A 32-head multihead weigher from Ishida Europe is providing fast and accurate weighing of mixed bags of quality chocolates for Chocolates Valor, one of Spain’s leading chocolatiers.
The Ishida CCW-RV-232B has the ability to handle two, three or four products simultaneously for discharge into the same bag, giving Chocolates Valor the flexibility to respond to changing customer orders. During the peak four months in the run up to Christmas the machine is operating 24 hours a day, handling 1.6 tons of product every hour.
The weigher is packing a variety of bag sizes – 180g, 250g, 470g and 1kg – for both Chocolates Valor’s own brands and private label. Speeds are restricted by the current manual packing of filled packs into cartons, but the machine is running at up to 80 packs per minute on the 470g pack. Changeovers can be carried out quickly by calling up the stored pre-sets on the intuitive and easy to use touchscreen remote control unit. The ease of use of the machine means that just one operator is now required to manage the entire line.
The 32 heads of the weigher are divided into sections to handle the different products – for a four-mix product, therefore, eight weigh hoppers are dedicated to each sweet variety with a second set of booster hoppers (fitted underneath each weigh hopper) doubling the number of available hoppers to 16 for each mix section . All weigh and booster hoppers utilise the Ishida RV’s unique triple combination calculation software that can calculate three optimal weight combinations, double check them and then select the one nearest to the target weight – all in a single cycle.
Chocolates Valor reports that the Ishida weigher is achieving excellent accuracy to within a few grams of the target weight. This is particularly important for some products where there is a guaranteed number of items in each pack, meaning the weigher is able to deliver this with only minimum giveaway. The company anticipates that payback on the weigher will be within just two years.
This is the second Ishida multihead weigher installed at Chocolates Valor’s factory in Villajoyosa, near Alicante. The company also operates a 14 head weigher for packing mono products into bags, and this made Ishida the natural choice when it needed a mixed weighing solution to meet the requirements of a major customer.
“We know Ishida weighers for their high performance, reliability and ease of operation, and the company offered the best solution on the market for our requirements,” comments Pedro Miguel Marcet Arlandiz, Chocolate Valor’s Engineering Manager. “The 32 head weigher gives us the flexibility to meet a variety of pack sizes and has the capacity and consistency to maintain production targets, particularly during the peak Christmas season.”
The Ishida weigher was supplied to Chocolates Valor by Ishida’s long-standing Spanish distributor CIMA, who also provided the conveyors and multi-product feed system to deliver product to the top of the weigher. In addition, full training on the machine was given to Chocolates Valor’s operators during installation.
Established in 1881 and now run by the fifth generation of the López family, Chocolates Valor produces a range of exquisite chocolates and chocolate bars, along with a range of desserts and chocolate drinks. During the 1960s, the company adopted its quality strategy and launched Pure Chocolate, a product that has become an emblem of the brand. Vegetable fats are not used as a substitute for cocoa butter in the manufacture of the product. Today Chocolates Valor continues to source the finest cocoa beans from different parts of the world in its exclusive recipes which are the result of over 130 years of experience and best practice.
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