The packing line used for a wide range of fruit – from stonefruit such as peaches and plums to pipfruit such as apples and pears has increased productivity substantially but more importantly eliminated the risk of under-weight product being sent to market.
Using the old system, staff randomly selected the packaged fruit to weigh and then anything under or over weight was manually rejected or adjusted to correct weight. The new system is now automated and has enabled staff to be relocated to other parts of the production line.
EQM installed a new band driven roller conveyor with infrared sensor technology to detect cartons of fruit coming on and off an existing checkweigher.
The smart sensor detects and indexes the cartons by applying a brake to the driven rollers for just long enough to make sure only one carton, regardless of size, is on the continuous checkweigher at any one time. The checkweigher sends a signal to another infrared sensor if the carton is to be rejected and a chain transfer built into the powered roller conveyor line lifts the carton and transfers it onto another conveyor, where they accumulate until Quality control staff attend to it.
The layout of this conveyor system in a loop allows Quality Control staff to re-introduce the adjusted rejected cartons back onto the original conveyor line so it passes across the checkweigher again double checking and not disrupting the flow of cartons to the stacking area.
The outcome has been better utilisation of the labour as well as significantly increasing the accuracy of the weight of each carton. This means less risk of market claw backs or returns for underweight cartons or giving away significant amounts of fruit due to overweight cartons.
The pay back through lowering risk and lost fruit could bring a return on capital investment in its first season.
Thank you, your help was invaluable and got us back into production much earlier than expected.Department Maintenance Manager
The whole venture of labeling fruit has definitely increased our market share and it has helped keep us ahead of the neighbour.Customer
It was basically ready-made, which saved time and any need for other engineering support.Packaging plant project manager
The upgrade has increased our capacity; it’s gone up 30% in volume of fruit we are able to put through.Packhouse Manager
Very pleased with the product and the overnight delivery. There are more orders coming your way.Customer