Ledo, the largest supplier of frozen food products in Croatia, has benefited from the expertise of Ishida Europe in the installation of three weighing and packing lines for frozen vegetables, fish and pastry that have enabled the company to reduce product giveaway, increase production capacity and tighten production control.
Founded in 1958, Ledo has expanded to become the largest manufacturer of ice-cream and frozen pastry, and the largest supplier of frozen vegetables, fish and ready meals in Croatia. Ledo has four production sites in Croatia – in Zagreb, Daruvar, Bjelovar and Citluk (Bosnia)- with the company’s share in many frozen food markets exceeding 50% and increasing each year.
This continuing growth led to concern over the equipment used in the company’s packing lines, in particular the quality and weight variations of the packed products. Using its existing multihead weighers, Ledo was experiencing a typical overweight of 10g for 500g bags of both frozen pastry and vegetables. The company therefore wanted to cut giveaway, improve weighing consistency and increase production capacity and efficiency by investing in new weighing and packing lines from Ishida Europe.
The new Ishida weighers are delivering accuracy to within 0.7g on 500g packs of frozen vegetables and 1.7g on 500g bags of frozen pastry. In addition to this significant reduction in giveaway, production capacity for these products has doubled, while staffing levels have been reduced by half, allowing employees to be re-deployed to other areas within the factory.
The frozen vegetable line at Ledo’s Zagreb factory features a CCW-R-216B-2M/30-WP mulithead weigher with 3l hoppers, which is capable of handling two separate products for discharge into the same bag. The weigher can handle 500g bags at up to 100 packs per minute. The frozen fish and seafood line at the Daruvar factory features an Ishida CCW-R-214W-S-70-WP weigher with 7l hoppers operating at up to 50wpm for 500g bags, while the frozen pastry line in Zagreb uses an Ishida CCW-RS-210-S-50-WP with 5l hoppers to handle specialist products such as gnocchi, strukli and croissants in a variety of packs sizes from 500g to 2.5kg and at speeds of up to 30 bags per minute.
All three weighers are WP waterproof versions, specifically developed for the hygienic handling of frozen products and offering fast and easy cleaning to enable quick changeovers. This is critical for Ledo, where product changeovers occur on average three times per day.
Ishida designed the entire packing lines around each weigher, sourcing and installing ancillary equipment such as conveyors, vibratory feeders, gantries and access platforms, bagmakers and packing tables. The company also provided in-depth training for Ledo’s operators to enable them to maintain high efficiencies on the lines.
In addition, a regular annual service visit from Ishida ensures that the lines continue to run at optimum performance, with any potential issues, such as replacing consumables, addressed well in advance to ensure continued reliable operation with minimum downtime.
“The dedicated and knowledgeable Ishida team ensured that we found the right solution for each of our packing lines,” comments Ledo’s executive director of maintenance and investments, Darko Trkulja. “The investment in these three lines has helped us to substantially increase our production efficiency and convinced us to continue the automation of our production lines in the future.”