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Accurately weighing sticky products to reduce giveaway

19 March 2018

Accuracy and availability are two of the benefits of a 10-head multihead weigher installed at Swiss fresh and frozen food product specialist Frostag Food-Centrum AG. 

The Ishida weigher forms part of a new line at the plant for handling a variety of fresh pasta products. The weigher was adapted for use by the company, to enable the pasta to be processed quickly but gently.

The starch component can cause pasta to stick, which makes it a difficult product to weigh efficiently. To prevent residues from building up, contact parts are coated with special surface materials. The weigher is fitted with an enclosure to keep the pasta at a consistent low temperature for hygienic reasons and to reduce product sticking during the weighing process.

An elevator provides controlled product transfer to the dispersion table of the multihead weigher. Self-regulating, vibrating radial feeder troughs ensure an optimum product flow to the pool hoppers which supply a set of weigh hoppers directly underneath.

The weigher’s computer is able to calculate the best combination for the desired target weight in a fraction of a second. The precisely dosed portions are then released into polybags with fill weights of between 200g to 1kg.

The Ishida multihead weigher has been proven to achieve its performance target of 60 bags per minute while weighing accuracy is good. With the 200g bags, for example, product giveaway due to overfilling is just 1g.

The line processes 58 items from 25 product groups, highlighting the need for quick product changeovers, which are required several times a day. After in-house training, staff at the plant understood how to operate the weigher. Product changeovers can now be carried out at the touch of a button and the multihead weigher requires practically no maintenance. The weigher, which is designed to protect against the ingress of water and cleaning agents, can be fully foam-washed. The contact parts are removed and cleaned using a purpose-built wash wall on the gantry next to the weigher.

The new weighing solution has also been integrated into a line control system, so that production data can be recorded and retrieved in Frostag's control centre as required.

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