An Ishida Screwfeeder multihead weigher has completed the automatic weighing process at leading French mushroom supplier Borde, handling the most challenging and naturally sticky type of mushrooms – those that have just been blanched, ready for canning or bottling – with improved throughput and accuracy.
Having installed an Ishida weigher to handle its dried and frozen mushrooms, Borde initially selected a weigher from another supplier for its blanched mushrooms. However, this was not up to the job, because these mushrooms are far stickier than the dried or frozen mushrooms, clinging to feeders and hoppers, and this is made worse by the small pieceweight of the product, which prevents gravity from overcoming the adhesion forces.
The Ishida replacement solution – chosen by Borde after submissions from three leading multihead weigher manufacturers – is a 14-head Screwfeeder model, in which the mushrooms are received from the dispersion table into feeder troughs which contain large metal spirals (screws). These push the product gently but very firmly along to the hoppers.
The dispersion table itself is a rotating, cone-shaped unit which easily shrugs off the mushrooms falling from the infeed, discouraging sticking and moving them decisively into the screwfeeder system.
When the mushrooms reach the ends of the troughs they fall, channelled by embossed metal shrouds, into non-stick plastic pool hoppers, from where they are released into weigh hoppers of similar construction. The doors of both sets of hoppers open with a scraping action that prises off any clinging mushrooms.
A further appeal of the new Ishida solution was the fact that it was a ‘drop-in’ replacement for the rejected model, with no changes needed to the infeed conveyors or to the discharge distribution system.
Borde Chairman and Managing Director Alain Borde is very pleased with the new multihead, which can handle mushrooms of all textures.
“We have increased production by 20% and really mastered our target weights in terms of both accuracy and consistency, which is crucial, given the expensive nature of the raw product,” he explains.
For the dried and frozen mushrooms, Borde uses a 14-head Ishida weigher which is mounted on wheels, giving it the flexibility to be shuttled back and forth between the two lines as required.