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Multihead weigher helps increase output

24 June 2019

A German manufacturer of a new type of vegetable protein has achieved a fivefold increase in output following the installation of a multihead weighing solution from Ishida Europe. 

Midori from the AMDIORI Food Company offers an alternative to meat substitutes by being based purely on vegetable protein. Several new orders for its vegetarian convenience food, required the company to make its packaging process more efficient and this led to the replacement of its volumetric filling system with an Ishida CCW-RV 14 head multihead weigher. 

"We wanted a top-quality weigher to satisfy growing demand and keep the cold chain intact,” said Christian Wicht, head of engineering and IT at AMIDORI. At the same time, the machine had to be very robust and water-resistant, as it will soon be required to handle fresh products as well as frozen food. "AMIDORI has opted for production on an industrial scale with maximum flexibility," continued Wicht. There was also a maximum height requirement for the packaging equipment, as the chilled packing area has a ceiling height of just four metres, to save energy.

The CCW-RV-214 has been integrated to feed an existing thermoforming machine. Products are fed to the weigher by a mobile elevator with a hopper for manual loading. The weigher can be fitted with two differently inclined dispersion tables depending on the product. From there, radial feeder troughs transfer product to double opening pool hoppers, which supply a second layer of double opening weigh hoppers. A microprocessor then takes just a fraction of a second to calculate the combination of weigh hoppers that comes closest to the target weight.

The CCW-214 is handling weights of between 180g and 2kg. The tray filling system features a servo-driven transfer chute that feeds a set of discharge chutes below.  This enables six thermoformed trays to be filled simultaneously, delivering a speed of 60 trays per minute. By comparison, the volumetric filling system could manage only 12 trays per minute. 

The multihead weigher at AMIDORI is installed on a mobile platform that can be moved to one side on rails and then lowered for cleaning whilst protecting the thermoformer from water ingress. The tray filling system can also be removed from the packing line with minimal effort.

The weigher regularly undergoes full foam-washdown so water resistance was an important requirement. The Ishida CCW-RV series is certified to IP69K protection rating (protection against high-temperature, high-pressure water) and the hygiene-friendly sloped design allows liquids to run off and prevents build-up of product residue.

Looking ahead, AMIDORI plans to have the CCW-RV permanently linked to Ishida’s remote services for performance monitoring. The Ishida Sentinel online software records real-time production data and anticipates faults and drops in performance. Trends, batch information and statistics can be visualised on a case-by-case basis and sent out as reports. Sentinel will therefore allow AMIDORI to further optimise its packing process.

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