Frontline Packaging designs and manufactures new case packing machine

Frontline Packaging Limited has recently completed the installation and commissioning of a major, innovative new packaging line for ethical, fair-trade tea producer Clipper Teas. Tony Hacker, MD at Frontline Packaging explains why this is an exciting project for the business. “It’s a first for Frontline Packaging in many ways and represents the development of the business into the design and manufacture of a new case packing machine, as well as the supply of complete end-of-line packaging systems. We’re very happy with the way it went, we handled the whole project in-house and it has worked extremely well since the day it was commissioned.”

Boosting tag and bag tea production capacity

Due to an increase in business, particularly from the export market, Clipper needed to increase their production capacity for string & tag tea. This led to the purchase of an additional tea machine to manufacture the tea bags which in turn created the need for a whole new packaging line to pack the tea cartons in to perforated shelf-ready cases. The line needed to produce and pack a wide selection of case collations including cartons containing many different flavours.

It was a complex project and Clipper chose Frontline Packaging Ltd because it displayed a clear understanding of the brief and had performed well when it previously supplied and installed four automatic shrink-wrapping systems and a pallet stretch wrapper. Frontline initially surveyed the application and proposed a complete solution for packing the tea cartons from the point where they exit from the tea bag making machine.

Designing the system

Frontline designed and manufactured the case packer and conveyors and supplied a carton closer, case erector, case sealer and print & apply labeller. It then installed and commissioned the complete system and co-ordinated the whole project through in-house project management. It also worked closely with Clipper to ensure the design of the cases worked efficiently within the new system.

There were a number of specific technical challenges that had to be overcome with this project, and this is where Frontline was able to add value with its knowledge and experience of end-of-line packaging and specifically case-packing applications.

Technical challenges

The main challenge was to place the rectangular cartons into the case without clashing with the open case flaps. A Universal Robot supplied by R.A. Rodriguez was chosen for this part of the task because it allowed Frontline to tilt the collations of cartons to deflect the top flaps of the case and therefore avoid any clash.

Another key challenge was to orientate the cartons into the right position for packing, which required three ninety-degree rotations as they travel through the system. Each rotation had to be consistent and reliable to ensure the cartons were delivered in the correct orientation to the next stage of the process.

At the heart of the system is the case packer and the collaborative Universal Robot was key to its design. It was chosen because it works well in a more compact machine. It is specifically designed to allow enhanced and safe human/robot collaborative working – making it easier and safer to use in areas with limited space. It also has a very easy to understand, intuitive touch-pad control system, which allows the customer to easily modify or create programmes.

The combination of these features allowed the machine to fit into the limited space available and to be adapted easily to the varied nature of the application.

The shelf-ready cases posed another challenge. They are particularly long and narrow which makes them difficult to erect, load and seal. A key factor in over-coming this was Frontline’s contribution to the design of the cases and to various features that were incorporated into each machine within the system.

Delivered and working within a week

Steve Norris, Engineering Manager at Clipper Teas, is very happy with how the project went. ” The fact that Frontline had control over the whole of the packaging project is the main reason that it worked so well and was up and running so quickly. This allowed us to concentrate on the tea bag production side of the project, safe in the knowledge that Frontline was taking care of the down-stream equipment. We’re extremely pleased with the system and it’s performing really well and we were particularly impressed that it was up and running so soon after delivery.”

“Another benefit of having Frontline control the whole project was the speed of delivery and commissioning. Delivery of the equipment took place on a Saturday, it was moved into place on Sunday and it was running by Wednesday, followed by commissioning and training being completed on Friday. Since then the system has been extremely reliable and we have already proved its versatility by adding a new format that was not part of the original design brief.”

The success of the project marks another significant milestone for Frontline since its formation in 2012, which now operators from new premises near Cambridge, by showing that it can handle the design and manufacture of its own case packing machines as well as project management of complete systems. This also complements its on-going activities of supplying and supporting a highly regarded product range including case erectors, sealers, shrink wrappers and pallet wrappers.

Frontline Packaging Impresses Customer with Synthesi Pallet Wrapper

A top quality manufacturer of own label breadings, coatings, marinades and powder sauces for the fast food service industry has recently placed an order for  its first turntable pallet stretch wrapper from Frontline Packaging Limited. It was a welcome development for the customer as they were wrapping pallets by hand. As production capacity increased it needed to speed up its pallet wrapping operation and make it more efficient and effective.

Having identified the need to automate its pallet wrapping operation, the customer approached Frontline Packaging for some help choosing the right machine. “Frontline were very helpful and came along to survey the factory and help us work out what we would need to fit in to the current operation,” he explained. “They showed us the Atlanta Synthesi machine which seemed ideal, and we kept it on loan for a week to make sure we were happy with it.”

The customer needed a machine that was compact, easy to install and simple to operate in limited space in the factory. The Synthesi worked really well during the loan period and the customer loved it. “The Synthesi is perfect for those customers taking a first step in to automating their pallet wrapping,” says Tony Hacker, MD of Frontline Packaging. “It’s incredibly well-designed and robust and very straightforward to use. It’s also extremely good value for money and was the perfect solution for this customer to speed up its pallet wrapping operation.”

The customer quickly ordered the machine and it has been working non-stop ever since.

Frontline Packaging beats the competition for the supply of 6 pallet wrapping machines for meat customer

Frontline Packaging Limited has recently completed the supply and installation of six Atlanta Mytho semi automatic pallet wrapping machines at two sites in East Anglia for a well-known meat producer. The Mytho was chosen after extensive trials were run on several competitor machines.

Frontline Packaging Managing Director Tony Hacker explains, “The challenge for this particular application was to find a pallet wrapper that could wrap a wide variety of load sizes and weights without having to make lots of adjustments, whilst minimising the amount of film used. Frontline ran extensive trials with the Mytho wrapper and it beat the competition on all scores. The film weighed less, the wrap was more secure and the machine required very little adjustment. It was an easy decision for the customer in the end.”

The customer is extremely pleased with the new equipment, and told us why. “We were very impressed with the Mytho wrappers supplied by Frontline Packaging. In trials they out-performed the competition against all our criteria. The equipment needed to perform in a very hard-working environment to a very high standard and these machines do just that. They are simple to use, extremely robust and we are delighted with them.”

The Atlanta Mytho supplied by Frontline Packaging Ltd is a high-quality turntable pallet wrapper with a number of standard features that make it ideally suited to challenging applications.  In particular, the Mytho’s PS type film dispenser delivers varying levels of power pre-stretch and lay-on force throughout the wrapping cycle, which allows a wide variety of loads to be secured with the minimum amount of film.  The clear panel provides an easy way to store the settings, and its functions allow the machine to wrap many different types of load without adjustment.

Outstanding Customer Service from FLP

Sheffield-based Home Decor GB Ltd has recently signed up for a regular service agreement with Frontline Packaging Limited to support their large, specially modified shrink wrapper. The agreement includes regular servicing, out-of-hours support.

The shrink wrapping machine was originally purchased by Home Decor in 2012 for wrapping large sliding doors which require a completely enclosed seal on all four sides.  It is a large, complex and technically challenging application and when Frontline Packaging took over the distributorship of the product range, they continued to offer a high level of support to Home Decor to ensure the machine kept working.

‘Tony and the team at Frontline have supported us every step of the way with an excellent service,’ explains Andrew Bowen, Supply Chain Director at Home Decor. ‘It hasn’t always been easy but Frontline have always been willing and able to step in and help whenever we needed it. We really appreciate their level of knowledge and proactive attitude. We’re delighted to have the service agreement in place, it gives us real peace of mind.’

Frontline have helped Home Decor out with machine modifications, parts and equipment and they have worked hard to ensure that the original equipment manufacturer provided technical support as well when necessary.

Frontline Packaging case taper improves line speeds for Berkshire International

Frontline Packaging Limited has recently completed the successful supply and installation of a specially adapted semi-automatic pre-set case taper for Berkshire International at their factory in Norfolk.

The customer was manually packing sheets of industrial cleaning wipes in to extremely large cases and needed to automate the process in order to improve line speeds.  Frontline Packaging offered a loan machine on trial so that Berkshire could see if it was up to the task. ‘Frontline were very accommodating,’ explains Dan Trapnell, Berkshire International Plant Manager. ‘Once we had the machine in the factory we loved it and wanted to keep it. It has helped us speed up the end-of-line packaging process, reduced the amount of boxes on the factory floor and saved us space. We’re really pleased with it.’

The machine needed some bespoke modifications to be able to handle the extra-large case sizes that were carried out by Frontline Packaging’s engineers. A modified infeed was built and clamps fitted to hold the cases steady during packing to allow the operator to fill the cases with both hands. It now takes the operators much less time and effort to pack the cases, and using machine tape has reduced the cost and amount of tape used.

Gary Bond Joins Frontline Team

We’re delighted to announce that Gary Bond has joined the Frontline Packaging team as Sales Manager. Gary comes with a wealth of experience in the packaging industry and an in-depth knowledge of the business through his years working with a variety of manufacturers including flow wrapping, filling systems and end-of-line machinery. He has worked with customers in the food and beverage industry for many years and is excited about the range and quality of Frontline’s machinery offering.

He will be focusing on Frontline’s core product range including shrink wrapping, case taping and erecting and pallet wrapping equipment. He will be offering expert help and advice to customers and prospective customers around the UK.

If you want to contact Gary you can email him on or phone on 07713 136273 and he’ll be happy to help

Tough conditions at Zeon Chemicals

Frontline Packaging Limited completed the supply and installation of a specially adapted bale wrapper for Zeon Chemicals around 12 months ago and the machine hasn’t missed a beat since. Peter Smith of Zeon Chemicals is delighted with the bale wrapper’s performance ‘This is a crucial piece of machinery for us, we can’t ship our products without it so we’re really pleased with the solution that Frontline Packaging came up with. It’s worked perfectly for a year.’

Zeon Chemicals manufacture Nitrile Rubber and Zeoforte Compounds at their factory in the Vale of Glamorgan and ship to customers all over the world. They were running a very old bale wrapper to wrap the rubber blocks for shipping, and it needed replacing. The products are warm and the environment in the factory is hot so the machine needed to be sturdy and robust enough to withstand these operating conditions. It also needed to fit in to the space vacated by the old machine.

Frontline Packaging did the necessary design work to adapt the new wrapper for the available space and tough operating environment. The bale wrapper uses two rolls of film to wrap around the product then ensures it is entirely enclosed with a four-sided seal.

Tony Hacker, Managing Director of Frontline Packaging Limited, tells us, ‘It was quite a difficult brief for us as the operating conditions were particularly difficult. But we knew our machine was tough and robust enough to withstand even the harshest industrial circumstances and we’re pleased to see it’s been working perfectly for the past year.’

For more information on Frontline Packaging’s full range of end-of-line packaging machinery and services visit, email, call +44 (0)1462 488230

Frontline Wraps It Up With A Compact Flow Wrapper

Frontline Packaging‘s range includes the stainless steel Sprinter flow wrapper, designed for a wide variety of products including snack bars, biscuits, fruit, cake and even personal care products such as razors. It’s simple low-maintenance design delivers low running costs runs without compromising on performance with speeds of up to 100  products per minute.
It can be used to wrap products using different types of film, including shrink film for improved product appearance when used in conjunction with a heat shrink tunnel. Manufactured in the UK, the Sprinter is adaptable to suit a wide variety of applications, highly compact for space-limited areas and cost-effective as both a mainstream production machine or a mobile special-offer packaging machine.

Our Philosophy

When we set up Frontline Packaging we wanted to be a packaging machinery supplier with a real difference.

That difference is our attitude. We have a wealth of experience in the end-of-line packaging machinery business and we understand better than anyone what our customers need. We solve your problems, we get what you need and make it happen.

We are also honest enough to say ‘no’ if we can’t help. It’s not all about the sale, it’s about getting our customers the right solutions to their problems.

We only work with specially selected suppliers and manufacturers that we know think the same way that we do. We only supply the best equipment for the job, and help our customers all the way through from the initial quote to commissioning, testing, installation and after-sales support.

Our recent project with Clipper Teas demonstrates this well. Steve Norris, Clipper Teas Engineering Manager explained why he was pleased with the completed installation, “Frontline Packaging clearly understood our objectives for the new packing hall and demonstrated their experience by provideing us with an integrated system design which fulfilled all of our packing requirements.”

We’re currently working on another large installation and hope the customer is equally pleased with the project, and our service.

Four new lines for Clipper Teas

Clipper®, the only tea company in the UK to offer an entire Fairtrade and Organic range, is increasing its efficiency and flexibility with the purchase of four new bespoke packaging systems from UK packaging machinery supplier Frontline Packaging Ltd working in partnership with manufacturer CDi Worldwide.

Steve Norris, Clipper® Engineering Manager commented “Frontline Packaging and CDi Worldwide clearly understood our objectives for the new packing hall and demonstrated their experience by providing us with an integrated system design which not only fulfilled all of our packing requirements but is also a very compact solution”

Clipper® has taken delivery of the four integrated packaging systems – each line includes tray erecting, tray loading, shrink wrapping and labelling machines. These versatile machines have the capability to handle the whole range of product sizes produced by Clipper®, packaging them in formats including unsupported shrink-wrap, tray and shrink-wrap and tray with no shrink-wrap.

Frontline Packaging Managing Director Tony Hacker commented, “We recommended these lines as it’s a tried and tested method of packing which we know works. We chose equipment that incorporates all the latest design innovations to ensure an efficient and productive end-of-line system that was simple to manage. This is a consistently popular choice with both packers and manufacturers.”

The combination of Hertfordshire-based Frontline Packaging and Suffolk-based CDi Worldwide provided the customer with many years’ experience designing, manufacturing and installing end-of-line packaging systems. Both businesses have been supplying a wide variety of businesses for many years including food and beverage, household goods, industrial products, perrsonal care, pharmaceutical and automotive industries.

For more information please contact Frontline Packaging on +44 (0)1462 488230 or email