The installation of an Ishida Fresh Food Weigher (FFW) at a specialist French organic pork producer has saved the company 4 tonnes of product giveaway per year, leading to a payback on investment of well under three years.
The Ishida six-head CCW-R2-106B with 1.5 litre hoppers at Salaison Bio Valeur (SBV) in Ille-et-Vilaine is being used to fill trays with 150g of smoked and unsmoked lardons, delivering accuracy to within 3g of the target weight. Equally important, the efficiency of the new packing operation means that the process now requires just two operators, instead of the three previously needed.
The first operator delivers the lardons to the top of the weigher, where the second operator distributes them across a row of belt feeders, which in turn automatically transfer the product to a row of weigh hoppers. It then takes just a fraction of a second for the weigher to select the combination of hoppers whose combined weight comes closest to the 150g target weight. The lardons are then transferred via a distribution system into the trays, which are subsequently placed on a conveyor belt for sealing and metal detection.
The Ishida FFW incorporates ribbed contact parts which are ideal for all types of fresh, sticky products to keep them moving throughout the weighing process. In addition, the compact dimensions of the weigher meant it was able to fit easily into the restricted headroom of SBV’s factory.
The weigher was installed as part of SBV’s move to automate its 100% organic lardon production line, which accounts for some 20% of its output, in order to increase production, achieve greater pack accuracy, and improve the working conditions for the operators, who handle the product at a temperature of -4°C.
The Ishida solution was selected after a thorough review of several competitor solutions. The new line is now producing around one million packs annually.
“We’ve seen a clear improvement in weighing consistency and – accuracy, with fill weights within +/- 3g of the target weight,” confirmed Vincent Mesnage, SBV’s Quality Director. “This has helped us save around four tonnes of product per year, and thanks to these savings, the Ishida weigher will have paid for itself in less than three years. What’s more, the machine is highly reliable and has allowed us to become more efficient. With two operators instead of three, we can free up a worker for another task.”
The IP65-certified Ishida FFW is cleaned daily. The very thorough process takes one hour, of which only 10 minutes are required for the tool-free dismantling and reassembling of the Fresh Food Weigher’s contact parts .
“We’re planning a three million euro investment for 2021,” said Perrine Champain, Site Director. “This will enable us to expand the site, taking it from 1,500 to 3,000m2, and install new equipment.”
SBV is located in Louvigné du Désert in Ille-et-Vilaine and employs 41 people, with a turnover of 13 million euros. Since 2013, the company has focused exclusively on the production of fresh and cured organic pork products, including sausages, lardons, ham, pâté and fresh pork. Around 70% of products are distributed through Biocoop, a French chain of organic food retailers, with the rest supplied to butchers, charcuterie producers and the restaurant sector under the Prés Gourmands and Jour Bio brands.