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A sweet robotic weighing solution

11 September 2022

Agrana Fruit produces fruit preparations for the dairy market (yoghurt with fruit), ice cream and out-of-home catering. It wanted to increase levels of automation and reduce manual handling issues throughout their operations and ingredient weighing, specifically powder weighing, was identified as a key opportunity. 



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Agrana Fruit is a division of the Agrana Group, a global Austrian food business that produces sugar, starch and fruit. 

Agrana Fruit produces fruit preparations for the dairy market (yoghurt with fruit), ice cream and out-of-home catering. In 2019, the group was looking at opportunities to transform its operations. The intention was to increase levels of automation and reduce manual handling issues throughout their operations. Ingredient weighing, specifically powder weighing, was identified as a key opportunity.

The original weighing process was entirely manual. Two operators per shift were responsible for carrying out all powder weighing. Traditional material handling auger-based systems could not provide the flexibility required to automate this weighing process. Fewer than 20 ingredients could be ‘live’, and the weighing range was too restrictive. Agrana needed a system capable of handling over 50 ingredients that can be dosed to an accuracy of +/-1% with a weighing range lower than 1kg.

A solution was found with an OAL APRIL Weighing System, following successful powder weighing trials and digital simulations. A selection of ingredients were tested on OAL’s test system in the UK to demonstrate weighing accuracy and cycle time. Production data was modelled against a system simulation to demonstrate the system had the capacity required for today’s and future production.

The project includes real-time ingredient traceability and tracking between Agrana’s ERP system, SAP and the APRIL Weighing System.

The installed system is able to weigh powders from 250g to 25kg, significantly reducing the labour required. Over 95% of manual weighments have been automated with only additions under 250g now being completed manually. The target weighing accuracy for the project was +/-1%. For most powders, an accuracy of +/-0.5% has been achieved, improving quality and reducing waste.

“In terms of safety, quality and weighing accuracy, the APRIL cell fully delivers against our expectations,” said Ben Wissocq, regional operations director at Agrana Fruit.


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