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Interview with Jeroen Mulder

Jeroen Mulder has worked at Omori Europe/ Selo for 32 years and held many positions within the company over the years. From Aftersales Service Engineer at Selo, he developed via various technical management roles to become Managing Director of Omori Europe. In all those years one thing has not changed: his passion for packaging concepts and the development of new innovations.

Jeroen Mulder Omori

One of those innovations is the SeloPack™ packaging; a design that Jeroen developed some five years ago and which since that time has been a runaway success. To him, the revolutionary nature of the design lies mainly in its user-friendliness. He explains:

“For many years companies have been presenting endless resealable concepts at trade fairs, primarily based on deep-draw packages. However, many of these concepts require instructions. This could be written instructions on how to open the package an instructional image, for example.”

Jeroen swiftly concluded that this was far from ideal. Elderly people may have difficulty reading the instructions and many people are tempted to just take a pair of scissors to it. Surely this could be done better?, thought the director:

“If packaging is good, elderly people should be able to open it. And it should be obvious, without the need for instructions. Everyone learns how to open an envelope at kindergarten, so we wanted to use that same principle for the SeloPack™ package.”

SeloPack™ offers real user-friendliness

As a specialist in the sliced meats and cheese market, it is precisely this sector from which Omori is experiencing a great demand for flowpack packaging. This is also happening more and more frequently, as the concept is attracting a lot of attention from everyday users. This had already been demonstrated in a test with a so-called oldies panel in England, Jeroen recalls.

“Twenty elderly people in the room were given a SeloPack™ package and given the task of opening it as quickly as possible. Any additional instructions such as arrows, text or any other image were strictly prohibited. But that appeared to be unnecessary. Nobody had any difficulty in opening their packaging. So we scored very highly in terms of user-friendliness.”

High quality flow packers required

Perhaps that’s the reason why the major supermarkets have been the first to embrace Omori’s SeloPack™ concept. The packages have been in the shops as tangible proof for some time now. Yet it is a success that has not come about without a degree of resistance, as the packaging format places strong demands on the packaging machines used – flow packers, and on materials.

Jeroen: “The quality standards for a flow packer which is to be used for SeloPack™ and more specifically, for the final seal mechanism, are very high in order to achieve good seal integrity. The sealing of the inside of a film to the outside requires a great degree of precision and control. There is only a very small sealing window of temperature, pressure and time, within which this functions optimally.”

In Japan, Omori flow packers are used widely in the pharmaceutical sector. This industry imposes the highest standards on quality and speed. Perhaps it is for this reason that the basic design of the packaging machines, after a few small adjustments, has remained more or less the same after all this time.

The SeloPack™ pack will certainly not be the last innovation from Omori and Jeroen, of that there is no doubt. As the director concludes:

“We continually strive to develop new innovations and improvements.”