A leading frozen fruit and vegetable company was using labour intensive processes to achieve variable end results.
Running their operation required a total staff of 43 personnel per shift. This resulted in manual handling issues, a multitude of menu mistakes, and too much giveaway of key expensive ingredients.
To introduce new mixing systems to two sites, capable of blending eight different ingredients at 10 tonnes per hour, with an accuracy of +/- 5% as a continuous three shift operation.
We developed a touchscreen menu driven programme capable of loading all 87 of the company’s recipes, with repeater screens present at each packing station.
Our client wanted the flexibility to be able to pack at 10 tonnes per hour on four multihead weighers. They also wanted the option to bypass products back to bulk storage, and to reload from bulk.
So we devised a system that allowed for three multiheads to pack the mixed product, while one designated line, when required, could pack the bulk add back product.
We introduced a number of smart but effective options to the line. For example, repeater screens above all of the bunker hoppers provided visual instructions at the three input points. This ensures that the forklift drivers will always load the correct ingredient to the designated bunker, resulting in 100% accuracy for the raw ingredient mix.
The specification called for an accuracy of +/- 5%. But one plant achieved an accuracy of 3%, with the other 1.2% resulting in more accurate mixes with minimal giveaways.
The operatives found the system user friendly, and the number of personnel required to run the line was reduced from 43 to four. That’s a 90% saving on staff costs.
As a result of these changes, the client received a full ROI on both sites within a year – and that’s having made a £1 million investment.