ORGANIC FARMER OPTIMIZES THE PACKAGING PROCESS - and goes for MULTIPOND

RIVERFORD:
ORGANIC FARMER OPTIMIZES THE PACKAGING PROCESS -
and goes for MULTIPOND

The original company, comprising of just a man and his wheelbarrow, is today, an award-winning supplier of organic boxes. The boxes, which change on a weekly basis, are filled with seasonal vegetables, salad and fruit from the region. Fair treatment of producers, suppliers, employees and customers, as well as responsibility and attention to the environment, has been at the company‘s heart since the very start. Around 47,000 organic boxes are delivered to households in England every week. The workforce of Riverford totals 500. The products are sold only in England and Wales.

Until now, all products were weighed by hand. Three employees were able to manage up to 15 packs per minute. Due to constantly increasing market demand, Riverford was forced to increase its output. So the company obtained various quotations for multihead weighers. “MULTIPOND was our clear favourite.”, explains James MacGregor, General Manager (Wash Barn). “MULTIPOND was the only manufacturer of multihead weighers that was able to cover our broad product range. Especially as the large chard leaves presented a huge problem in fully automated handling for the other manufacturers of multihead weighers. MULTIPOND is known for the fully automated weighing of the most challenging products. Also Geoff Tandy, Managing Director of MULITPOND UK, gave us the confidence that we are able to successfully mix the product thus saving us money on buying a separate mixing machine.”

HIGHEST ACCURACY AND AVAILABILITY

A MULTIPOND MP-14-9600-2500-H-UL multihead has recently been installed. The most diverse range of products, from lettuce to chard leaves to various types vegetables need to be weighed by a fully automated process. The product is fed to the weighing system via a conveyor. Once at the top on the weigher, the product is first conveyed to the prefeed hoppers via the radially positioned feed trays and then to the weigh hoppers below. A computer uses the partial portions to determine the best combination that achieves the target weight of 50g up to 500g, depending on product and packaging. The fully automated calibration of the proprietary load cells ensures the highest accuracy and availability by means of calibration weight. MULTIPOND achieves this as the only manufacturer of multihead weighers worldwide – fully automatically, continuously and during production. After the actual weighing process, the accurate weight portions are transferred using a timing hopper to the form fill seal machine. The line runs continuously at up to 56 weighings per minute, depending on product and target weight. The standard deviation is less than 1%
of the target weight to be achieved. Finally, a conveyor takes the packed product to a collection point. Here, a worker distributes the packages among the organic boxes and adds other products.

SIMPLE OPERATOR GUIDANCE AND THE LOGICAL STRUCTURE

The weigher is operated from a user- friendly color touchscreen monitor. All product contact parts were precisely adjusted to the production requirements and to the products being weighed in order to enable ideal product flow. John Philip, Production Supervisor: “We are impressed most of all by how perfectly the weigher handles our diverse products. The extremely simple operator guidance and the logical structure of the operating unit are also big plus points for MULTIPOND.” Riverford fills organic boxes 5 days a week in a single shift operation. Around 15,000 packs are weighed and packed every day. Wash walls have been installed close to the weighers so that the machine’s contact parts can be wet-cleaned simply and safely. As with all MULTIPOND multihead weighers, the quick and tool-free removal of product contact parts effectively reduces standstill time for cleaning and maintenance work. James MacGregor is happy with the on-site support from the MULTIPOND UK subsidiary. “The concentrated knowledge, the splendid support and the fast service of MULTIPOND is absolutely fantastic. We feel very comfortable and have great faith in the MULTIPOND brand and the team in the UK. We consider MULTIPOND to be a very strong partner to Riverford.”

ENGINEERED AND MANUFACTURED IN GERMANY

MULTIPOND has been an owner-managed German company since the very beginning. Drawing on more than 70 years' experience in industrial weighing technology, we are a pioneer in this sector. Our success is based on the high quality and excellent technical standard of our weighing systems. We consciously commit to a high level of vertical integration, as well as production exclusively in Germany. Customer focus has become our corporate maxim. A team of over 250 employees commits worldwide to offer our customers from the food and non-food sectors optimized, unique solutions tailored exactly to their requirements at all times.
Sales, project planning and service activities are handled at the German headquarters, and from four of our own subsidiaries in France, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and the USA and by a worldwide network of agents.

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