Austrian company Berglandmilch has invested in a multihead weigher and checkweigher from Ishida Europe, enabling it to pack grated cheese accurately into bags to within 1g of target weight and leading to a fast payback on the investment.
Berglandmilch GmbH is the largest milk-processing company in Austria, offering well-known brands such as Schärdinger, Desserta and Fidus, and has a market-leading 60% share of the cheese market.
Berglandmilch’s Gienberg site operates two processing lines and is the company’s central packing facility for a wide range of grated cheese. The company’s aim was to supply the product to the retail trade in resealable bags.
To weigh the grated cheese, with its sticky consistency, Berglandmilch needed a highly efficient multihead weigher. Accuracy was of particular importance, as every gram of excess weight in the bag means wasted product, which would amount to around €40,000 per year.
Berglandmilch turned to Ishida Europe for a solution, thanks to its reputation as a world-leading manufacturer of weighing and packing technology. Ishida integrated a state-of-the-art CCW-RS multihead weigher into the packing line, along with a high-performance DACS-W checkweigher.
The cheese is first fed in blocks to the line via a conveyor belt and is then pre-cut and grated. An ascending conveyor transports the product up into the air and the cheese is continuously fed to the weigher through a chute from above.
A unique vibration system ensures a controlled and gentle flow of product to the weigh hoppers. New hardware and software allows maximum productivity – the flow of product to the trays on the dispersion table is controlled by a load cell and the intensity of the vibrations of the vibratory feeder troughs is constantly adjusted automatically.
The 14-head Ishida CCW-RS weigher works according to the combination weighing principle whereby the built-in computer instantaneously calculates all possible weight combinations in the available weigh hoppers and selects the one combination (typically three to four weigh hoppers) that comes closest to the target weight. The hoppers are made from stainless steel with embossed surfaces, which prevents cheese from sticking to them.
The CCW-RS weigher is in use five days a week at Berglandmilch in two-shift and three-shift mode. With every variety of cheese that is processed, a throughput of 60 weighments a minute is achieved. The multihead weighs so precisely that the level of giveaway is no more than 1g per bag.
Pre-set weight specifications for the different cheese varieties can be easily called up via the touch screen, allowing fast changeovers and meaning that only one to two employees are needed to operate the entire packing line. Another benefit is that, thanks to the water-resistant and easily accessible design of the line, cleaning can be performed quickly and without the use of tools.
“The precision and speed of the Ishida weigher are impressive and the potential output is so high that we have not yet been able to make full use of it,” said Alois Kronberger, head of production at Berglandmilch GmbH. “The investment is paying for itself more quickly than we had anticipated.”
The Ishida DACS-W checkweigher delivers a maximum output of 270 weighments per minute and features a fully integrated metal detector. The checkweigher provides additional assurance that the bags of cheese are the correct weight and that they are free of any metal contamination.
For Berglandmilch, the primary motive in purchasing the checkweigher was to establish an additional safeguard and prevent complaints. Alois Kronberger said: “Contamination almost never occurs, but our customers appreciate our very high safety standards.”
Berglandmilch has now ordered another checkweigher for another packing line.