Plenty Of Fish
Packaging equipment powerhouse Reiser shows off its seafood packaging prowess at its Customer Center open house event—April 2018, Canadian Packaging
May 4, 2018
by Canadian Packaging staff
A sampling of the different packaging formats for seafood products tested at Riser’s expanded Customer Center facility.
There is no way better way to break the ice before a big important trade show than to have a little housewarming party, which is what leading processing and packaging machinery manufacturer Reiser did in fine style the day before last month’s Seafood Expo North America exhibition in Boston, Ma. held March 17-19, 2018.
Having just recently completed a massive expansion of the company’s Reiser Customer Center facility just outside of Boston in Canton, the venerable equipment manufacturer used the occasion to invite dozens of seafood industry professionals and show attendees to see the company’s world class line-up of high-performance equipment in a live demonstration of the processing and packaging
of various seafood products.
“The expansion of our Canton facility reflects the continued growth of Reiser and the many services we provide to our customers,” says vice-president of strategic business development John McIsaac.
Designed by Roth & Seleen and completed by Bowdoin Construction Company in less than a year, the multiphase project consisted of a complete retrofit of the existing 22,000 square feet of office and staff lounge space within the Reiser headquarters, along with installation of new windows along the building perimeter, as well as an outdoor courtyard and a patio.
The subsequent phase included a 46,000-square-foot warehouse addition with an active rack system, and a new 6,600 temperature-controlled commercial Test Kitchen, showroom for food preparation, and a fitness center.
All in all, the expanded Reiser facility now features about 70 more per cent interior space than before, with the top-quality features including epoxy floors, polished concrete, a new structural mezzanine, and high-quality interior finishes.
For its part, the new building construction consists of steel, light gauge framing, masonry, metal panels, and an aluminum and glass curtainwall system to provide optimal protection from the harsh weather condition often encountered in this part of New England.
Randy Belcot, field sales manager with the company’s Reiser Canada subsidiary in Burlington, Ont., says the expanded facility provides a far more accurate reflection of the wealth of technical expertise and knowledge that Reiser is keen to share with its customers and potential clients in the seafood and other protein industries, as well as those in the bakery and cheese sectors.
“Our new Customer Center is one more way that Reiser can help processors develop the best solution for their particular application,” Belcot said.
“Food processors who would like to test and develop new products and processes, as well as our equipment will find a very welcome reception here.
“The expanded Customer Center features a full test kitchen for preparing, cooking and sampling finished product,” said Belcot, “along with modern conference rooms for meetings and training, as well as comfortable workstations for visitors.
“The Reiser Customer Center features customizable processing rooms with space to run individual machines or fully automated lines, and a full test kitchen for preparing, cooking and sampling finished product.”
As Belcot explained, “The revamped facility includes modular walls to allow running of up to four separate tests simultaneously, and rooms can be configured to run full lines in a real-life production environment.
“The facility includes a full restaurant kitchen, licensed as a restaurant for foodservice, and the rooms are designed to simulate the plant environments of bakery, meat, cheese and other food producers.
“This bustling facility has already hosted numerous customers each and every day since it’s been open,” said Belcot, citing an extensive line-up of Reiser’s processing and packaging equipment housed on-site, including:
- Vemag brand stuffers, grinders, formers, fillers, portioners, depositors, extruders, co-extruders and dough dividers;
- Holac dicers, slicers, and cutting equipment;
- AMFEC range of mixers, blenders, tumblers, massagers, and macerators;
- Fomaco brand injectors, tenderizers, brine mixers and tanks;
- Seydelmann bowl cutters and choppers, mixers, grinders, and mixing grinders;
- Ross tray-sealers for case-ready and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) applications;
- Repak horizontal form/fill/seal packaging machines;
- Supervac automatic vacuum-chamber packaging machines.
“We are currently hosting about 10 clients per week, and are very happy to count seafood producers among them,” said Reiser’s marketing director Todd Watlington, citing recent test runs of salmon burgers and crab-cakes processed visa Seydelmann mixer/grinder and a Vemag former; lobster multipacks packaged in Winpak film on a VarioVac Optimus thermoformer; and shaved lobster meat
vacuum-packed on a Supervac machine.
“I have been very impressed with what I have seen here,” said Chris Gregan, operations manager at family-owned salmon processor Cedar Bay Grilling Company in Blandford, N.S.
“We have purchased a VarioVac machine from them for our Florida operation, along with some other machinery,” he explained, “but great machinery aside, the support Reiser offers its customers is truly outstanding, and I look forward to continuing our relationship with them.
“This new facility really does justice to the kind of a top-class company they are.”
Paul Landsbergis, president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, agreed.
“For those in the seafood industry, this was a great opportunity to get a much fuller perspective of what Reiser has to offer than just seeing their exhibit on the show floor,” Lansbergen said.
“This is a very professionally run company with a lot to offer to Canadian seafood producers large and small.
According to Lansbergen, it is vital for Canadian producers to keep adding value to their products through further processing and packaging to compete in the world markets.
“We export about US$6.9 million of fish and seafood per year, about 80 per cent of it to the U.S., as well as shipping about $1 billion domestically.
“The industry supports about 80,000 jobs across Canada,” he said, “and product innovation is an important part of maintaining such a vital economic sector.
“With knowledgeable and helpful suppliers like Reiser, processors have a real opportunity to continue to grow their business across all the important demographics.
“Packaging is very important component of meeting the demands of a marketplace looking for healthier and more sustainable sources of protein,” he concluded, “and we really need to do more of that in Canada to respond to market trends more effectively.”