Seafood solution

1st April 2013

Varsinais-Suomen Kalatukku Oy, a leading Finnish seafood supplier, has installed a new multihead weigher from Ishida to handle a wide variety of fish and seafood.

With virtually zero giveaway, the weigher had enabled increased efficiency, speedier production and greater flexibility.

In the highly competitive frozen seafood market, new product development, frequent pack changes and price variations are vital for manufacturers to keep pace with constantly evolving consumer and retailer expectations. Varsinais looked to Ishida for a packing and weighing solution which could enable rapid changes in target weight and pack type.

Says Jari Kuorokallio, Financial Director at Varsinais: "New product development in this sector is very fast. From the moment we make a decision to introduce a different pack size or weight, we aim to supply our customers within as little as two weeks, assuming no new branding or colourwork is needed.“

Varsinais packs frozen shrimps as well as a wide variety of other products, such as Baltic herring, which can often be quite sticky. Steep angled contact surfaces are normally required to prevent sticking, but this was not possible due to height limitations in the area around the new production line. Ishida's 10-head waterproof multihead weigher has a low height discharge chute which enabled a perfect fit into the space allocated, while its hex-embossed contact surfaces reduce adhesion to prevent sticking. With easily interchangeable contact parts, the weigher's hoppers can be removed and replaced for cleaning without stopping the machine, while the IP66 waterproof body allows high pressure hosing down. Product types and pack sizes and weights can be pre-programmed, allowing changeovers be carried out at the touch of a button.

The products are weighed into bags or ­ more commonly ­ flexible trays with typical target weights between 150g and 1kg.

The weigher's special distribution system feeds a thermoforming machine which can seal one, two or four trays at a stroke, depending on pack size.

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