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Confectioner gets sweet productivity boost with new packing solution

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An Ishida packing solution by Heat and Control has enabled Czech confectionery manufacturer, POEX, to increase its packing capacity.

The Ishida, which comprises a multihead weigher, checkweigher and X-ray inspection system, has also beeen delivering excellent accuracy and effective end-of-line inspection for enhanced product quality.

POEX, based near Brno, packs coated and uncoated fruit and nut products, extruded and co-extruded cereals and snacks, extruded crisp breads and promotional items for its own range and for other European retailers. 

The company had decided to increase its capacity for chocolate-coated and other nuts, as well as dried fruit, with a complete new line.

Ishida R-Series models were chosen because of their ability to drastically improve speed and accuracy. However, the inclusion of an Ishida X-ray inspection system and checkweigher has ensured the highest standards of quality assurance, without multiplying the number of machinery manufacturers involved.

The company decided to invest in the latest Ishida R-Series models to assist with speed and accuracy, while the inclusion of an Ishida X-ray inspection system and checkweigher promotes quality assurance.

POEX had in the past used both linear weighers and volumetric fillers and, most recently, locally manufactured multihead weighers.

"We pack at target weights ranging from 30g to 500g, with the average being in the region of 100g," says Jaroslav Caha, Head of Poex’s packaging division. 

"This is mostly into pillow bags, but also into stand-up bags. The previous line produced 40 packs per minute compared with the 75 packs per minute we are now achieving with the new Ishida. That’s a near-90 percent improvement. In the past, the problem was that the faster we ran the machines, the less accurate they became. Also it was quite difficult to get the level of feeder vibration right in order to keep the product flowing."

The accuracy of the new Ishida R-Series multihead weigher, even at high speeds, is a big positive for food manufacturers, with giveaway down to near zero. For a 100 g target weight, the mean weight is about 100.1 g and standard deviation is only about 0.2 g.

POEX also wanted the new line to pay equal attention to product quality and safety.  The Ishida IX-EA-2161 X-Ray Inspection System is able to detect even tiny particles of materials that could conceivably contaminate confectionery including metal, glass, stone, rubber and plastic.  

The high belt speeds (up to 60 metres/minute) also help maintain the throughput achieved by the upstream equipment.

Stationed immediately after the X-Ray system, and sharing a double reject bin, is an Ishida DACS-W checkweigher, which Heat and Control says is the fastest and most accurate in its class. It helps to ensure compliance with weight regulations, and provides the speed needed to keep up with POEX’s increased capacity.

Thanks to this reenergised production line, POEX has achieved its aim of increasing capacity, with a typical output performance of five tonnes of confectionery per shift.

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