As anyone who handles it will testify, cheese is a notoriously difficult product to package accurately. It comes in various formats from blocks, sliced and grated and in different textures and sizes. It is absolutely essential for dairy manufacturers to be able to package the different variations efficiently, accurately and to a high standard to ensure products reach stores in a timely fashion.
Thankfully, innovative weighing and packaging technologies are making this possible. Multihead weighers are fast, accurate and reliable and known for the benefits they can bring to packaging lines in the dairy industries. For example, multihead weighers are equipped with anti-stick surface coatings, enabling easy handling of products at high speeds, even at low temperatures.
Add to the mix the varied complications of handling grated cheese – an extremely challenging product to handle – and the need to ensure the product arrives consistently and evenly in the multihead weigher is crucial for accurate packaging. Inaccurate weighing can cause serious reputational damage for brands. Consumers expect to have the same amount of grated cheese in a pack every time they make a purchase. If they see huge fluctuations then they are unlikely to repeat purchase as they see the brand as unreliable. At the same time, if too much of a product is packed then the brand is losing out financially, so accurate weighing is hugely important, especially at a time when the economy is still recovering.
For FJ Need, a family-run cheese company and long-standing Yamato customer of over 20 years, using a multihead weigher has enabled the business to guarantee accuracy while speeding up production, reducing wastage and improving product yield. The machine is so fast that it has not yet been used to its full capacity – the business is now looking to improve end-of-line packaging machines to keep up.
We know that dealing with a food product whether it’s soft or hard, dry or wet, grated or solid is not a straightforward process. However, recent advances in weighing technology mean that packaging cheese is significantly easier for dairy manufacturers, enabling a vast array of products to be distributed in numerous formats quickly, accurately and safely.
“We’ve been working with Yamato Scale Dataweigh for over seven years and have been delighted with the levels of customer service and support offered. Whenever there has been an urgent requirement for new equipment or assistance required on-site, Yamato’s service engineers have always been on hand and willing to help – even out of hours.
Yamato deliver a service that is second to none. It is a great company to work with and we have been delighted with the support provided since day one. For example, we approached Yamato back in 2005 with a job that required a new production line to be set up urgently. We contacted Yamato who quickly informed us that the machine we required was not currently in stock in the UK.
Appreciating the urgency of the installation, Yamato’s engineers did everything they could to ensure we were up and running as soon as possible, even shipping the Checkweigher we needed overnight from Germany.
The machine was delivered and installed within just two days of the first phone call – and at a much more competitive price than any of its competitors.
Unfortunately when the installation was complete, the engineers noticed a problem with one of the parts. They quickly found a temporary solution to ensure we could begin production immediately, with a follow up visit just two weeks after installation to install the final parts and enable us to begin running production at full speed.
The Yamato team has shown great flexibility and willingness to adjust to our business needs. For example, it is recommended that Checkweighers be calibrated at least once a year. When a client introduced a new regulation to calibrate the machinery used on its products twice a year, our engineers were quick to adopt and immediately updated our service schedule to visit every six-months to service and calibrate our machines.
Since the installation, we have reduced the time spent cleaning machinery and have noticed significantly reduced downtime as less equipment errors occur in production. Over the past few years, we have moved all of our weighing and bagging equipment to Yamato from one of its competitors. We took a chance with Yamato all those years ago and we’re delighted that they still continue to supersede our expectations.”
Layfords Contract Packing
“Our whole experience with Yamato has been first-class. From helping us specify the right machine down to the installation and commissioning, Yamato has delivered at every turn even quickly shipping in parts from both the UK and Japan for our installation.
From the outset, one of the requests we made to Yamato was that the engineers at Ahmad Tea should be allowed to take responsibility for the machinery installation helping to weight Yamato’s commissioning allocation towards training our new on-site teams. Most of whom brought experience from other industries but were completely new to both the food and tea industries. In fact, with much of the team’s experience coming from high-end automotive plants and pharmaceutical production lines, few of the technicians had experience of multi-head weighing equipment at all.
Thankfully with clear instructions from Yamato and the online service support used by the on-site teams, we are now equipped with both the knowledge and confidence to use the equipment and deliver world-class manufacturing output.
Today, Yamato engineers regularly visit to fine-tune and calibrate machines but the majority of their time is spent training on-site teams. By the end of the first year following installation, we have recently achieved an (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) OEE rating of 78%. Our performance is testament to the training and helpful advice provided by Yamato engineers who have worked across different manufacturing sites.
We are delighted with the synergy that Yamato have been able to provide our business. We will ensure that any new installations to be dealt with by Yamato will employ the same approach. Our experience with Yamato in the UK has been nothing short of outstanding. They have been incredibly accommodating to our business needs and have displayed unparalleled flexibility in-tune with this large and rapid development. The Yamato team acted quickly to ensure first-class service and were instrumental in delivering multiple production lines in quick succession, each of which met or exceeded our expectations.”