An Ishida packing solution – comprising a multihead weigher, checkweigher and X-ray inspection system – at leading Czech confectionery manufacturer POEX has enabled the company to increase its packing capacity while at the same time delivering excellent accuracy and effective end-of-line inspection for enhanced product quality.
POEX Velké Meziříčí is based near Brno. The company packs coated and uncoated fruit and nut products, extruded and co-extruded cereals and snacks, extruded crisp breads and promotional items for its own range (branded EXCLUSIVE) and for many leading European retailers.
The company had decided to increase its capacity for chocolate-coated and other nuts, as well as dried fruit, with a complete new line. Having already had experience with Ishida weighers, it knew that the latest Ishida R-Series models would deliver best-in-class speed and accuracy. However, the inclusion of an Ishida X-ray inspection system and checkweigher has ensured the highest standards of quality assurance, without multiplying the number of machinery manufacturers involved.
POEX had in the past used both linear weighers and volumetric fillers and, most recently, locally manufactured multihead weighers.
"We pack at target weights ranging from 30g to 500g, with the average being in the region of 100g," says Jaroslav Caha, head of Poex’s packaging division. "This is mostly into pillow bags, but also into stand-up bags. The previous line produced 40 packs per minute compared with the 75 packs per minute we are now achieving with the new Ishida. That’s a near-90% improvement.
"In the past, the problem was that the faster we ran the machines, the less accurate they became. Also it was quite difficult to get the level of feeder vibration right in order to keep the product flowing."
With the new Ishida R-Series multihead weigher, the accuracy, even at the higher speeds, has been such that giveaway is down to near zero. For a 100g target weight, the mean weight is about 100.1g and standard deviation is only about 0.2g.
As well as improvements in production efficiency, POEX also wanted the new line to pay equal attention to product quality and safety. The Ishida IX-EA-2161 X-ray inspection system is able to detect even tiny particles of materials that could conceivably contaminate confectionery, including metal, glass, stone, rubber and plastic. Equally important, the high belt speeds (up to 60m/min) help maintain the excellent throughput achieved by the upstream equipment.
Stationed immediately after the X-ray system, and sharing a double reject bin, is an Ishida DACS-W checkweigher, the fastest and most accurate in its class. It brings an important level of Ishida reliability to ensuring compliance with weight regulations, while again providing the speed needed to keep up with POEX’s increased capacity.
POEX has achieved its aim of increasing capacity, with a typical output performance of 5t of confectionery per shift. But, as Jaroslav Caha puts it, "What has been most beneficial for our business has been the accuracy across a range of products, with practically zero giveaway, and the improvement in final inspection."