Leading confectionery manufacturers such as Sula, a producer of hard and soft candies, are confronted with several challenges due to the varieties in confectionery products such as shape, taste and consistency requiring varied packaging as a result. In addition, nutritional or recycling trends are creating new products and packaging solutions. This means that in addition to unconditional demands on product quality, a high degree of flexibility must be provided in order to keep pace with such developments. With a portfolio of weighing, inspection and software solutions, Minebea Intec offers a wide range of choices for a variety of industries and rounds off the offer with a strong service offering. With its products, the company also ensures compliance with legal regulations thus making an important contribution to critical control points in production. The offer has also convinced Sula, who relies on weighing and software solutions from Minebea Intec for its‘ production.
From raw material to finished packaging - weighing solutions ensure smooth production
Static and dynamic weighing is the key to optimum production. Weighing processes are an integral part of confectionery production along the production line from the arrival and storage of raw materials to the finished packaged product. This begins with the reception and intermediate storage of the raw materials, where Minebea Intec ensures the correct delivery quantities with truck scales, flat-bed scales and silo load cells and tailor-made solutions if required. Nick Parsons, Deputy CSO at Minebea Intec, underlines the advantages "Our Inteco digital load cell in combination with the Connexx converter is a good example of the unstoppable digitalisation in weighing processes. Customers benefit from fast signaling times and optimum transparency when dosing and weighing ingredients and mixtures. In the event of faulty measurement results, a defective load cell can be identified immediately".
Dynamic checkweighers for an efficient process
For the subsequent process steps in the production of confectionery, reliable weighing equipment with static and dynamic weighing systems are essential to ensure consistent product quality. For example, Combics legal-for-trade industrial scales or Midrics series bench and floor scales support processes in spice and flavoring departments. Minebea Intec also offers Engineered-to-Order solutions that meet the customer's exact requirements. Sula uses the Synus dynamic checkweigher: these offer reliable measurement results even at high process speeds and ensure that packages are ejected outside the legally prescribed tolerance. In addition, the checkweighers can regulate upstream filling systems via the integrated tendency control, should overfilling or underfilling of the packages become apparent. The Synus checkweighers were developed in accordance with hygienic design guidelines to simplify cleaning processes. As a result, less time and detergent is required for cleaning, which in turn reduces the amount of cleaning required. Their technology, menu navigation and design are geared towards simple and flexible changes in the production line. A changeover to new or seasonal confectionery products can be implemented effortlessly. But despite all this flexibility, one thing remains the same for the customer: confidence in the quality of the product; "The dynamic checkweighers from Minebea Intec have been an integral part of our confectionery production for around 30 years. Their reliable technology and ease of operation are the cornerstones of our system," says Franz-Josef Laumann, Sulá GmbH plant management.
SPC@Enterprise: For increased productivity
One of the greatest advatages can still be gained throughout production using Minebea Intec software: ProRecipe XT offers an intuitive recipe management system for all manual and semi-automatic recipe processes. The innovative software guarantees controlled production reliability in the food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and many other industries. The Minebea Intec software SPC@Enterprise, which is also used by Sula, also helps with compliance with legal regulations. All devices are connected to SPC@Enterprise and are monitored by it. The data flows into the cloud of the group of companies and ensures complete traceability, among other things for audits. At the same time, Sula reviews the data to evaluate and improve performance. Using this method, potential for increasing production can be identified at an early stage and reports are automatically sent to the people involved. The digital portfolio is supported by innovative solutions such as the service tool miRemote; based on augmented reality technology, it enables an immediate online connection between the customer and Minebea Intec, thus avoiding waiting times for technicians and unnecessary production downtimes. Smaller problems can often be solved with little support as if the service technician himself were live on site. Sula is just one example of satisfied customers, Minebea Intec with its weighing and inspection solutions offers the optimal all-round package for confectionery manufacturers - from incoming goods to the inspection of packaged goods.
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