the most stringent requirements while maintaining low cost per unit, fast and efficient processing with increased labour savings.

Your specs – our success

“Our weighing and bagging team is like a well oiled machine,” explains Molloy with a smile. “Our installations are all based on careful examination of customer specs with performance and fit carefully examined. It all depends of course on product type, speeds and the sophistication required from the weighers, as well as bag style, size of bags and sealing required from the bagmaker and we’ve have an excellent procedure in place that efficiently ensures the best outcome for our customers.”

Product Packaging & Brand Innovation

Building your brand is more than just having a good Logo and Brochure, it actually encompasses every aspect of your organisation making it one of the most significant contributors to the future success and profitability of your business!

Your Brand is like a sponge, when you squeeze it, all the values that it has absorbed come out, and that is what your customer sees and responds to when they view or think about your company, product or service. Make sure you fill the sponge with the right values otherwise it might not send out the right message.

Product packaging and innovation

In the FMCG sector where branded goods inspire customer loyalty and trust, it is crucial to respond to your customers concerns in an innovative and creative way, creating a strong lasting relationship of trust and dependancy. The ‘Leave No Trace Article’ is an excellent example of how manufacturers can show real value to their customers innovation and client centric solutions, in turn, enhancing their clients “delight factor” through continuous business improvement. The ultimate goal is to create effective, appealing and persuasive packaging solutions while tackling contamination, leakage, presentation, costs and certification. At Manleys, our customers such as SF have seen at first hand, the value in putting consistent time and effort into their branding activities, product innovation and partnerships with customers to provide the best solutions, creating customers that rely on them time and time again.

Finally, research clearly shows that businesses that are consistent and focused with their marketing and branding during a downturn do significantly better during and after difficult times.

For further information on Manleys visit or call 028 9057 9000.

AnyTray Denester– It’s How You Denest!

SF Engineering offers the perfect denesting package; the effective AnyTray Denesters with delivery and full installation at a single great price.

AnyTray Denesters are modular, versatile and exceptionally simple to handle and operate. This ingenious denester requires no tools or technicians for changeovers. AnyTray Denesters are the quick and easy answer to tray denesting without complicated, bulky machinery or manual labour.

  • Compact, versatile & efficient
  • Mount them on any conveyor
  • Accepts trays of any size or shape
  • Modular cassette system
  • 1 minute no tools changeover
  • Up to 120 trays per minute

Call today for more information & our special price that includes delivery & installation +353 (0)71 9163334 or at

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.