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A 24-head Ishida multihead weigher is reducing product giveaway by as much as 10 per cent to maximise the throughput of liquorice pastilles at the Toms Gruppen factory in Denmark.

Ga-Jol, Denmark’s top-selling liquorice pastille, was first produced in 1933 and the brand now includes a variety of different flavours, as well as chewing gum, hard candy and mints.

Ga-Jols are packed into small 23g handy-sized cartons.

Originally the pastilles were packed using volumetric fillers but in order to ensure the correct weight in each pack, it was necessary to overfill by as much as 2-3g per pack.

‘This amount of giveaway can be very expensive over the course of a production run,’ explains Kaja Thomsen, production manager at Toms Gruppen , who co-ordinated the project.

‘By installing the Ishida, we are effectively packing an extra carton for every 10 packs produced,’ added Thomsen.

While the removal of product giveaway was vital, it was equally important that production line speeds were maintained.

The Ishida is currently operating at 280 packs per minute, well within its speed potential and limited only by other parts of the packing line, something that Toms intends to tackle in the coming months in order to reach the targeted line speed in excess of 400 packs per minute.

The Ishida’s layout allows the 24 weighing heads to be segregated into six sections of four heads each.

The weigher therefore despatches six weighments at a time into a specially developed funnel system that packs the pastilles into the cartons.

In addition, the weigh hoppers feature special anti-stick C4 material to ensure that the pastilles do not clump together and thus flow freely and quickly through the machine.

The funnel/depositing system, devised by Ishida, directs the six weighments into six cups presented under the weigher.

The Ishida is linked to the packing system so that if for any reason less than six weighments are despatched from the weigher, only the equivalent number of cups is presented underneath.

Acting as a transfer device the cups are then taken to the filling station.

The cartons are automatically assembled and the cups pass over them, gradually depositing the pastilles.

After filling, the cartons are closed and glued, then transferred to a shrink wrapper before being placed into cardboard outers for onward despatch.

The Ishida weigher is a compact model with 1.5-litre weigh hoppers from the company’s latest R series range, which features adapted technology that helps it to achieve efficiency levels close to 100 per cent and further increases weighing accuracy by 0.5 per cent per pack, compared with the previous technology.

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