With more than 110 years in the food industry, Sapal is one of the leading suppliers of die-fold packaging solutions for premium products. Sapal’s mission is to offer solutions which protect food from its elaboration up to consumer with a quality packaging. Based in Switzerland, but active in an international environment, Sapal designs and manufactures high-tech and innovative standalone packaging machines to complete packaging lines – including up and down stream equipment – for the Processed Cheese, the Chocolate/Confectionery and the Bouillon Industries. The company has a worldwide presence, with more than 6,000 installations in 70 countries. Sensitive to sustainable development, the team of engineers is constantly developing new solutions to be at the forefront of technology while respecting the environment by reducing the consumption of packaging materials, for example. Their expertise and know-how in the variety of packaging offered with a wide range of styles and materials, as well as the Global Customer Service makes Sapal one of the leading suppliers of packaging solutions. The company continuously improves their processes and products as they complied with the ISO9001:2015 norm. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? SAPAL: We are experts in wrapping and packaging machines for all kind of processed cheese like individual wrapped slices and portions – that could be round, triangle, square or rectangular – soup cubes or tablets and all kind of confectionery products like chocolates, bars, sweets or chewing gum pellets. We can help our customers with standalone machines to entire packaging lines and turnkey solutions. E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products? SAPAL: Sapal is proud to present the ﬁrst scalable machine for IWS that allows a 100% output increase with a quick and easy upgrade. This new DCS 0500 is an ergonomically designed entry-level packaging line for individually wrapped cheese slices (IWS). E.E: This machine presents lots of Benefits for our customer. SAPAL: First, it’s scalable. To meet the growing demand, the output of the DCS 0500 can be increased up to 100% through an upgrade kit. This modification keeps the same footprint and the same interfaces (up and down-stream). For the operators, they will just run faster without additional training. Secondly, it is built on Kustner® technology and process, which is synonymous of reliability. It has been conceived for a 500ppm production, but the output of the DCS 0500 can be increased to reach up to 1000 processed cheese slices per minute. The DCS 0500 has a practical and functional layout. The front side provides the operator with a very good accessibility and visibility on the whole wrapping process, from the filling area to the stacking device. A well-positioned HMI makes the machine easy to operate. To talk about the final product, the DCS 0500 produces high quality slices. In fact, the transverse seal, achieved within milliseconds of forming the tube with a high-quality longitudinal seal and after calibrating the weight of the slice, ensures very good dosing accuracy and a hermetic portion for an extended shelf life. This process also allows the use of ingredients or the production of “light” slices. In addition, the cooling process is done in horizontal position, ensuring a very homogenous shape. The machine is very easy to use and to operate and regarding the maintenance, its modules can be adjusted in hidden time and easily exchanged on machine. Finally, thanks to a motorized horizontal stacking device, the DCS 0500 will provide very good and stable stacks of slices until 75 mm height which will suit in a perfect way into the secondary packaging line. E.E: What are the ranges of products? SAPAL: For the Processed Cheese segment, we have high-speed machines for portions that can produce from 280 to 540ppm depending on the needs of the customers. The DCP0600 – formerly called ML4 – is our flagship machine for portions. Regarding the individual wrapped cheese slices (IWS), we had until today the high-speed machines DCS 2000 and the DCS 1000-1 and today, we are launching the DCS 0500 as an entry-level packaging machine to meet the demand. As for the Confectionery segment, we can provide multiformat wrapping machine for delicate flat base or spherical chocolates, such as balls or eggs to improve the product quality by using a very gentle product handling. The DSD 0300, for example, offers you a ﬂexible solution to produce several traditional pack styles, including brush and box die-fold, double-twist, and Viennese wraps. A choice of formats as well as easy and fast format changes enable our customer to react effectively to changing market. While keeping the classical appearance of the box folding wrap (portfolio), the DSD 0600 H fold additionally offers a hermetically sealed wrap, easy to open, cost-saving and environment-friendly with OPP. This machine was a pioneer and the first machine into the market with this hermetic option. This combination of classicism and modernity gives chocolate its traditional image, while increasing its protection. And finally, for the Bouillon segment, Sapal developed two machines for the cubes or for the tablets, with a production of respectively 600 and 500 ppm. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active and what can you tell us about market trends? SAPAL: Processed Cheese: Globally, the demand of processed cheese is growing. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 4.4% from 2019 to 2029. Of course, its growing by waves and by regions. In the past years, If Europe seems to have a low growth, North Africa and Asia are consuming more and more processed cheese products. Chocolate/Confectionery: This market is mainly managed by innovation on the product itself but also on the packaging of the products.The main markets are Europe and US Bouillon: We should distinguish between pressed and extruded tablets. With our technology we are covering the pressed tablets mainly for Africa and Latin America. This product has a very high demand in emerging countries as the price is very low for the consumers. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? SAPAL: Definitively the DCS 0500 as it’s really a gap in the market that we are now covering. E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021? SAPAL: Sapal is a company that exports more than 95% of its machines, so 2020 was a relatively modest year in terms of machine sales. However, the dimensioning of our company, the very good management of costs and the follow-up of our customers allowed us to finish the year without losses. For 2021, the first signs of recovery and a general upturn in the market are beginning to arrive and this can only be positive for the economy. The demand for machines seems to follow this trend. We have therefore drawn up our budget taking into account this gradual recovery since the end of the summer.