This could become the norm, given the accelerating pace of change in control technology, the lack of in-house teams to integrate those changes and an increasing focus on core business.
Md Martin Leeming said: “You either have to have the skills on board to adapt to fast-changing technology and software, or you lease equipment, effectively outsourcing and leaving it up to the experts to keep the machine up-to-date – in our case, for no extra cost.”
In fact, TrakRap has greater access to ‘the experts’ than most, since around half the value of the machine is accounted for by components from Siemens, its technology and financial partner.
‘No capital expenditure’
Regarding the benefits of leasing, Leeming added: “Because there is no capital expenditure on equipment, the manufacturer’s return on net assets goes up.
“At the same time, we have a shared objective with our customer to ensure the machine is up and running all the time. Reliability has to be a priority for us.”
He is the first to admit that the leasing model also means that TrakRap keeps a tighter grip on its intellectual property.
TrakRap is a thin-film cold-wrapping technology. It uses a rotary stretch-wrap system to pack collations of product.
But while pallet stretch-wrap film might be up to 25 microns in thickness, the film applied here is just seven microns. Shrink film used to wrap collations is generally even heavier, typically 30 microns-plus, said Leeming.
Virtually eliminates the use of heat
Most importantly, the system virtually eliminates the use of heat. “We talk about a reduction of around 65% in film weight and about 90% in energy requirements,” said Leeming.
“Heat tunnels are not ideal for chilled or frozen foods, but you can put them through our machine.”
Customers of TrakRap in the dairy sector include companies such as Dale Farm, which began using its first TrakRap machine in 2011, and is now operating seven of them.