19 April 2022
Small potatoes' sorting process key to production
THE design of the ‘Gentle Slope’ multihead weigher from Ishida Europe has been instrumental in delivering a high-quality packing solution for a range of microwavable potatoes from leading Spanish potato processor, Patatas Meléndez.
Based in the municipality of Medina del Campo in the province of Valladolid, Patatas Meléndez’s 24,105m2 facility is one of Europe’s biggest potato production plants. For its gourmet microwavable potatoes, available in both tray and bag formats, the company uses only the finest varieties of small potatoes, which undergo a rigorous sorting and inspection process to ensure selection of the very best product for this premium range. It was therefore essential that the quality of the potatoes be fully maintained during the weighing and packing operation.
The two 14-head CCW-RVE-GS models from Ishida incorporate gentle slopes and reduced angles throughout the weighers to ease the passage of the potatoes, importantly avoiding any bruising or damage.
Potatoes are transferred carefully from the dispersion table to the pool and weigh hoppers. The weigher then calculates in a fraction of a second the combination of weights that most closely meets the required target weight, which is discharged into the pack.
Each weigher is dedicated to one pack format, with special distribution systems for the efficient transfer of product from the weigher to the bag or tray. Target weights are 400g for the bags and 325g for the trays, with the Ishida weighers delivering excellent accuracy to within xx%. Speeds are governed by the bagging machine and tray sealer at around 40 packs per minute (ppm) and 25ppm respectively – well within the weighers’ top speed of 60ppm.