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Multihead Weiger – Fully automatic weighing of high-quality North Sea shrimp
The north German, family-owned company de Beer GmbH & Co. Krabbenhandels-KG, established in 1976, is the only German company that specializes in marketing North Sea shrimp. The company is supplied by 35 fishing boats, of which 7 are family-owned. This specialist shrimp company has a workforce that totals 120. Products are sold only in Germany. Customers include seafood stores, delicatessens, supermarket chains and salad suppliers. Between 10 and 12 tons of shrimp are packed weekly. To optimize its operations, the company recently built a new plant for final packaging. Previously, some of the shrimp were packed by hand; only one weighing system from MULTIPOND was in use. Additional systems have been added recently, however, in order to further automate the packaging process. "On the basis of our good experience, we decided to stay with MULTIPOND.", stated Dirk de Beer.
An additional MP 14-2400/1250-H weighing system was recently installed in the new building in Greetsiel in combination with a thermoforming machine. This line is used to pack 5 to 7 tons of high-quality product into trays weekly, while operating only 3 days per week.
The shrimp are fed to the weighing system by a conveyor. Once it has arrived at the top of the weigher, the product is first conveyed to the prefeed hoppers by the radially positioned feed trays 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 comes closest to the target weight. Then, the precisely weighed portions are discharged into the timing hopper and finally into trays by means of a custom-designed product transfer system. The target weights vary between 100 g and 1,000 g, with a standard deviation of less than 0.5% and a mean value that corresponds to the desired target weight. "With such an expensive product, accuracy plays an extremely important role for us", explains Bernd de Beer. "The MULTIPOND systems satisfy this requirement fully." The entire line operates with an output of up to 68 trays per minute, depending on the target weight and format of the product transfer system.
All product contact parts have been supplied to the exact requirements for packing North Sea shrimp to ensure a perfect product flow. These parts can be removed easily and quickly for cleaning and maintenance without the need for tools. The product transfer system was designed to be flexible. Format changes (2x1, 2x2, 4x2-way format) are fast and can be made easily. The system is operated using a user-friendly color touchscreen monitor. Bernd de Beer states: "The easy-to-use controls make working with the systems uncomplicated. Our employees have learned to operate the machines quickly and without any problems."
General Manager Dirk de Beer is extremely satisfied with the results: "The system runs without problems. Thanks to the ruggedness and high reliability of the systems, we need almost no assistance for service. If, per chance, a problem occurs, it is addressed immediately."
MULTIPOND is the sales and service division of the German based manufacturing company ATOMA which has been established since 1946. The first automatic weighing system for the packaging industry was launched in 1963. It is positioned as the market leading innovator in the design and manufacture of customized multihead weighing systems for the packaging industry. Headquarters and manufacturing facilities are in Waldkraiburg, Germany, about 65km east of Munich. Beside the global network of sales and service representatives, there are four wholly owned sales and service subsidiaries in the UK, the Netherlands, France and the US.
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