The installation of five multihead weighers from Ishida Europe has helped to triple throughput at Ansolive, a leading European supplier and distributor of olives and Mediterranean products.
The company has recently installed five new automatic lines in a new production facility at its site in Ans, Belgium, to meet growing demand for its products throughout Europe. This has enabled it to fill a further 60,000 pots of product a day in addition to the 30,000 it was already producing on seven semi-automatic lines in its original factory.
At the start of each automatic line, products such as olives, peppers and dried tomatoes are transported by means of a belt elevator to one of the five 16-head Ishida CCW-RS weighers. These are capable of handling both mono product and two-mix applications (such as olives and peppers or olives and feta cheese) and their hygienic WP ‘waterproof’ construction enables fast and easy cleaning between production runs.
After weighing the products are discharged into one or two plastic pots (depending on the required production capacity), which are automatically presented underneath each weigher. The pots then pass underneath a liquid filler to add oil or sauce and are sealed in a protective atmosphere (MAP) to preserve the natural freshness of the ingredients. The sealed pots go through a lidding machine and are subsequently labelled while a laser printer applies a production code on the lids.
At the end of the packaging process, the pots are automatically stacked and placed in cardboard boxes, which are then transported to the palletising area after which they are placed in a cold storage facility.
If two pots are filled at the same time, the maximum capacity is 60 pots per minute per line.
"Thanks to the new automatic lines, our production capacity has increased greatly," says Muzaffer Öztürk, Ansolive’s founder. "At the old site, we could fill 30,000 pots per day. Today, the five automatic lines supply a capacity of 60,000 pots – and even 120,000 pots if we work in two shifts. This is on top of the 30,000 packs that we still produce on the old lines."
The five Ishida multiheads were supplied and installed by Ishida’s Belgium distributor BRN, based in Aalst. Ansolive chose the 16-head models as they are ideal for operating at high speeds and thus can handle large production throughputs.
Öztürk confirms: "Over the years, I had visited many suppliers of Mediterranean products. I therefore knew that Ishida supplies high-performance machines and that the service is excellent. Even 20 years after purchasing, you can still get replacement parts."
Prior to signing the contract, BRN carried out extensive tests in order to tailor the weighing machines to the required products. The installation took just two days, followed by one week of testing. Six Ansolive employees responsible for the machines also received intensive two-week training in their native French language at BRN.
Öztürk is satisfied with the after-sales service: "To start with, we hardly had any problems. We did of course have some questions at the beginning as we were not familiar with all the functions, but BRN immediately helped us out in each case."
Because of this positive experience, Ansolive is currently looking into the automation of additional packing lines.