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Optimising slicing performance

19 October 2020

Find out more about the features of slicing equipment that can help optimise productivity. 

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Weber, and its subsidiary company Textor, manufacture a full range of slicers – from small stand-alone machines right through to fully automated slicing lines. Through Interfood, food processors across the UK and Eire can source full turnkey solutions – including packaging machines and end-of-line packing and inspection systems manufactured by Sparc Systems and Buhmann. These solutions are already well established in the cheese industry, with the range ensuring that options are available to suit all sizes of operation, whatever the capacity requirements.

Among the range of slicing equipment form Weber and Textor are options to ensure slicer optimisation – specifically for cheese slicing – which can add value in terms of presentation while not compromising on either speed or performance. The latest generation Weber S6 slicer, for example, can be equipped with up to a four track vacuum vario gripper and interleaver system. This machine, when incorporating the cheese specific involute blade head is said to offer unrivalled performance when it comes to slicing speed, capacity, end piece size and portion presentation.
The Textor TS700 ContiFlow slicer offer a niche solution for operations that utilise a flow wrap packaging system. Capable of cutting up to 500mm wide and equipped with tandem vario grippers, the simple pneumatically cross-driven conveyor after the blade removes the traditional loading break when re-loading the slicer. This maintains a consistent flow of single portions downstream to the packaging machine, negating the need for additional modules to combine multiple lanes of portions into one, minimising both footprint and cost.

Interfood can also offer lower-volume cheese slicing solutions. The round blade Weber 305 and 405, for example are capable of speeds up to 400 and 600rpm respectively and are equally adept at slicing cheese. Both machines can be equipped with a tandem interleaver and are available in a variety of configurations, ranging from the self-contained ‘UB’ slicers with integrated conveyor for portioning and transportation to ‘SLC’ format which includes reactive weight control feedback via a checkweigher.

Yield recovery is also an important consideration on all slicing lines and Interfood can provide proactive weight control systems with scanning or x-ray options dependent on the application requirements. In addition, numerous automated loading solutions can be included to accommodate a variety of packaging styles. This can be via speed loading with a CCA-500 infeeding system or a Weber-built pick and place robot.

Knife technology
Knife technology is an important element of any slicing line. Weber and Textor operate their own dedicated blade and R&D centre through which constant improvements are being made in blade and cutting head design, helping to extend the limits of machine performance and enabling successful slicing, even for those cheese types which are notoriously difficult to handle.

Tom Foran, sales manager, Slicing at Interfood Technology, said: “Weber stages a series of regular Cheese Innovation days at it’s manufacturing facility in Breidenbach, Germany with the focus on how ongoing developments in slicing technology can be applied to improve performance. This allows customers to see exactly how we are pushing the boundaries when slicing cheese or loading.”

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