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Ishida Multi-Head Weighers
Time: 2016-09-24
Increasing demand for fruit bowl products meant that UK-based Stream Foods’ existing weighers were struggling to keep up. So the company sought a solution that would deliver both the speed and accuracy it required as well as a rapid return on investment.
The company produces a popular range of fruit snacks. Its multihead weighing and packing line from Ishida includes a 28-head model from the RV series that is achieving 400 packs/min. The CCW-RV-228 works in tandem with a 16-head RV model. The 28-head machine weighs primary packs from 16 to 30g of fruit flakes, yoghurt-coated flakes and raisins and fruit shapes. The 16-head model counts these into groups of 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 multipacks.
This combination is delivering 80 multipacks/min for five packs and has reduced the demand for the three remaining multihead weighers, which were linked to a counting eye, each of which was only capable of achieving 100 effective primary packs and 20 multipacks/min. These machines have now been redeployed to continue to add value on more specialist products where speed and output are less critical.
While quadrupling the speed of the packing operation, accuracy levels have also been improved. Just half a gram overweight in a 20g pack quickly amounts to a huge amount of free product over a single production run. With the Ishida solution, the company is now constantly to within a tiny fraction of the target weight, according to Stream Foods’ factory manager Andy Spall.
In addition to the two multihead weighers, the Ishida solution included the supply of conveyors and a flighted elevator, and incorporated Stream Foods’ existing Ishida DACS-G checkweighers along with two bagmakers specified by the company. Ishida has supplied its IDCS II — Integrated Data Capture System — for the checkweighers, enabling Stream Foods to closely monitor its production and packing operation to provide early warning of any problems that could affect the overall speed and efficiency of the line.
Key to achieving the high speeds has been the effective interface between the 28-head weigher and the bagmaker. The weigher itself is split into four sections, each one delivering 100 packs/min and feeding two timing hoppers positioned above the twin bagmaker. For the bagmaker to keep up with the high speeds of the weigher, it is essential that each drop of product falls as a single slug rather than a long stream. To achieve this, the profile of the bagmaker former was adjusted to enable the timing hopper to sit as low as possible inside the former. This ensures that product falls as a unit and without touching the sides, which could also slow the discharge into the bag.
The new line requires just five instead of six or seven operators, while delivering nearly four times the output over a 16-hour period than the previous weighers achieved in 24 hours. Currently the multipacks are put into cases by hand but Stream Foods is in the process of automating this part of the operation as well, to create a fully automated line.
As well as the speed and accuracy, the line offers the flexibility to respond quickly to customer requirements, for example a special promotion, and also to be innovative in product development. Indeed, new pack formats are already in the pipeline.
Source: www.ishidaeurope.com