An Ishida iTPS integrated multihead weigher and bag maker is achieving speeds of 160 bags per minute at London-based snack manufacturer Snacks Unlimited.
Snacks Unlimited produces a range of snacks for the world-famous Weight Watchers brand, as well as a variety of low-fat snacks for retailer-own labels. The success of these products led to the expansion of the company’s manufacturing operation in Park Royal, North London, which in turn created the need for a new weighing and packing line.
The Ishida iTPS was selected after a rigorous selection procedure including comparison tests with a leading competitor of Ishida.
“I have always been an Ishida fan but my factory manager was equally enthusiastic about another company’s equipment,” explains Snacks Unlimited’s operations director Peter Dolton. “However, once both machines had been put to the test, he agreed that there was absolutely no contest. The Ishida was able to deliver the very fast speeds we needed and, just as significant, could achieve these without compromising on weighing accuracy. Equally important are the high levels of service and support that Ishida provides both before and after the sale.”
The Ishida R Series multihead weigher and Atlas bag maker
As well as the fast speeds and excellent accuracy of the iTPS, Mr Dolton says the integration of the Ishida R Series multihead weigher and Atlas bag maker, along with throat metal detector and thermal transfer coder – all operated via special iTPS software – provides an efficient and seamless operation. All functions are easy to control and monitor via the remote control unit (RCU), making the iTPS highly user-friendly.
The Ishida iTPS is weighing both cheese puffs and tortilla chips into 18g bags with minimal product giveaway. Top speeds are 160bpm for the cheese puffs, slightly less for the heavier piece weight tortilla chips in order to obtain accurate bag weights, but in both cases the system is able to easily handle the throughput from the manufacturing operation. The iTPS is performing reliably as part of a 24/5 production schedule, delivering an output of around 70,000 packs per shift.
Atlas bag maker with double rotary jaw motion
The Atlas bag maker features a double rotary jaw motion and superior control technology, to combine fast speeds with accurate film registration and tight bag seals. The benefits of this technology are that it saves raw materials, minimises film loss and reduces downtime for film changes.
An innovative sealing unit creates tight seals without wrinkles even during high-speed packing. Pressure, temperature and sealing time can be easily set on the RCU to match the production speed and film characteristics, creating optimum seals for any film.
The Atlas bag maker also offers effective product charge control, which reliably strips any remaining product from the seal area and prevents product from being blown upward. A unique auto film splicing unit (available as an option) reduces product changeover times by up to 10%.
“The fundamental requirements for our packing operation are speed and accuracy,” concludes Mr Dolton. “These are what Ishida always delivers and that’s the reason I would choose equipment from the company every time.”