Increased yield – at a level previously considered unattainable for salad products – is one of the major benefits that Gartenfrisch Jung GmbH has experienced with a 14-head weigher from Ishida’s new, advanced R-Series.
The company produces 50,000 bags and 36,000 trays of salad daily for the retail market, as well as 25 tonnes for the catering industry. Based in Jagsthausen, Germany, it uses its own locally grown vegetables, when in season, and ingredients from Southern Europe and North Africa at other times.
Because of the importance of maximising yield, Gartenfrisch organised a trial of the new model against a 10-year old 14-head Ishida RZ machine which, in its day, was one of the fastest salad machines on the market. For each trial, the machines were run on the same day, under identical conditions and using the same salad mix. All packs were checkweighed after multihead weighing, to ascertain the actual weight.
The average weight variation on the new machine was much smaller and had not been considered achievable with salad before. Giveaway per pack was also significantly reduced, by over 2.5% on average. Thus, for every 40 packs of salad produced, the new machine delivers one extra pack from the same amount of washed and prepared material. As Jürgen Schwarz, Production Manager at Jagsthausen, puts it: “For us, less giveaway means more profit.”
Underlying the reduced giveaway is a major step forward in multihead weighing accuracy. This comes from the R Series’ new electronics and software, which have increased the number of weight combinations available during each weighing cycle to 16,000, and multiplied by a factor of 80 the calculating power of the CPU.
Gartenfrisch Jung undertakes to get its products to the retailers in perfect condition, with five clear days of shelf life remaining. Therefore, the whole operation, from washing and preparation through to delivery, has to be conducted very efficiently. The hardware and software advances of the R Series mean the weigher is inherently capable of very high speeds with no loss of accuracy.
However salad leaves, with their high degree of elasticity, can absorb very high levels of vibration, while their tendency to cling to metal surfaces is well known. To counter these tendencies, the new CCW-R offers Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology, which provides stronger and more variable vibration levels, as well as steeply sloping feeder troughs and anti-stick contact surfaces. The speed at which it can work is currently limited by the bagmaking machine (60 wpm) and the end-of-line pack handling. Despite this, it has brought Gartenfrisch Jung a 10% increase in speed.
Although the R-Series Ishida has only been operating for under a year now, Gartenfrisch Jung is upbeat about its long-term reliability, having had experience of six previous Ishida weighers which are still going strong. “We need service by an Ishida technician once a year at most,” says Jürgen Schwarz.