Ishida has devised what is claimed to be Europe’s fastest multihead weighing and packing line with a turnkey installation, including a 28-head model from the company’s latest generation RV series that is achieving 400 packs per minute at leading fruit snacks manufacturer Stream Foods.
The CCW-RV-228 is working in tandem with a 16-head RV model, the 28-head machine weighing primary packs from 16 to 30 grams (0.56 to 1.05 oz.) of the company’s top-selling Fruit Bowl range of fruit flakes, yogurt-coated flakes and raisins, and fruit shapes. The 16-head is counting these into groups of 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 20 multipacks.
This combination is delivering 80 multipacks per minute for 5 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 per minute. These machines have now been redeployed to continue to add value on more-specialized products where speed and output are less critical.
As well as quadrupling the speed of the packing operation, accuracy levels have also been greatly improved. “Product giveaway is a cardinal sin, and this is something we particularly wanted to address with this new installation,” explains Andy Spall, factory manager, Stream Foods. “Just half a gram (0.01 oz.) overweight in a 20-gram (0.7-oz.) pack quickly amounts to a huge amount of free product over a single production run. With the Ishida solution, we are now constantly to within a tiny fraction of the target weight.”
As well as 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 the two bagmakers specified by the company.
The huge success of Stream Foods’ Fruit Bowl ranges meant that its existing weighers were struggling to keep up with demand, so the company was seeking a solution that would deliver both the speed and accuracy it required, as well as a rapid return on investment.
“We discussed our requirements with a number of multihead weigher manufacturers. Our initial specification was for 200 packs per minute, but Ishida was quickly able to demonstrate that it could offer double this speed with high levels of accuracy,” explains Peter Green, engineering manager, Stream Foods.
Key to achieving the high speeds has been the effective interface between the 28-head weigher and the existing bagmaker. The weigher itself is split into four sections, each one delivering 100 packs per minute 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 now 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.
Andy and Peter had both had experience with Ishida in previous jobs, so knew what to expect in terms of the technology, reliability and ease of use of the Ishida equipment. The new weighers have continued to deliver these benefits, with fast changeovers, easy cleaning and no performance issues since their installation.
“Ultimately, this line has made us far more efficient, and for that reason we anticipate a fast payback on the investment,” concludes Andy. “Furthermore, as well as the speed and accuracy we needed, the line also gives us the flexibility to respond quickly to customer requirements—for example, a special promotion—and also to be innovative in our product development. Indeed, new pack formats are already in the pipeline.”
About Heat and Control
Heat and Control manufactures and supplies complete line solutions for the snack industry and is the exclusive supplier of Ishida industrial weighing and packaging systems in U.S., Mexico, Latin America and Canada. Along with their partners Ishida and CEIA, Heat and Control can provide solutions of one machine or a complete line. From processing, seasoning and coating application and conveying, to weighing, snack food bagmakers, packaging, metal detection, X-ray inspection, and checkweighing, Heat and Control can assist end-users with any snack equipment requirement. With experience and expertise since 1950, Heat and Control can assist with process development, custom engineering, leading edge technology, and equipment for all types of snack products. A full service offering includes pre- and post-sale technical support, including applications assistance, engineering, installation, parts, service, and training. For more information, visit www.heatandcontrol.com.