The challenge of weighing sticky dates with minimal giveaway at fast production speeds has been met by the installation of an Ishida multihead weigher with integrated product depositing system and thermoformer at leading Middle East producer Emirates Dates.
The new system has replaced a manual operation and led to a near 200% increase in daily output – from 7t to 20t – while product giveaway has been reduced from 3% to 1%.
Established in 1989, Emirates Dates has grown to become one of the market leaders in the processing and manufacturing of date products, with its own palms in Al Ain and Ras Al Khaimah. With a growing range of products the company needed to find a way to increase throughput while achieving greater pack weight accuracy.
Ishida Europe was chosen to facilitate the investment thanks to its excellent reputation in providing weighing solutions for all types of difficult to handle products and because of its proven project management capabilities.
The Ishida solution comprises a 14 head multihead weigher from the company’s advanced R series, together with a bucket elevator and cross head feeder to bring product to the weigher, and a special distribution system that deposits the product into thermoformed trays in either 2×2 or 3×2 layouts.
The main problem with any automatic system for weighing dates is the product’s tendency to stick together in clumps, which can lead to excessive giveaway. The key feature of the Ishida weigher is therefore its Teflon-coated surfaces, which enable the dates to flow freely.
Ishida’s proven combination weighing system, which combines the weighments from any of the 14 weigh hoppers to meet the target weight, delivers excellent accuracy and has doubled the overall line efficiency for Emirates Dates. Equally important, the weigher is able to maintain this accuracy at speeds of 40 packs/min on 500g and 1kg packs.
The wide-angled touch-screen monitor and the logical, straightforward and user-friendly interface mean that the multihead weigher is extremely easy to use, with changeovers achieved at the touch of a button. This had led to a reduction in manpower on the line from 21 to five people, while a further benefit is the exceptional hygiene levels that can be maintained, as the weigher can be conveniently cleaned without the use of tools at the start and end of each shift.
"We have been delighted with the performance of the Ishida weigher," comments Udaysingh Sawant of Emirates Dates.
"We carried out extensive tests prior to purchasing the weigher, which proved that it provided the best solution for handling dates and it has continued to perform accurately and reliably. It is very easy to use and we have been very pleased with the service and support offered by Ishida."
Indeed Emirates Dates has been so impressed by how well the Ishida weigher operates and with the smooth installation that the company is already looking to invest in a second machine for a different part of the factory.