phs Wastekit Balers Live Up to the Seachill Challenge

Date: July 2020

Seachill UK Ltd achieves more reliable baling and less down time, thanks to capable and well-maintained phs Wastekit balers. 

Background: Seachill UK Ltd, recently rebranded as Hilton Seafood UK, is one of the country’s largest domestic chilled fish processors, and the stand-alone seafood division of the Hilton Food Group plc.

Based in the northeast fishing port of Grimsby, Seachill is a leading supplier to the UK retail market and exporter to USA and Australia. It offers a wide range of fresh and frozen salmon, whitefish and shellfish, as well as prepared dishes, such as prawn cocktails, fish pie mix, coated fish and fishcakes.

The successful food processing business was founded over twenty years ago and now boasts two large production sites along with a 100-year-old artisan smokehouse. Together with its innovative facilities, Seachill and its 550 employees are committed to providing quality products, meeting the strictest hygiene standards and reducing environmental impact. In July 2017, Seachill pledged to cut food waste at its UK operations in half by 2030.

Challenge: During normal operations, Seachill currently produces little cardboard waste but has to deal with around 13 tons of unwanted plastics on a daily basis. This waste requires baling for easier removal from site and recycling.  Much of this waste is tainted with sea water and other wet waste which quickly corrodes the machines used in the baling process.

The existing 4 on-site baling machines had therefore been experiencing a short lifespan and breakdowns which, on occasion, resulted in operator downtime. Seachill needed to overcome these setbacks in order to effectively achieve one of Hilton Food Group plc’s 8 pillars of strategy which promotes: “resourceful factories reducing environmental impact by waste reduction and energy efficiency”.

Solution: Seachill is a longstanding customer of phs Wastekit, having used various baling machines for a decade. During a regular customer service call, phs Wastekit’s Area Sales Manager, identified the need for improvements. He said, “We’re very familiar with Seachill’s operations and appreciate how critical these machines are to managing waste at the sites. We needed to supply a solution which works for the customer and minimizes the amount of downtime they have suffered. With this in mind, we looked at replacing the 4 machines currently on site with 4 larger and newer models, complete with a cleaning process aimed at improving performance and lengthening the life of the machines.”

This meant installing 2 V-Press 1160 vertical balers and 2 V-Press 860 models. With a press force of 55 tons, the machines are capable of producing bales weighing up to 550 kg. A wide loading aperture makes it easy to insert waste, which is compressed in just 25 secs, secured with polyester strapping or wire and ejected onto a pallet to facilitate handling.

The V-Press 860 provides a low-noise, energy saving alternative. Both machines occupy floor space that is a fraction of that required for a skip.

Installation of the 4 units was carried out over a 2-day period, and included the decommissioning and removal of the less effective machines. Operator training was completed with all relevant staff and when Seachill made a request for additional emergency stop switches to be fitted, phs Wastekit returned in a timely manner to complete this.

Moving forward, phs Wastekit’s engineering team will ensure better visibility of Seachill’s baling machines through a program of bi-annual servicing and regular, comprehensive on-site cleaning routines. This, coupled with a full maintenance package that will deal with any issues arising between servicing visits, will see a decrease in the problems experienced due to corrosion and the resulting downtime.

Benefits: Seachill is already well-versed in the many advantages of phs Wastekit’s baling machines which save space, time and effort, while providing a safer, uncluttered working environment. In baled format, the volume of plastic waste is reduced, enabling easier storage and removal.

Thanks to the diligent effort of phs Wastekit’s engineering team, the new baling equipment at Seachill sites has been functioning effectively despite the corrosive nature of the waste material. Regular maintenance and a high first-time fix rate, has helped to keep waste management activities at the sites functioning effectively, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency.

As well as the practical benefits, the 4 new machines provide the opportunity for additional income, in that the resulting large plastic waste bales enable Seachill to gain recycling rebates.

The balers are quick, easy and safe to operate and thanks to regular supplier-customer contact, Seachill can be assured that any future issues and/or increases in capacity will be swiftly addressed by phs Wastekit.

Wastekit Sales Colleague said: “Our contract with Seachill is a prime example of how phs Wastekit can tailor rental equipment, maintenance and service to suit all of our customers’ needs, no matter how challenging the waste stream. By working together, we can find the right solution.”

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