Produce packer speeds tray handling

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Related tags: Food

An FPS pick-and-place packer has been installed by Ishida Europe at Hitchen Foods in Wigan to help to maintain speeds on a packing line.As a supplier...

An FPS pick-and-place packer has been installed by Ishida Europe at Hitchen Foods in Wigan to help to maintain speeds on a packing line.

As a supplier of vegetables and salads to retailers and the food service sector, Hitchen prepares over 100,000 meals every day.

Its line dedicated to ready-prepared potatoes operates at 45 packs per minute, but packing filled trays into Euro crates was a physical impossibility. "We were packing by hand but we could not keep up and there was no space for any more people," says Ged Warburton, engineering manager. "The only solution was to automate the end-of-line process."

The FPS features a multi-axis pick-and-place arm with a vacuum head that picks up two trays at a time and transfers them into a Euro crate. Packing has been simplified to just two tray sizes producing a variety of packs in full-size and half-size crates.

"We have had a fast payback on our investment, thanks to the fact that the machine has been running reliably and consistently," says Warburton.

Contact: Ishida Europe,

Tel: 0121 607 7700

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