Proseal marks a 25-year milestone

1998: the Google search engine was launched, Cher’s Believe was the UK’s best-selling single of the year, Arsenal won the Premiership title – and tray sealing specialist Proseal produced its very first machine.

Since then, the company has grown to become the world leader in tray sealing technology and an expert in the design and installation of complete packing line solutions. Today Proseal has nearly 600 employees worldwide and alongside its near 250,000 sq ft manufacturing headquarters in Adlington, UK, has manufacturing facilities in the USA and Australia and a worldwide network of distributors. The company became part of the JBT Corporation in 2019.

Founded by Steve Malone and Robbie Hargreaves in a small unit in Bollington, Proseal launched its first tray sealer, the PR30, now known as the GTR, in May 1998. This was the start of a series of ground-breaking tray sealing solutions from the company that revolutionised the top sealing of trays in a variety of sectors including ready meals, meat and poultry, petfood, plant-based protein and, most notably, soft fruit. Indeed, the company estimates that as much as 95 percent of top-sealed trays in this sector in the UK are sealed on Proseal machines.

In the past 25 years, Proseal has developed a comprehensive range of products to meet all types of customer and market requirements, diversified its offering into complementary equipment including conveyors and case packers, and introduced a variety of technical innovations, such as its unique E-sealing and Pro-Motion technologies, alongside a number of patented developments.

To date, the company has manufactured 6,000 machines for nearly 3000 customers worldwide. Staggeringly, if all the Proseal machines produced to date were placed on top of each other, they would stand at a vertical height of around 12,500 metres – nearly one and a half times the height of Mount Everest.

Alongside its technical expertise, a key reason for Proseal’s success has been its commitment to exemplary customer service. The company’s ability to deliver customised solutions to meet the individual requirements of every customer has been supported by its comprehensive support services, with engineers on hand 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to provide a fast response whenever needed to avoid unnecessary downtime and ensure packing lines can continue to operate to maximum efficiency. More recently, this has seen the introduction of the company’s innovative preventative maintenance programme, PRoCARE.

Proseal has also supplied nearly 200,000 spare parts and undertaken over 50,000 service visits.

The company has always been quick to adapt to changing market trends. For example, the future proof designs of its tray sealers mean that the machines can be easily adapted to handle trays in different formats and materials, in particular the switch from plastic to board and pulp alternatives, allowing Proseal to be at the forefront of sustainability movements.

Other innovations have included the launch of the Proseal Test Kitchen. This provides customers with access to a wide variety of testing machinery, allowing them to carry out shelf-life trials and seal integrity testing in order to facilitate smooth product launches without the need to invest in their own materials and equipment. Since inception, The Test Kitchen has already hosted over 3,000 customer trials since it was first established in 2018.

“A huge congratulations to the entire Proseal team on reaching this 25-year milestone,” says David Wright at Kershaws Frozen Foods.

“As Proseal’s longest-standing customer, Kershaws Frozen Foods was the very first company to invest in the Proseal PR30, back in 1998. Two and a half decades later and our partnership remains strong, as Proseal continues to deliver the same quality and efficiency to our production and packaging operations as it has done since day one.”

Dubbed Proseal’s ‘Number 1 Customer’, David says it has been an honour to witness Proseal’s growth over the years and invest in the company’s market-leading equipment.

Proseal’s expertise has also been acknowledged over the years by a number of award wins. These include the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2018 and last year, the AgTech Breakthrough Awards for Food Tech Equipment of the Year, beating more than 1,600 nominees across the global agricultural and food technology industries with the introduction of the case packer family of products.

“One of the main reasons behind Proseal’s success has been its determination to remain true to the values of technical and service excellence that were the foundations on which the business was first established,” said Jon Garner, President, JBT Packaging Group.

“The 25th anniversary is a testament to the company’s unparalleled expertise and innovative talents within the business. We congratulate each and every member of the team on their unique contribution in helping us to reach this milestone. We will continue to drive the business forward to further success and growth, working in partnership with our customers in the development of high-quality packing equipment to meet the changing needs of the many different markets and countries we serve.”

Proseal will mark the anniversary with a special open day at its UK headquarters this summer for both customers and team members, past and present.

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