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Snack manufacturer keeps a check on compliance

27 April 2020

PATA S.p.A – an Italian producer of savoury snacks – relies on accurate dynamic checkweighing Snack Solution systems to ensure compliance with industry guidelines. 

The company has recently taken delivery of 10 additional checkweighers to support its growing business. The primary motivation for the purchase of this new inspection equipment was to provide certainty that the company is able to remain compliant with industry guidelines and retailer standards including HACCP and BRCGS. Most important to the company, however, was compliance with legislation on maximum product variance allowance. It must be able to accurately declare the amount of product in any given package in order to avoid fines, so having equipment that can accurately weigh products before they are shipped out is critical. 

PATA operates on a 24-hour production schedule from Monday to Friday, meaning that production equipment needs to be capable of consistent operation for extended periods of time. Any given production line could see up to six different varieties of crisp run on it in the course of a week, so equipment needs to be able to switch quickly and easily between product profiles. 

Mettler Toledo is a trusted partner with whom PATA has worked for many years. A push to add end-of-line automation in 2008 saw the company purchasing its first dynamic checkweighers from Mettler Toledo – which have gone from an initial order of three units to the most recent order of ten additional systems. 

PATA is satisfied with the weighing accuracy delivered by the dynamic checkweighers because it allows the company to optimise its filling processes. "We greatly benefit from the solution in two ways: first, in terms of percentage savings in filling quantity – because weighing 100% of the products enables us to be more precise and apply tighter tolerances – and second, in terms of the minimised number of unsatisfactory lots that need to be recalled, reopened or repackaged," said Massimo Piona, production manager at PATA. 

Piona also pointed to the readable user interface of Mettler Toledo 's equipment as an additional advantage due to its ease-of-use. He said: "Being able to quickly see the average weight value of products allows us to intervene immediately to correct errors." 

Productive partnership
While PATA has some older checkweighing units installed in their production line, they are now beginning to replace them, even though these checkweighers are still delivering reliable performance results. 

Piona is particularly pleased that the frames of the new checkweighers, which are designed to make it easier for the operator to clean the machine, have resulted in reduced downtime. "I have seen significant improvements on the new checkweighers, as all of the areas of the machine are accessible and there are fewer surfaces to clean," he said. In addition, the stable design of the checkweigher frame means that PATA has never had issues with fluctuating results due to ambient vibration. 

PATA has more recently made the decision to upgrade its old metal detection equipment too, using 30 new throat-style Profile metal detection systems from the Mettler Toledo range.

Because the portfolio includes all four product inspection technologies – checkweighing, metal detection, x-ray and vision – PATA is confident that its needs will continue to be met, now and in the future. By working closely with their chosen partner in product inspection, PATA continues to reap the benefits as inspection techniques improve; enabling the snack manufacturer to stay compliant with the demands of their industry and their customers, as well as reducing wastage and downtime. 

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