Investment emphasizes commitment to the highest standards of packaging food safety
TAUNTON, Mass – Harpak-ULMA announced it received 3-A Certification for three of its smart, connected thermoforming packaging platforms, the TFS500, 600, and 700 series. Food safety is a number one priority for producers and consumers alike. Safety is predicated on the sanitary design of both equipment and facilities. While procedural controls are a key aspect of food safety practices, sanitary machine design is a fundamental building block to ensure foods are produced and packaged free of biological contaminants.
Harpak-ULMA’s certification effort is part of a broad-based, phased approach to offer this widely recognized certification as an option for customers who require adherence to the most demanding food safety guidelines. While Harpak-ULMA packaging machines already adhere to all core principles of sanitary design (including enabling microbiological cleansing, using compatible materials, wash-down capabilities, sealing crevices or hollow areas, and stopping condensation build-up), the 3-A certification designates an ultra-sanitary design. Conforming to 3-A design, installation, and use criteria encompasses rigorous standards and guidelines for materials employed in contact surfaces, fabrication of both product and non-product contact surfaces, finishes, and cleaning and inspectability procedures. All machines bearing the 3-A logo have been independently vetted by an accredited, independent credentialed authority – a Certified Conformance Evaluator (CCE) – thus assuring producers and inspectors alike of the design veracity. Since innovative machine characteristics can and often do change, designs are audited on a regular basis, at a minimum of every five years.
“The regulatory agencies tasked with food plant inspection’s recognize the uniformity of design and construction principles included in 3-A standards” says Mel Jolly, a well-known, equipment hygienic expert and CCE. “Equipment bearing a 3-A logo results in inspections that are more sophisticated, consistent and reliable – which creates value for consumers, producers, and equipment manufacturers alike.”
Harpak-ULMA TFS product manager, Ken Forziati, noted, “Sanitary design is a continuing, integral, and well-executed aspect of our smart, connected packaging solutions. However, more and more customers are demanding sanitary designs that embrace the highest possible standards and rely on 3-A design and safety criteria. Producers that utilize 3-A validated equipment reduce the probability – and liability – of contaminated products making it out the door. The 3-A standards organization has been evolving since the 1920s. The current 3A SSI Inc., reorganized in 2002, enjoys industry recognition and acceptance world-wide. That made its standards the logical choice for ultra-sanitary versions of our TFS lines. We’ll continue to extend this approach to offer it as an option for our most popular platforms.”
Harpak-ULMA is the North American arm of ULMA, a $1B industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for Food, Medical, Bakery, and Industrial products. Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems utilizing Rockwell Automation’s controls and information platforms to deliver greater efficiency, uptime, and throughput, as well as better package quality and reduced waste. Well-designed, reliable solutions reduce customers’ total cost of ownership, help them overcome the challenges of an aging and evolving workforce, and improve control of maintenance expenses with competitive parts sourcing. In addition to offering ULMA primary packaging systems and comprehensive automation solutions, Harpak-ULMA is the exclusive North American distributor of G. Mondini tray sealers. Harpak-ULMA joined the Rockwell Automation Partner Network in 2018 as part of its initiative to build and deploy smart, connected packaging solutions.