Ishida Europe Ltd. (UK) – Ishida multihead weighing technology has helped to transform the packing operation of international food company Hügli’s factory in Zàsmuky in the Czech Republic with the installation of a compact 18 head Ishida multihead weigher to pack dehydrated products into small 15g to 25g bags at speeds of up to 100 per minute.
The Zàsmuky factory specialises in the production of a wide range of dehydrated products including soups, sauces, seasonings, and rice meals, supplying around 100 million bags of product each year, in retail sizes ranging from 15g up to 150g.
Prior to the installation of the first Ishida weigher in 2006, the company used volumetric fillers but their lack of accuracy and control led to a product giveaway of typically 5%. The arrival of the Ishida weighers saw this significantly reduced to just 1.5%.
Now with the installation of the 18 head weigher, the company is able to pack small target weights at high speeds while maintaining excellent accuracy. “We originally specified a top speed of 90 packs per minute for the weigher, but it quickly became apparent that it had the capability to operate even faster and this has helped to further increase throughput,” explains production director Pavel Coufal.
While the machine predominantly handles the smaller target weights, it also has the flexibility to handle larger size packs of up to 150g.
Hügli handles around 1,000 different products in its factory, with length of production runs varying considerably – some can be as few as 10,000 packs, others in excess of 500,000.
A key benefit of the Ishida weighers, particularly when compared to volumetric fillers, is their ability to handle changeovers easily. Different product settings are stored in the weigher’s memory for immediate call-up at the touch of a button on the remote control unit, while for major cleaning procedures the hoppers can be easily removed and replaced for a fast turnaround between production runs.
The weighers are part of a range of Ishida equipment installed at Hügli over the years which also includes 16 checkweighers and two x-ray systems. The company was also the first in the Czech Republic to install Ishida’s pioneering Ishida Data Capture System (IDCS)), which is a performance data analysis tool used to reduce giveaway and improve performance and productivity.
Pavel Coufal says the Ishida equipment is performing reliably throughout the company’s three-shift, five day operation, and cites the company’s dedicated sales and service support in the Czech Republic as a major benefit. “All the Ishida equipment operates consistently day in, day out but we have the added reassurance of a fast response service should the need arise,” he explains. “Ishida has been instrumental in helping our business grow while delivering the efficiencies and quality control necessary to support this expansion.”