Like other processors of similarly sticky foodstuffs, Fruits du Sud, part of South African agrifood business Afrifresh group, struggled to handle raisins automatically because they clump together and adhere to machinery so easily. As a result, the firm relied on manual sorting and packing for many years.
However, Ishida tailored its CCW-SE-214-H-CTS multihead weigher to the task, incorporating anti-stick hex-embossed contact parts. The result, according to both parties, was that throughput for a 1kg carton packed in boxes of 12, rose from 50 to 600 boxes a day, an increase of 1,200%.
In addition, product giveaway was significantly reduced and weight consistency per pack was also vastly improved. Since its installation earlier this year, the weigher had continued to deliver consistent performance and would deliver return on investment within six months, said Fruits du Sud, which is based in the Northern Cape.
Cleaning and maintenance
The weigher has also been designed to make cleaning and maintenance easy, with all parts capable of removal and replacement without the use of tools. It also offered no traps for spores or other contaminants to linger in, said Ishida.
It features a user-friendly colour touch screen for easy operation and a six litre capacity stepper motor timing hopper, capable of handling pack weights well above the required 1kg at speeds up to 70 packs per minute.
“We have an excellent product and we needed the means to be able to maximise our production,” said Johannes van Niekerk, chief executive of Fruits du Sud. “The Ishida weigher has made a fantastic and immediate contribution to the continuing success of our business. Equally important, the service we have received from Ishida has been excellent.”
Ishida has been working with Fruits du Sud over the past two years and claims to have boosted growth at the company by an average of 130% each year.