ISHIDA multihead weighing and checkweighing technology, supported by the company’s IDCS II advanced checkweigher data capture system, are said to be helping deliver speed and accuracy and boosting productivity for around 1,000 different mushroom products at German supplier Bayerische Pilze & Waldfrüchte Uwe Niklas GmbH.
Mushrooms are a regular feature on German menus and until the early 1990s, were mainly sold as processed goods in tins. A change in eating habits led to the rise of mushrooms sold in trays, resulting in a boom on the fresh produce market that has continued to this day.
“Mushrooms have enjoyed an unlikely surge in popularity – and not just fresh mushrooms but also dried and frozen ones,” said Uwe Niklas, the firm’s MD. His company recognised these trends at an early stage and adjusted its product range accordingly.
Today the firm operates five packing lines, all featuring Ishida CCW-RS multihead weighers, handling a range of fresh, frozen and dried mushrooms packed into sealed trays, polybags and plastic cups with screw tops.
Ishida said, “The weighers have been adapted for the many different applications and product types. Surfaces with corrugated sheet metal, for example, allow difficult processing of dried mushrooms cut into large slices, while gentle discharge chute angles and short product fall distances through the weighers allow the handling of the most delicate mushrooms.
“In view of the enormous variety of products offered by Niklas, it is crucial that the company’s packing systems are flexible. The manufacturer also handles many small orders, such as gourmet items where a production run usually lasts for only half a day. The simple and quick set-up of the Ishida weighers and their easy-clean, hygiene-friendly design ensure changeovers can be carried out very speedily.”
While the weighers deliver an output of up to 3,000 packs per hour, their primary benefit, according to Uwe Niklas, is their excellent weighing accuracy to a maximum of 0.1g above the nominal weight. “One kilogram of our dried product costs up to 8300, so obviously we need to be precise during filling,” he explained.
Ishida’s latest generation DACS-G checkweighers provide effective quality control at the end of the packing lines, with their wide weighing range and quick format changes ideal for Niklas’s requirements.