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Article | August 9, 2010
Mixing up fruits and nuts in weight-reliable bags
Sophisticated weighers and product transfers facilitate consistent blending of up to eight fruit and nut components per bag
Delica AG, Birsfelden, Switzerland, specializes in the procurement, refining, packaging, and marketing of high-quality commodities such as coffee, tea, dried fruits, dried mushrooms, nuts, beans, and spices, including customized ingredient blends. In order to accommodate its broad variety of fruit/nut product mixtures and package sizes, Delica relies exclusively on multihead weighing systems from Multipond.
In selecting the optimum weighing systems for its operations, Delica identified the decisive factors. The equipment needed to be able to weigh product mixtures with up to eight components and guarantee consistency in mixture ratios and weights in the final packaging.
To integrate eight
Existing Multipond 1601-C-S5 memory weighing equipment was integrated into the mixing concept. To achieve Delica’s versatility and accuracy goals, Multipond suggested combining the outputs of two multi-head weighing systems with a rotary product transfer system.
Each weigher runs four different ingredient components at a time. The two weighers are connected by a customized system that enables combined bagging of products containing up to eight different ingredients from eight feeders.
The transfer system discharges the combined product into the form/fill/seal bagging machine, manufactured by Bosch. Polyethylene film bag sizes range from 80 grams to 500 grams, depending on which of the 45 different product recipes the system is running at the time. After filling and prior to sealing, the gas-barrier film bags are gas-flushed to extend product shelf life. The system runs constantly and reliably at speeds up to 50 weighs per minute.
A major challenge was the low ceiling height (3.5 meter or approx. 11.5 feet) at the installation location. So both weighers and the rotary transfer system were supported on a platform which was suspended from the ceiling. Product infeed originates from the floor above via a Multipond BE 2000 vibratory conveying system. Individual mixture components are conveyed into the weighers. The twin memory hopper system enables broad flexibility in the number of possible ingredient mixture combinations. A microprocessor determines the best combination available from the part portions to achieve the component target weight.
Delica’s engineering department spokesman Roger Gadient says, “Maximum accuracy, reliability, and ease of use all play particularly important roles for our weighing operations. We feel we are in extremely good hands with Multipond for the implementation of this complex project. The overall design of the weighing system even makes it possible to weigh sticky and difficult products such as dried plums and apricots without problems. The results have completely met our expectations.”
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