Ramón Ventulà, S.A is a company with a rich history. Segundo Ventulà began his business career in the mid-20th century selling a selection of cured sausages (longaniza and salchichón) to the main markets of Barcelona from his butcher’s shop in La Canya, a town in the Garrotxa district in Girona province, Spain.

Today his daughter, Pilar Ventulà, is at the helm of a family business engaged in the production of serrano ham and other cold cuts that they export to more than 70 countries. It is an innovative company with a high efficiency rating, Industry 4.0 solutions and demanding food safety protocols. It is also committed to environmental protection, sustainability, and social responsibility. Adapting to market needs without sacrificing quality has always been the Ventulà family’s philosophy.

Why did they have to change the slicing, loading and packaging line?

Ventulà realized the need to enhance their range of product formats to adapt to new market trends including increased demand for sliced serrano ham. Another reason was that their packaging was bulky, could not be made from recyclable materials and was out-of-phase with what the end-users were demanding. They were worried about the excessive use of plastic, the waste it generated and its aggressive impact on the natural environment. Ventulà had to take the bull by the horns and tackle all these problems. They needed a single partner that would:

  • quickly understand their needs
  • give priority to the product and its quality
  • ensure that their investment would be profitable 
  • have the capacity to supply a new line with the highest quality, food safety and innovation standards
  • provide a significant cost reduction and cut down on the use of plastic
  • supply a comprehensive line solution
  • have an efficient and responsive maintenance service team and;
  • be a partner rather than a mere supplier 

Why GEA?

They knew about GEA’s high professional standards, reliability, and commitment from previous projects. They had already acquired three of our lines, so that the cordial relationship and fluid communication led them to request our help to design a new package and a highly-profitable line with the least possible giveaway. But what finally convinced Ventulà to work with GEA was the option of having a single manufacturer to supply all the machines for the new slicing, loading and packaging line.

Close collaboration and integrated design of the new line

The mutual trust and coherent communication between Ramón Ventulà and GEA were the key to the success of the project. At the same time, the excellent teamwork enabled the design of a comprehensive solution with all the units fully integrated into the line. 

What are the main improvements that the new slicing, loading and packaging line has contributed to the company?

Each element of the new slicing line contributes to greater efficiency for Ventulà. The GEA DualSlicer has doubled productivity by allowing two product logs to be sliced at the same time. The high-performance slicer provides excellent slicing accuracy and portioning quality, even for naturally- shaped products, benefitting also from the two completely independent drives. It achieves this with the aid of the GEA OptiScanner that scans two product logs simultaneously before slicing to establish its shape and density. With this data the software calculates the ideal thickness and number of slices for each portion prior to slicing in order to perform best yields. The result is an extraordinary giveaway limit of just 0 to 0.1%. The GEA PowerPak PLUS thermoformer uses advanced film control to minimize film usage, reducing Ventulà’s plastic consumption by 30%, and helping the company to minimize its environmental impact.

The new film control, centering and monitoring system of the GEA PowerPak PLUS Thermoformer makes film changing easier and helps to reduce wastage.  In addition, the precision achieved by the GEA ShingleLoader automatic loading system has allowed Ventulà to reduce its package size for shingle packs. Easy cleaning has helped Ventulà improve hygiene and reduce downtime in the plant. This, combined with the other advances incorporated into the new line, has made the day-to-day life of the company’s machine operators and maintenance team much easier.