A multihead weigher and checkweigher from Ishida – a leading name in the design, manufacture and installation of complete weighing, packing, and inspection solutions for the food industry – are helping to deliver effective speed, accuracy, and quality control at leading Irish pet food manufacturer Irish Dog Foods. The machines are part of a complete turnkey line installation designed by Ishida’s Irish distributor SF Engineering, the company said in a release.
Irish Dog Foods, part of the Queally Group, produces premium dog treats and pet food. The company is a name in the pet foods market in Ireland and also exports to over 54 countries around the world in Europe, North America, and Asia. The new line was required to process and pack pre-formed pet treats into doy packs.
The speed and accuracy of the 14-head Ishida CCW-RVE-214W multihead weigher are helping the line to operate at 80 packs per minute, exceeding the target originally set for the installation of 60 ppm, and deliver overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of 85%.
Key to the CCW-RVE’s excellent weighing accuracy is its advanced combination calculation software. After the best weight combination has been calculated from the 14 weigh hoppers, it is double-checked to ensure the discharge is as accurate as possible before the portion is released to the bagmaker.
A customized feed system maintains a consistent feed of product to the multihead weigher. This works in conjunction with Ishida’s patented Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) technology that provides greater control of the infeed of the product both at the top of the weigher and to the weigh hoppers.
The ability to automatically vary both the amplitude, time and frequency of vibration ensures a steady and consistent flow of product, maximizing speed and efficiency and eliminating the danger of overfill in the hoppers.
After weighing, the product is transferred to the pouch filling and sealing system. Packs are then passed through the Ishida DAGS-G-S015 checkweigher and metal detector combination to ensure the product is the correct weight and free of metal contaminants.
The checkweigher incorporates Ishida’s Anti-Floor Vibration (AFV) technology to maintain high weighing accuracy in environments susceptible to floor vibration. It also features the company’s Retail Reject Confirmation (RRC) software that checks and confirms that out-of-spec products or packs have been successfully removed from the line.
“We have enjoyed a longstanding working partnership with Ishida,” commented Patricia Molloy, marketing manager of SF Engineering. “The company’s equipment is the best on the market, particularly in terms of its efficiency and reliability, and the CCW-RVE and DACS-G were the perfect choices to ensure we could deliver our targets for the line.”
The new line has increased throughput by 75%, the company said. Operator requirement has been reduced by 60% and personnel reallocated to other manufacturing processes, thus improving overall facility productivity. These benefits have led to a reduced cost per pack, with Irish Dog Foods achieving a return on investment within 12 months of installation.
“The line has been working well against agreed targets and is helping with our plans for further expansion and automation,” said Andrew Flynn, Irish Dog Foods’ factory manager. “The solution that SF Engineering and Ishida have delivered really is impressive.”