QUPAQ is the top global provider of tray denesting and handling solutions for food producers. Their reliable market-leading technology and application know-how enable customers to replace manual tray handling with automated solutions. In more than 50 countries, the company helps customers pack and sell over 10 billion trays of food products annually.

Interview with Maria Thrane Stendys, Communication Assistant at QUPAQ.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Maria Thrane Stendys: Our DNA is wired for handling and denesting trays. At QUPAQ, we combine the best of both worlds with a product portfolio that includes the global leader in electrical denesting equipment, INTRAY, and the global leader in pneumatic denesting equipment, ANYTRAY. Our food packaging expertise extends beyond denesting. We also automate the flow of trays and cases to minimize manual labor and maximize production efficiencies, allowing us to design and map the layout of the entire end-of-line operation.

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

M.T.S: We are currently working on a loading system that will be going on the market soon. It is a fully automatic system designed for loading many different product types and sizes. Integrated with a Side-Flex solution that measures the position of the product infeed, it allows for correction of the product outfeed position depending on the loading pattern. With its high performance and high flexibility on a small foodprint, it is going to be a cutting-edge loading system that is going to attract a lot of attention once it is launched.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

M.T.S: Our product portfolio comprises the world’s largest modular range of denesters, conveyors, and related equipment for efficient tray handling – a product portfolio we can constantly improve as we are in dialogue with our many customers around the world on a daily basis. 

We excel in making denesters, but our food packaging expertise extends beyond denesting. As mentioned above, we can design and map the layout of the entire end-of-line operation. Concerning this, we are especially proud of CUBE, our next-generation pick-and-place robot cell for packaging. It has minimal operating and maintenance costs as well as high uptime, which makes it a future-proof solution that streamlines the packing and palletizing process. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

M.T.S: We are currently eight billion people in the world and the population keeps growing. For this reason, our market is in a growth phase, and the demand for reliable denesters is increasing as more companies seek to automate their packaging processes and improve efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance product quality.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

M.T.S: Disruptive technologies such as flow packing and thermoforming have emerged as trends in the food packaging industry. However, trays are still considered the most reliable and hygienic method for packing and distributing food to stores. This is why there is still significant innovation happening in tray design, such as the ultra-low stacking design which reduces handling and CO2 emissions. Due to their proven track record and overall safety, trays remain a popular choice for the industry.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? 

M.T.S: The High Speed Flex, Portion-2-Pack system combined with the automatic tray elevator system make up some of the most innovative products on the market. The efficient tray-filling system can fill up to 300 burger patties per minute or a maximum of 150 trays per minute, and the elevator system is designed to move tray stacks between floor levels at a speed of up to 150 trays per minute. Together, they increase productivity and streamline the production process.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2023?

M.T.S: We have an ambitious growth plan for the coming years. Sustainable food production requires that you incorporate automation to a greater extent, which is the value chain we work with. Our recent achievement at the Interpack 2023 fair in Düsseldorf is a testament to our commitment to automation and innovation. In fact, we set a new world record by denesting 1.094 trays in just 60 seconds. This accomplishment not only demonstrates our technical capabilities but also highlights the potential of automation in the food production industry.