Labour costs have also been cut concurrently with the automation of the company's six batching and packing lines.
"Automated cheese batching to fixed weight has an appreciable influence on the giveaway, which again directly reflects the bottom line. Such improvement in profit obviously helps shorten payback time considerably. In fact this type of equipment often pays for itself within as little as 4 to 6 months," said area sales manager Mikael Nielsen.
The cheese blocks are transported to a high-precision weighing unit, automatically weighed and moved to the separator unit.
"If a cheese block is damaged, a label is missing or the foil is punctured, the operator simply removes the item from the batch, and pushes the box along the conveyor belt to the checkweigher, which automatically rejects the box with the missing block due to underweight," said Nielsen.
"In manual operation, the operator registers the weight deficiency and uses the push-button panel to request a cheese block with the weight needed to make up this deficiency. This process can also be automated."
The requested item arrives in a special chute so that the operator can fill up the box with a cheese block of the right weight to meet the specifications. The batch is completed with an absolute minimum of time, effort and giveaway.
This CheeseBatcher reworking-station keeps rejected items/boxes within the line and thereby optimises the production flow with absolutely no giveaway. Scanvaegt claims that the system can make a big difference to profit margins, which have been tight within the dairy industry.
The system is designed to solve a number of tasks in a fast integrated flow, such as automating the weighing of cheese along with automating grading after size or type. The batching of pieces into fixed-weight boxes means that damaged cheese or cheese with missing labels can be removed.
Automated checkweighing, the rejection of underweight boxes e.g. if a cheese has been removed and automated labelling can all be done at high speeds, providing a capacity of up to 200 items/minute per line.
"In addition the system can be adapted and expanded with automatic metal detection or robot packing," said Nielsen.