Billion Tonne Mixing Lines.
A leading frozen fruit and vegetable processor was using a labour-intensive method of achieving a very fluctuating end result. The operation required total personnel of 43 per shift; there were manual handling issues; mistakes in menus and giveaway of key expensive ingredients was excessive.
A touch screen, menu driven programme, allowed all 87 recipes to be loaded with repeater screens at the packing stations. Our client wanted the flexibility to be able to pack at 10 TPH on 4 multihead weighers and the option for a bypass back to bulk storage as well as reload from bulk.
The fully flexible system was tailored to SKU demands. This client often ran three multihead weighers on mixed vegetables and one multihead weigher on fruit.
Smart but effective options in the line, included repeater screens above all bunker hoppers, with visual instructions at 3 input points to ensure the fork lift truck driver loaded the correct ingredient to the designated bunker. 100% accuracy was achieved for the raw ingredient mix.
The system was designed and specified for the accuracy of + / – 5%. One plant achieved 0.8% and the other 1.2% resulting in minimal giveaways and accurate mixes. The system was operative user-friendly, with the personnel required to run the line reduced from 43 to 4 – a 90% staff cost saving. ROI was achieved within 6 months on both sites with a £1 million investment.
20 years later, on a £2m investment, the current combined inventory spend on both lines is £21,000 – an exemplary result on a 1bn tonnes per factory.