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Bespoke Line Keeps the Biscuits Flowing

03 Apr 2020


The new line at Poppies’ factory in Zonnebeke, Belgium comprises an Ishida CCW-R-108P linear multihead weigher with a special distribution system that enables it to handle both trays and bags of biscuits, while an Ishida DACS checkweigher and IX-GA 4075 X-ray system provide weight and quality checks for all pack types.

The Ishida multihead weigher is achieving 50 packs per minute on a typical 125g tray. Accuracy is to within 0.5g and overall the weigher is delivering an efficiency level in excess of 95% for this challenging product and application.

As well as its own brand, the company also produces the biscuits for many national and international retailers. This equates to around six different pack formats, both trays and bags, in a range of sizes from 75g to 400g. As a result, during a typical shift, the company might need to effect up to seven changeovers.

Poppies uses Ishida Biscuit Weighing and Quality Control Solution
We have Ishida weighers in operation throughout our factories because they are fast, accurate and reliable. The company was therefore the natural choice to help us upgrade and improve our biscuit packing operation.

The new BRN/Ishida system enables these changeovers to be carried out in just 15 minutes thanks to two important factors. The linear configuration of the Ishida weigher is ideal for fragile biscuits and it allows two distribution systems to sit comfortably beneath the weigher. A special BRN-designed tray denester feeds the trays to two dipping funnels that place the biscuits into the trays. These can be changed for an alternative filling system that places the biscuits into individual compartments on a conveyor which takes them to a bagmaker.

Equally important, the three Ishida machines (multihead weigher, X-ray inspection system and checkweigher) are all controlled by a single Control Unit, meaning that the settings for every pack format on each machine can be easily called up by the touch of a single button on the panel. The installation of the Ishida IX-GA X-ray system has also delivered an important enhancement to Poppies’ quality control, as production manager Geert Vandoorne explains:

'Before the X-ray, the biscuits would pass through a metal detector immediately after coming out of the oven. Nevertheless, the packing operation involves a number of additional pieces of equipment, so it was more appropriate for the metal detector to be placed further down the line. This however created another problem as some of the trays feature aluminium foil seals, while the bags are tied with a metal clip, and these factors would prevent the metal detector from operating properly'. By comparison Ishida’s X-ray system is able to detect unwanted objects through metallised film, and its advanced technology can also mask the metal clip on the bags without reducing the detection performance of foreign bodies. Missing or additional clips are also identified.

We now have an extremely flexible and efficient packing operation that ensures the high quality of our products and further enhances our reputation.

Ishida Linear Multihead Weighing

Gently weighing chocolate chips, ensuring minimal breakage, with an Ishida linear weigher.

In addition, the IX-GA 4075 is able to spot a wider range of contaminants and can pinpoint the location of any foreign object despite the fact that the biscuits are quite densely packed in the bags and trays.

The installation of the Ishida DACS checkweigher has also helped to improve overall efficiencies. 'Previously operators simply checked the fill level of the trays or bags by sight to assess if the correct amount was in each pack,' explains Geert, 'but this led to excessive giveaway on occasions. Now we can be confident that every pack is close to its target weight'.

The new line at Poppies incorporates the company’s existing bagmaker, flow wrapper and boxing machine with BRN supplying the three new Ishida machines along with transfer conveyors and elevators. 'The X-ray and checkweigher have delivered the same high standards of accuracy and reliability and with BRN’s help with the design of the line, we now have an extremely flexible and efficient packing operation that ensures the high quality of our products and further enhances our reputation'.

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Bespoke Line Keeps the Biscuits Flowing