Arkmount Systems Inc. rolled out a new single-serve drink-pouch technology at the Worldwide Food Expo '97 in Chicago Oct. 30-Nov. 2.
Arkmount is targeting milk served for school lunches first, but other markets will follow, said David Berk, vice president of operations and logistics.
Called A-Pak, the technology takes plastic film, forms it into a pouch and fills it with the product in a single step, a major departure from traditional form-fill-and-seal equipment.
``Most pouch manufacturers form the pouch and then they have it filled in a separate operation,'' Berk said. ``Ours forms, fills and seals in one operation.''
Arkmount was formed to develop the A-Pak concept. Another Canadian company, ATS Automation Tooling Systems of Cambridge, Ontario, is making the machinery, dubbed A-Pak 2000.
The A-Pak is a one-piece stand-up pouch, with an integrated sipping tube coming out of the top.
Berk said by telephone from the firm's Toronto headquarters that the film used is coextruded polyethylene, laminated with a polyester sealant. The film comes in rolls. The A-Pak 2000 forms the film into a cylinder that runs vertically through the machine. The cylinder is continuously filled with the product — milk, juice, water or another liquid. A set of jaws comes in from the sides, to seal off the pouches.
``Basically we're sealing and cutting through the liquid. The cylinder's always filling with the liquid and you're constantly punching out the bottom half of the pouch with our machine,'' Berk said.
Nova Concepts Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., will handle U.S. machine sales.