Adding Value: Multiple Topping Volume Requirements.
A leading food producer needed to have the flexibility to deliver different actual amounts of product for different customer SKU’s, all of this was required on one system investment which Cox & Plant delivered.
At present they are having to complete this task manually with operatives ‘shaking via a hand filled scoop’ the correct amount of cheese, all of this at speed. RSI [Repetitive Strain Injury] was flagged as an ergonomic warning on this line. The customer wanted to make their production lines more efficient, achieving the same result with no loss in production time or excess wastage.
We developed a waterfall conveyor system which regulated the exact amount of cheese on each slice by completing time trials with the various bulk densities of the additions. Using a customised algorithm, we were able to calculate the precise amount of cheese strands that would be placed on each slice. The waterfall conveyor is sectioned into different sized discharge flow chutes to limit the product flow allowing for specific topping application.
The excess cheese was collected under the main line is then added back into production, so no product was wasted, all cheese was re-used immediately from the sprinkling around the slices which was factored into the calculations.
We could achieve the following specifications form our client:
- Slice Group A – Budget Supermarket with 14 grains per slice
- Slice Group B – Middle Weight Supermarket where the slices are lightly but consistently covered
- Slice Group C – High End Supermarket where the slices must be completely covered with excess cheese.
As all of these supermarket requirements could be meet on 1 system, this increased their line productivity by 78% and re-deployed 9 operatives as we all acknowledge a happy focussed workforce delivers the greatest efficiencies. This system delivered ROI within 20 weeks and could be run 24/7. As our machinery is market-leading in low energy use of our equipment, the aggregate electricity spend despite adding capital kit also saved on the businesses energy usage.