Handling fragile products

Packing line solutions specialist Ishida Europe is demonstrating its experience in handling extremely fragile food products with the installation of a special ‘Gentle Slope’ CCW multihead weigher at one of the Balkans largest confectionery companies.

Established in 1882, Evropa, based in Macedonia, is one of the region’s most recognisable food brands, employing over 500 people. The company produces chocolate products such as biscuits, wafers and candies with over 10,000 tonnes per year going through the factory.

Evropa was seeking an automated solution for the packing of its wafer and biscuit brands, Jadran and Berta, which would reduce the high costs, slow speeds and excessive giveaway of the existing manual operation while at the same time avoiding chipping or breakage of the products.

The process of hand weighing and sealing in bags had been extremely labour intensive, involving 30 personnel to pack around 27 bags per minute. Now with the installation of the Ishida CCW-RS Gentle Slope multihead weigher, linked to an Ilapak bagmaker, the company is achieving 30 bags per minute with just five people. Equally important, giveaway has been reduced from five per cent to 0.7 per cent. As a result, payback on the machine was achieved within one and a half years. The improvement in pack quality also enabled the Evropa to export its products throughout the EU, meeting the high standards of retailers.

The installation was carried out by Ishida’s agent for the Balkans, CD System, which supervised the entire project and will provide ongoing support to Evropa in terms of service and training. In addition, CD System devised a further gentle handling solution to the installation by placing the bag maker at an angle underneath the weigher. In this way, product also slides rather than falls into the bag maker.

“If we plan a new project then we will certainly invest in Ishida for our equipment,” says Evropa chief of maintenance Ninoslav Milosevic.

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Confectionery Production