An Ishida multihead weigher at premium Irish vegetable grower Leo Dunne has played a central role in helping the company expand its operation into the supply of processed carrots.
Leo Dunne has been delivering fresh Irish products to the retail sector for generations. Recently the company recognised that oversized or irregular carrots that were not suitable for the prepared carrot market were nevertheless still high-quality products, which could be successfully marketed through further processing. It therefore required an effective processing and packing line in order to maximise the potential of this new market.
The Ishida 10-head waterproof mid-range model with 3-litre hoppers is delivering excellent accuracy and reliability, achieving around 55 packs/min on 500 g bags of carrots, with an overall accuracy rate of 98%.
Equally important, the machine’s ease of operation, including fast start-up using the simple-to-use remote control unit (RCU), gives it the flexibility to cope with the varying production demands of the Leo Dunne operation.
Leo Dunne specified the Ishida weigher for the new line based on the company’s established reputation in the marketplace.
“We knew Ishida had a great name in the industry and had received positive reports from other users,” explained Leo Dunne Manager Emmet Dunne, “and we have not been disappointed with our choice.
“The machine’s ease of operation means our staff all like it. It is also far more intuitive than other weighers, so that if there are any minor issues during production, the machine will identify these and inform operators how to fix them. This is vital to maintaining production.”
And while the machine’s reliability is an obvious benefit, so too, says Dunne, are the high levels of after-sales service provided by Ishida and its agent, SF Engineering.
“Knowing we have someone on the spot who can deal with any issues we have is absolutely critical to ensuring we can meet the requirements and deadlines of our retail customers,” he said.
The Ishida 10-head multihead is part of a complete line devised and installed by SF Engineering which also includes a swingloader, a bespoke sorting table, an elevating conveyor and support platform, and a Ceia metal detector.
Leo Dunne anticipates that the new facility will pay for itself within three years. And while the system was designed to handle carrots, it can also be used for other products, giving the company enormous flexibility and the ability to react to market trends and developments.
In addition, by using all its surplus stock, Leo Dunne has achieved major efficiency gains and a significant reduction in its carbon footprint.
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