A special compact linear multihead weigher from Ishida Europe is delivering high speeds and excellent accuracy at small target weights for the weighing of yogurt toppings at the Budapest factory of Danone Hungary.
The Ishida CCW-R-112PL is handling a variety of products including biscuit pieces, chocolate balls and cereals at weights of between 5g and 9g, achieving a deviation of less than 1% from the target weight at speeds of 169 weighments a minute. The weigher is part of a bespoke installation carried out in partnership with Ishida’s Hungarian distributor Master Quality, which also comprises a special distribution system, conveyor feeding system and support gantry.
Using a feed system devised by the customer, the product is fed through a chilled room to the infeed of the linear Ishida weigher. An Arcil thermoforming machine produces the two-compartment yogurt pot, one for the yogurt and the other for the topping. Once the topping is weighed, it is discharged into the filling system; this is linked to the thermoformer which calls for the pots to be presented underneath. Six yogurt pots are filled simultaneously at an impressive 169 weighments a minute.
The high accuracy of the CCW-R-112 linear multihead weigher has been specifically designed for ultra-low target weights of as little as 3g. It features short drop heights, particularly appropriate for handling the fragile toppings, while the linear arrangement of the product transfer allows very precise product flow control.
The weigher incorporates Ishida’s proven advanced technology such as a high-speed five-stage digital filter, and a new combination calculation algorithm using field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology that deliver high speeds, excellent accuracy and efficiency levels close to 100%.
The line is operating up to four days a week with three shifts each day. Typically, product changeover is carried out three or four times daily, each one taking just 30 minutes using air purge cleaning. A full washdown takes place every week with all hoppers removed and cleaned in a Jeros washing machine. The Ishida is supplied with Hungarian language software and the entire line is controlled by a single operator.
The new installation was to meet both domestic and export demand for Danone’s yogurts with toppings. Having originally worked with another Danone factory in Poland on a similar application, Ishida was the obvious choice for the Hungarian project. Based on its successful experiences in Poland, Ishida subsequently made a number of modifications to the product handling side of the installation to deliver an optimum solution.
The line went in smoothly in just two weeks and Master Quality also carried out extensive operator training to help Danone achieve and maintain the excellent line performance.
Danone Hungary investment and utility manager Adam Kocsis said, "We have been delighted with the speed, accuracy and reliability of the Ishida weigher and ancillary equipment, which have made a very important contribution to the success of this project.
"The machine works consistently day-in, day-out, and the support we have received from Master Quality in terms of machine maintenance, service engineers’ visits and spare parts supply has been impeccable."
Thanks to the successful cooperation between Danone, Ishida and Master Quality, the customer is currently considering investing in X-ray inspection technology to guarantee both food safety and quality