Frankie V’s Kitchen, Dallas, TX, produces and bottles 100% all-natural gourmet sauces, dressings, soups, desert toppings, and drink mixes for distribution nationwide to retail and foodservice markets. The company uses both hot- and cold-filling for its diverse product line. Frankie Valdez, CEO for Frankie V’s Kitchens, says, “As product demand was growing, we recognized the need to improve our filling speeds and filling accuracies to accommodate our range of products and bottle shapes and sizes. We fill container sizes from 3.8-oz hot sauces to 32-oz soups.”
The company sources its glass and plastic containers and labeling systems from multiple suppliers. Lug capping equipment is from Massilly North America, Inc. and continuous thread capping equipment is from SureKap.
While evaluating filling system options, a friendly fellow food processor Doug Renfro, of Fort Worth-based Renfro Foods, Inc., highly recommended that Frankie V’s consider volumetric piston filling systems available from Elmar Industries, Inc. Renfro had first-hand, successful experience with Elmar filling technology for their own products.
Change is good
In September 2017, Frankie V’s Kitchen installed a 14-station Elmar Model RPE-714 volumetric piston filler. Notes Frankie Valdez, “We sent our maintenance manager to Elmar’s site, where he received full training. Then we were able to accomplish the filler installation ourselves with some phone assistance from their technicians.
“This filler has been a game changer for us. We went from an average of 25 to 30 bottles per minute up to 100 plus per minute on our filling speeds. We can run all day and now output our 32-oz products at 10,000+ per day. We are very happy with the ease of use, maintainability, speeds, and fill-level accuracies it’s providing. And the fast changeover capability is crucial for our growing operations.”