The installation of three high-performance Ishida integrated Total Packaging Systems (iTPS) at leading German snack manufacturer WURZENER Nahrungsmittel GmbH has improved weighing speeds by about 75% and almost eliminated product giveaway, while delivering higher quality snacks bags with fewer rejects and less product and film waste. This has led to a fast payback on investment.
The Ishida iTPS’s are part of three new packing lines for WURZENER’s range of extruded corn snacks, including the company’s top-selling peanut-flavoured Erdnussflips, onion rings and cheese puffs. The iTPS is a fully integrated snack food packing system which combines a multihead weigher from the high-performance CCW-RV series with the Ishida Inspira, the world's most efficient bagmaker specifically developed for snack foods. Both machines are seamlessly integrated and operated via a single control panel.
“Snacks, especially our Erdnussflips, are top sellers at WURZENER,” explains managing director Stefan Kuhl, adding that the company has “excellent market prospects” when it comes to selling to top German retailers.
Because of these prospects, upgrading production capacity was a logical step, especially replacing the company’s packing technology, which dated back to the 1990s and was no longer capable of meeting demand. The situation was all the more pressing because there were only two packing lines available for three production lines.
Each individual snack weighs 1g, which can present a challenge for an automated weighing system. It is also essential to minimise any build-up of seasoning during the flavouring process, as this can reduce speed and require more frequent cleaning.
Fill rate almost doubled
Funnels guide the snacks to the gantry-mounted Ishida CCW-RV multihead weigher. Loadcells underneath the multihead’s dispersion tables allow for a consistent product flow to the radial feeder troughs. The vibrating troughs transfer the product to a set of 14 pool hoppers, which hold them for a short time before supplying them to another row of 14 weigh hoppers. As soon as a weigh hopper becomes empty and is available for its next filling process, a signal is sent to the corresponding pool hopper.
The system's software then takes just a fraction of a second to calculate the three best weigh hopper combinations, check them again and select the combination that come closest to the required target weight.
The Ishida multihead weighers can complete many more weighing cycles than WURZENER’s previous volumetric system. According to Kuhl, for a standard 150g bag, the weighing speed has been increased from 60 to more than 100 weighments per minute. “The significant improvement in accuracy is also important to us,” he adds, explaining that overfilling has been dramatically cut from 7.5% to almost zero.
The weighed snacks are transferred to the bagmaker via a high-speed parabolic chute with integrated throat metal detector. “This is another benefit of the new packing system,” says Kuhl.
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