The Bakery manufacturing process currently incorporates a hand weighed garnish on 30% of the products that it makes. The weights, tolerances and line speeds of each product are set at the product development stage in conjunction with the customer. This information then forms part of the product standards and launch pack ensuring that both customer and legislative requirements are met. Therefore it is key that the methods used for the weighing of material are accurate, safe and cost effective.
In line with the current diagnostic process carried out yearly in Bakery a post review of the current of the current weighing scales was carried out, it was found that:
All but one of the 14 scales had faults which negatively impacted either accurate weighing or speed of weighing.
The current scales required repeated repair and lacked durability.
Operatives had lost confidence in the equipment.
The technology used in the scale was outdated and would no longer be supported by the supplier.
It would be difficult to upgrade the current scales due to their age, as some parts were now unavailable.
We could no longer be confident that we would be technically compliant.
The result of the equipment audit showed that in order to stay technically compliant we would have to invest in either a new innovative solution or replace the current format. With the importance of conformity in mind it was decided to go down the quickest route of direct scale replacement.
Several suppliers were evaluated considering logistics, cost and overall suitability of solution and it was ultimately decided to use Marsden Weighing Group Ltd as the preferred supplier.
Equipment and Feasibility Studies
Due to the bespoke nature of the weighing process, it was key to work closely with Marsden weighing. They were able to visit site, understand the needs of our process and develop a scale that met our requirements. We therefore decided to purchase a single trial unit to test prior to replacing the remaining thirteen scales.
We found through the initial trials that the scales needed some minor tweaks to meet our needs, and these were quickly made by Marsden. All operators associated with the weighing process were consulted with their opinion considered, all generally agreed that the new scale was easier and faster to use with less training required. The subsequent trial period was successful and justified the replacement of all remaining scales. Marsden were able to meet our needs in terms of timescale.
Post Launch Evaluation
The scales have performed well over the last 8 weeks with no operational issues. Review of the impact of the new scales has been positive with a material yield improvement of 29% on the previous 8 weeks with the old scales.
Marsden Weighing have been able to quickly provide a bespoke weighing solution which perfectly meets our needs.
Case study provided by: Gareth Sampson, Business Improvement Coordinator at Greencore Kiveton
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