Northseafoods supplies supermarkets in Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, Sweden as well as the Netherlands from its plant in Urk, near Amsterdam, where white fish fillets are either frozen and glazed or crumb-coated, IQF (individually quick frozen) and then immediately packed.
Ishida Europe was called upon to make major modifications to a key packing line including the installation of the new multihead weigher, to improve performance and enable the line to pack bags as well as cartons.
Northseafoods turned to Ishida because of its expertise in frozen food packing and its ability to provide complete solutions. The key motivation for change was the need to offer different pack presentations but there were several additional factors.
The company’s previous line featured a 12-head linear weigher which discharged frozen fillets into cartons at 20 packs a minute, a level of throughput which threatened to limit the company’s growth. In addition, the accuracy of the line was no longer acceptable and the length of the product (up to 250mm) and the fragility of the glaze or coating also presented special weighing and packing challenges.
Underneath the new Ishida multihead weigher is a special system which can either catch the product in a double-opening timing hopper, leading to the bagmaker, or divert it via a chute to the cartoner. The system is contained in a frame, which is moved by a pneumatic arm into the chosen configuration.