Ishida has acted as project manager for a complete re-design of Zenith’s pack house to accommodate a fourth new production line and to make the entire operation more efficient.
This was a major undertaking, with the Ishida’s project team having to empty the pack house and re-install the three existing lines together with new steelwork and conveyors and the new line. To maximise space and efficiency, the team introduced a workable product flow with all product entering the area from one end and leaving it packed at the other.
Three weighing and bagging lines are grouped in a line at the far end of the pack house, while a conveyor takes product packed into punnets from Ishida’s multihead weigher to the packing area where all packs are boxed and placed onto pallets.
To keep disruption to a minimum, nine days were originally allowed for the pack house’s transformation, utilising the quieter periods over two weekends. However, the Ishida team was able to complete the task in just five days with production able to start up early.
Zenith’s managing director Franco Barone said: "This is typical of the support I have received from Ishida over the years.
"It is one of the reasons why I will only deal with Ishida when it comes to the weighing side of our operation."
The latest Ishida salad weigher to be installed is a 14 head 5l salad specification model, which features Ishida’s recently-developed easy-motion material, which helps keep salad leaves moving through the weigher. All of the company’s weighers are easy to set up, and changeovers between product or pack sizes can be carried out at the touch of a button on the machines’ remote control units.
Zenith also implements rigorous hygiene standards and the ease of cleaning of the weighers helps to minimise the downtime for this operation.
With Zenith operating up to 14 hours a day seven days a week, the reliability of the weighers is another important factor.
Franco says: "I can be pretty certain that the Ishidas will not let me down.
"This is very important as we would certainly struggle if one line was out of commission for any length of time."
One of the most impressive factors in Zenith’s success is that the company’s expansion has been entirely self-funded. Not surprisingly, this means that every investment in new equipment is very carefully considered.
Franco adds: "There is no point buying the cheapest machine if its lack of reliability means it is not working for half the time.
"Service support and back-up in the event of a problem are also essential.
"And the quality of the equipment and the high levels of service are the reasons why we continue to partner with Ishida."