Ishida Europe has designed and installed a series of bespoke packing lines for specialist meat producer Danish Crown’s new greenfield factory in China.
Working in close partnership with the customer, Ishida has supplied its own and ancillary equipment for the four lines, which are handling a variety of products including minced and diced pork, ribs and steaks, as well as quality control for thermoformed packs of pork. The factory is now in operation and will have a capacity for 14,000 tonnes of meat to be processed and packed each year when it is up to full speed.
Ishida’s ability to devise complete solutions in line with customer requirements and efficiency and throughput targets, along with the excellent performance and reliability of its equipment, were key reasons for the company’s selection by Danish Crown.
“We felt that Ishida offered the most relevant experience and the best solutions,” explains Nicolai Linde, Senior Manager Projects, Production and Supply Chain. “Having a single point of contact helped to speed up the process. In particular, the close working relationship established between our two teams and the continuing dialogue between them ensured that any issues or problems could be discussed and quickly dealt with to keep the project on time and budget and enable us to meet our performance targets.
“In addition, the company has an office in China which ensures a fast response in terms of service support and spare parts.”
The Ishida models installed at the factory include the company’s advanced RV-214 multihead weigher, QX-1100 Twin tray sealers, DACS-G checkweighers, IX-GN x-ray inspection systems and its weigh-price-labellers. Additional equipment integrated into the lines includes dicers, slicers, batching tables, labellers and cartoners. Ishida also gave factory personnel comprehensive training on all its machines and provided a technician on-site permanently during the first months of operation to ensure a trouble-free start up.
A key requirement of the overall design was to ensure maximum flexibility in the lines’ ability to handle a wide variety of products and pack types. For example, the multihead weigher is able to discharge diced meat directly into trays, or transfer ribs to a batching table for styling in the trays. Similarly, the QX-1100 tray sealers which currently seal MAP trays are also able to handle skin packs, which will enable Danish Crown to meet growing demand in the Chinese market for bone-in products.
“Although we were not previously familiar with Ishida’s tray sealers, they have proved to be very reliable and deliver consistently high-quality seals,” comments Nicolai Linde.
As another example of the excellent performance of the Ishida machines, the company’s IX-GN 4044 x-ray inspection systems and DACS-G-015 checkweighers are also providing quality control and weight checks on two separate thermoforming lines.
Danish Crown is one of the world’s largest exporters and one of Europe’s largest producers of pork. The new China factory in Shanghai was established to meet growing consumer demand in the Chinese market for high quality meat products, supplied via supermarkets and e-commerce.
“Our objective was to build the new factory to Danish standards,” explains Nicolai Linde. “For this reason, we focused on sourcing the very best European equipment throughout.”