F.R. Drake Company was started in 1979 by Fred Drake, and was incorporated in 1983. Mr. Drake spent many years designing machines for the meat processing industry, so he understood the special requirements of meat processing companies. In 1984, Mr. Drake completed the design and development of a new automatic frankfurter loading system. The machine offered superior technical features over the competition: it loaded 25% faster (up to 1,800 pieces/minute), required up to 50% less floor space, used "first-in, first-out" handling to reduce bacteria and improve shelf life, and was ruggedly built to last.
F.R. Drake Company has prospered, even after Mr. Drake's retirement in 1990. Drake engineers constantly introduced innovations, and sales grew steadily as the performance of Drake Loaders became well known. By the mid-90’s, the company was recognized as the technological leader in frankfurter loading and Drake routinely captured over 80% of all new frankfurter loader sales in the Western Hemisphere.
Drake has continued to introduce new features for hotdog loaders, including a new, patented loading head, a broad range of sanitation enhancements, and an advanced controls package.
On February 2, 2007, F.R. Drake Company announced the acquisition of the assets of the Food Loading Division of Planet Products Corporation of Cincinnati, OH. The acquired division of Planet manufactured specialty food loading and related equipment for the commercial food processing industry under the Planet Products brand including the models SP3 and 1250 frankfurter loaders, fresh link loaders and patty stacker. Drake became responsible for all sales and service of Planet’s food loader products worldwide, marketing all products under the Drake brand.
Effective May 19, 2010, Drake announced the acquisition of Marel Townsend Further Processing’s automatic sausage and cheese loading systems for randomly oriented cylindrical products. Support of Townsend models LD51-540, LD55 and all series of the model 780 loaders currently in operation worldwide is offered.
Drake was acquired by the Middleby Corporation in December of 2011 and is now a part of their Processing and Packaging Technology Brands Division. Under this umbrella, global manufacturing, sales and support meet increasing demands for advanced technologies in food production. Industry leaders provide a broad portfolio of patented technologies and integrated system solutions.
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