A leading Slovakian snacks producer is benefitting from an integrated packing line solution from Ishida Europe that is enabling the company to meet growing global demand for its unique range of organic and allergen-free snacks.
Cibi, based in Marcelová, was one of the first companies to develop these products in the late 2000s and is the only one that offers a range of snacks specifically created for all age ranges from babies to adults. To meet its high production rates – currently around 4,800kg every day – the company has installed two Ishida iTPS (Integrated Total Packing Systems) multihead weigher and bagmaker combinations, together with an IX-GA-4075 x-ray inspection system and DACS-G checkweigher to deliver the highest quality control and inspection procedures.
Speed and accuracy are of paramount importance to Cibi. The Ishida line is handling packs sizes of 15g to 90g for extruded snacks and 23g to 125g for baked products, with accuracy to within 0.1g of target weight.
Top speeds for each system is up to 140 packs per minute – limited only by the lightness of most of the products which means they take a little more time to transfer through the iTPS. For the smallest pack sizes, the two snack packing systems work in tandem to deliver around 240 packs per minute to match the capacity of the extruder.
With a wide variety of Cibi brands and private label products being manufactured each day, changeovers can take place two or three times per shift. Cibi reports that these are easy to implement, with all details saved in the system’s remote control unit.
Cleaning is equally easy, and the hygienic design of the weighers and easy-to-remove parts mean that the majority of cleaning processes can be completed within 30 minutes. The machines are in operation 24 hours a day for 5 or 6 days per week. Cibi production manager Csaba Fica says the Ishida equipment has proved extremely reliable.
“Since we installed our first iTPS system, it has handled in excess of 40 million packs with no issues,” he says. “We also receive very prompt technical and service support from Ishida, including supply of any spares or consumables in just 24 or 48 hours, which compares extremely favourably with other equipment suppliers on this line.”
The IX-GA x-ray inspection system is able to spot foreign bodies such as metal, dense plastics and rubber as small as 0.6mm and below as part of enhanced quality checks at the company. Although current BRC food safety regulations only specify metal detectors for quality assurance purposes, Cibi believes in being able to demonstrate ultra-high quality standards to its global customer base and ensure it is ahead and ready for any changes that might occur in these regulations in the future.
Because the packs of snacks are very light, they would not be able to pass through the normal protective tungsten curtains on the Ishida x-ray system. Ishida therefore designed and installed special covers that sit over the infeed and outfeed conveyors. The DACS-G checkweigher provides a final weight check in line with e weight regulations, ensuring all packs leaving the factory meet relevant legislation.
For Cibi CEO Ján Cibulka, who has led the company on its path of growth with the introduction of these healthy snack ranges, the speed, accuracy and flexibility of the Ishida machines are their major benefits.
“Thanks to the Ishida system, we have been able to meet the high growth in demand for our products,” he explains. “The two iTPS can handle the volume using a single x-ray and checkweigher. There are other less expensive systems available, but with a reduced top speed, each would require separate inspection machines, and this would also have a major impact on factory space.”
Having a single supplier is also highly advantageous says Jan in helping to ensure that the line continues to run to its best capabilities. Equally important, the superb accuracy of the iTPS is contributing to a fast payback.
“On our smallest pack size, we are producing over 14,000 bags every hour,” points out Jan. “If giveaway averaged 0.5g instead of the 0.1g we are achieving, that equates to 7kg of giveaway saved every hour!”
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