Belgian contract packager goes for top class weighing technology from MULTIPOND

In Dendermonde, not far from the Port of Antwerp, Sivafrost has been packaging a very diverse range of frozen products since 1986. This contract packager's experience includes fruit, potatoes and herbs, various pasta products, meat and fish. Both large groups and various small customers rely on the family business. Sivafrost offers its customers high-quality solutions under strict compliance with food safety legislation. Environmental protection is a key element of the company policy. Stijn Siongers, owner and managing director explains: "With our own wind turbine and solar energy system, we are the greenest company in our business, supplying power to the entire site." The company employs a total of 50 people in Dendermonde.

Sivafrost experiences its ambitious claim to quality in the procurement of machinery too: "Our customers expect the highest possible quality and absolute reliability. We can guarantee this only by having the best equipment. For good reason then, we turn to MULTIPOND for our multihead weighers."

Another MP-16-2400-1250-J MULTIPOND multihead weigher has recently been acquired for deep-frozen products at temperatures of down to -25 degrees Celsius. This system is to replace a weighing system from a competitor, as this was unable to weigh accurately and quickly at the low temperatures. The weigher is multi-flexible, and as such, able to weigh even the most diverse products. The weigher is also able to handle mixtures, which was another huge advantage for the purchase decision.

The products are fed to the weighing system located in the refrigerated warehouse via lift and feed channels. The frozen product is conveyed by the radially positioned feed trays to the prefeed hoppers, and then to the weigh hoppers underneath. The system operates based on the principle of combining partial portions. Using the partial portions, a computer determines the best combination to achieve, or come closest to, the targeted weight. Maximum accuracy and availability are provided by the calibration systems integrated in each load cell, which makes completely automatic calibration possible even during production. Depending on application, the finished precisely-weighed portions are finally delivered to the timing hopper, from which they are transferred to the downstream vertical form fill seal machine. A camera is mounted above the weigher to monitor the product arrangement.

The target weights are between 100g and 1500g, depending on the product. With a target weight of 150g, the output is 100 weighings per minute, resulting in a system that is able to weigh and pack around 10,000 tons of frozen product per year. As Siongers says: "Contract packaging is a tough business. To be able to handle our orders to our customers' fullest satisfaction, we need maximum output coupled with optimized accuracy and availability. We must be able to rely on our systems 100%. When it comes to weighing technology, MULTIPOND is the best partner we could have. The system is incredibly reliable."

The weigher is operated using a convenient color touchscreen monitor. Easy-to-use controls make working with the systems uncomplicated. The employees have learned to operate the machines quickly and without any problems, which is an important criterion for Sivafrost.
"For us MULTIPOND means absolute reliability", explains Siongers." "When you consider that the weigher runs at such minus temperatures for 24 hours over 5 shifts, and we have yet not required any service from MULTIPOND, MULTIPOND fully lives up to its reputation as market leader for quality." Stijn Siongers appears extremely pleased with the collaboration with MULTIPOND: "From the very outset, MULTIPOND has supported and advised us throughout the project. MULTIPOND's wealth of experience, even with the most difficult products, was a key factor in the optimal design of the entire lines."

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