The line has given the producer improved accuracy and high availability – despite frequent product changeovers – reducing operating costs and offering a fast payback, claimed Ishida. Installed at Gastro Star’s factory in Villigen, the line was introduced to help the firm meet new retail requirements for all fresh produce to be packed by fixed-rate.
The packing line is centred on a high-performance, 14-head CCW-RV series multi-head weigher with three different infeeds. Whole vegetables are brought up to the weigher using an elevator, chopped products are delivered to the system using a lift and tip hopper, and pieces of corn cob are fed directly from the chopper to the weigher.
Adjustable to be moved into three different positions on its gantry, the weigher can fill a second packing station that is still in the planning stage. The third position allows the weigher to be easily cleaned.
The feed system is readily adjustable to be moved into the different positions, providing Gastro Star with quick changeover times between its wide range of products and packing formats.
A certified IP69K protection rating and ‘hygiene friendly’ design allows liquids to run off the weigher and prevents the build-up of product residues.
“We benefit, in particular, from the multi-head weigher’s excellent accuracy,” said Gastro Star production manager Peter Gisi. “For example, 400g packs of potatoes are overfilled by less than 1g, and 1kg packs of diced beetroot by an average of just 0.032g. Another advantage is that the frequent product changeovers and line cleandown can be carried out quickly.”
Johann Meier, who is responsible for equipment purchase and process optimisation at Gastro Star, said he expected the packing line to pay for itself within two-and-a-half years.