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UK: Ishida weighers played key role in growth of specialist salad producer
Nine Ishida multihead weighers, including three recently-installed from the company’s latest state-of-the-art RV range, are weighing a wide variety of salad products, packed into both bags and salad bowls, delivering excellent accuracy, speed and reliability.
A family-owned and run business, Bryans Salads is a BRC Grade A V7 supplier of pre-packed salads and vegetables to both the retail and foodservice sector. With orders received one day for delivery the next, a fast and reliable weighing and packing operation is absolutely essential to the business.
“When we first started our own processing and packing, we selected a different weigher but realised the error of our ways!” comments Jon Bragg, the company’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Our experience has been that Ishidas are the best multihead weighers – if you are going to buy one, they are the ones to choose. Selecting Ishida over the competition is a bit like choosing a Porsche in preference to a Ford.”
The weighers are handling a wide variety of pack sizes, ranging from 90g to 250g for retail and 250g to 1kg for foodservice, with accuracy to within 2g on a typical 100g pack of mixed leaves. Packing speeds are dependent on the capability of the bagmaker and the nature of the product – heavier items fall more quickly into the bag – but average speeds are around 40 packs per minute.
Four of the Ishida weighers are operating across two salad bowl packing lines. On each line, one weigher is dedicated to a base leaf mix and the other to a topping, such as mixed peppers. A dipping funnel beneath the weighers empties first the leaf mix before the bowl moves forward to accept the topping.
The weighers are working in excess of 12 hours every day. As well as their accuracy and speed, Jon Bragg cites their reliability and ease of use as major benefits.
“The Ishidas are literally plug and play – you switch them on and they continue to operate consistently and reliably, so we experience minimal downtime. And the touch screen means set-up and operation are very simple to perform.”
The weighers undergo a deep cleandown at the end of each shift, with their waterproof construction and removable parts enabling fast and hygienic cleaning.
“The weighers have proved an excellent long term investment,” concludes Jon Bragg. “Evidence of their longevity is the fact that when cleaned, our 2009 models look just as good as the more recent additions.”
Bryans Salads first diversified into the production of ready-prepared salads in 1997 and remains the only UK grower to supply its own lettuce, with most of its crops grown within a one mile radius of its processing site. Today the company processes around 350 tonnes of product every week. Its recent success had led to a huge growth in turnover since 2009, up from £3.8 million to £30 million today.
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