The installation of Ishida’s new Ishida data capture system (IDCS) for check-weighers has delivered significant cost savings and production-line optimisation at leading Polish coffee, tea and cocoa producer Mokate, leading to a payback on investment within 12 months.
The IDCS is a simple and user-friendly software solution that can help factory managers make decisions regarding investment in new packing machinery or changes to existing operations and procedures by visualising and indicating where cost savings on the packing or processing line can be made.
The IDCS records data from every single pack weighed by an Ishida check-weigher (data from up to 100 check-weighers can be recorded by one IDCS) into a single secure database, providing a rich source of valuable production data. The reports generated can indicate, for example, how much product is being given away in any given time period (per minute, hour, shift, week, month or year) or how often lines are not operating when they should.
Mokate has two factories in Poland — in Zory, producing cappuccino, coffee, coffee drinks, cocoa and coffee creamer, and in Ustroń producing tea — along with two factories in the Czech Republic, and distribution facilities in Slovakia, Hungary and the Ukraine. The company is a major supplier of coffee, tea and cocoa throughout Central and Eastern Europe and also exports to China. In addition, it is now selling its cappuccino in Italy.
Product quality and consistency are key requirements for Mokate and the company has been using Ishida check-weighers, supplied via Ishida’s agent in Poland, Fenix Systems, for several years. The availability of the IDCS offered additional advantages by enabling Mokate to monitor more accurately its entire packing operation in order to identify both potential problems and cost-saving opportunities.
Mokate initially installed the IDCS on a single check-weigher for a three-month test period. During its first day of operation the software identified that a number of unplanned stoppages were significantly longer than anticipated. The software also helped to evaluate reasons for packaging material losses. As a result the company purchased a further 12 Ishida check-weighers with IDCS software and it has now retrofitted the IDCS to all existing check-weighers in its factories.
Mokate has identified a number of key benefits of the IDCS. The software provides full on-line supervision of production lines, delivering detailed information on individual shifts, production volume, throughput and film consumption. Equally important, centralised control eliminates operator errors during product set up.
IDCS also enables effective monitoring and control of the volumetric fillers by using the information from the check-weighers to adjust their filling rates and ensure they are operating at maximum efficiency. A further advantage, not initially anticipated when the software was installed, is that the IDCS is also able to identify and help resolve problems in other upstream machines such as mixers and feeders.
One of the most noticeable savings that the IDCS has generated has been through its ability to control what had previously been an extensive loss of film during the packing process. Each roll of film is weighed before it is put onto the machine and this information is fed into the IDCS. The system can then calculate the amount of film used to produce a particular number of sachets and highlight the amount of wastage through rejected packs or through film losses during machine adjustments
This information is also used to allow Mokate to control the thickness of the film. Ensuring that the correct amount of film is used maximises the number of packs that can be produced during each production run.
The IDCS provides detailed reports which can be accessed at each factory or from another location via the Internet. Mokate says the system has generated notable production efficiency and operator improvements, with better overall control and monitoring that means any problems can be dealt with more quickly.
“At any one moment we know exactly what is happening in each of our factories and can take appropriate decisions to rectify matters or improve working practices,” comments Leszek Kolek, Mokate’s factory director.
“Indeed, we do not now know how we managed without IDCS in the past. And we are delighted with the support we continue to receive from Ishida Europe and Fenix Systems.”