As yet, Arodo is the only machine manufacturer in the world who can package products such as cement using vacuum technology. This is also something that did not escape the attention of Reader Cement in the UK. Reader specialises in blending and packaging cement products for the British cement industry. Within the context of their evolution, growth and the optimisation of the packaging processes, Reader was in search of technology to vacuum pack their products in plastic bags. The honour was given to Arodo and its vacuum technology ...
Intelligent (and necessary) change of course
Reader’s history goes back to 1985, when the company initially supplied cement to the British Coal Mining Industry for a variety of purposes, and under the auspices of the then Langley Mining Cement Systems Ltd. This was a major success for 10 years, before the coal industry went into serious decline. A switch in focus was required, and the order book started to fill with civil engineering projects. Reader’s products and expertise particularly suited water and sewer construction, as was clearly demonstrated by the Orwell and Hull projects. Their excellent work did not go unnoticed by a number of large players, being the perfect boost for Reader’s branding and market position.
In 2005, however, the civil engineering market also started to wane. Opportunities again arose elsewhere over this period. Small cement companies asked for support for their cement production and packaging. This was a unique opportunity for Reader. Reader developed a cement mix formula for Dragon Cement, the start of an innovative post-mix at the forefront of the British DIY market. The old packaging line was inadequate for the next phase: packaging the products in recyclable plastic bags.
Vacuum packaging in plastic bags
“We wanted to utilise more user friendly and recyclable materials, such as plastic, for our cement packaging.” explains Mike Fowles-Smith, sales director at Reader. “Following Board approval, we required packaging machines that could package cement products faster and more efficiently in plastic bags. We investigated a number of different technologies; Arodo’s solution and technology came out head and shoulders above its competitors, their technical support and service are of the highest level – these were key criteria that assured us Arodo packing technology could deliver the most for our clients”.
In August 2015, Reader ordered a total of 4 packaging lines, 2 palletisers and 1 stretch hooder. Everything was installed exactly according to plan.
The technology operating at Reader in Pinxton (Nottinghamshire) is the unique AROVAC® technology for vacuum packaging. The results proved outstanding to Reader. “We pack around 2,000 bags an hour, before it was just 200 bags an hour”, said Jason Key, operations manager. “Plastic bags on a roll are also less expensive to buy, and this makes a big difference too. But most importantly: our cement products are packed air-tight and waterproof, in perfect square packages. This is good for clean storage and a longer shelf life.”
Reader thoroughly tested AROVAC’s 100% waterproofing of the bags by leaving plastic cement bags in a tank among some fish for several weeks. The water stayed perfectly clean, and the fish appeared healthy.
Mike Fowles-Smith: “During a show at UK Construction Week we had a fish tank on our stand to show the world what a fantastic system we have thanks to Arodo technology.”
What about the future? The demand for post-mix in recyclable plastic bags is on the increase, the production capacity is just about up to its limit. Reader is now considering further expansion of the packaging lines.