New Ishida weigher makes instant impression for cheese processor

ISHIDA has revealed that the improvements in throughput and efficiencies delivered by a trial of the firm’s newly launched CCW-AS multihead weigher at Prima Cheese led to an ‘immediate purchase’ of the machine.

Prima Cheese’s factory in Seaham, County Durham produces around 380 different cheese recipes and the business exports to over 50 countries.

Ishida has been a partner with Prima since it embarked on its first phase of expansion in 2008, with the firm’s weighing solutions said to have played a ‘key role’ in the cheese processor’s success and growth.

“We buy Ishida weighers for their consistency, accuracy and reliability and we were therefore delighted to have the opportunity to assess the new AS version, while helping Ishida with their ongoing development work,” said Prima Cheese CEO Nima Beni. “Very quickly, we realised that the new weigher was making a huge positive impact on the line, helping to deliver efficiencies that increased throughput by between 30% to 40%, and that is why we decided to make it a permanent addition to the factory.”

The CCW-AS is Ishida’s 11th generation multihead weigher. Replacing Prima Cheese’s original Ishida weigher, the increased speed and accuracy of the new model has resulted in Prima also installing a new cheese shredder and bagmaker to cope with the higher output.

The machine is handling a variety of cheeses in pack sizes from 500g to 2kg. Ishida explained that speeds for the 2kg bags are around 30 bags per minute with accuracy ‘to within 0.2g’. The line can weigh up to 20 different products in any day.

A new feature on the weigher at Prima Cheese is the advanced vision monitoring system that incorporates a camera at the top of the weigher to monitor the product feed, with footage viewable on the HMI screen. This saves operators from having to make frequent physical inspections of the weigher.

Ishida added that while cheese is typically a difficult product to handle in an automated weighing system, the CCW-AS features increased control and power of all feeders. This, the manufacturer said, ensures the perfect amount of product is conveyed to the weigh hoppers.

The CCW-AS is the fifth weigher to be installed at Prima Cheese since 2008 and like the others, it operates 24 hours, five days per week.

“I don’t think we have had an issue with any of the weighers in the past seven or eight years,” said Nima. “And if we have, it is more likely to be the result of human error! More to the point, we know that in the event of any problem, Ishida will deal with it extremely quickly.”