Chocolate packaging solution

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An Ishida packing system featuring a 24-head multihead weigher has been implemented in the production of mixed packs of Ritter Sport cubes at food logistics and packer Nagel Group.

Ritter Sport’s choco cubes required a solution to pack mixed varieties of the chocolates into cube-shaped cardboard boxes – a small 176g size made up of 22 individual chocolates in three or four varieties, and a 240g box made up of 30 chocolates in six varieties.

The Ishida solution comprises of an automatic product infeed system which has been adapted to the ceiling height of six metres. Each variety of choco cube is placed in a mobile buffer container which transfers the products to one of six buffer conveyors. A colour-detecting sensor checks whether the delivered product matches the requested variety. Special fixtures prevent any pressure damage to the sensitive chocolate confectionery.

The choco cubes are then sent to a 24-head CCW-R multihead weigher from Ishida. The weigher is divided into six sections. Each weighing section features four weigh hoppers and four booster hoppers to maximise weight combinations available to match the target weight. The choco cube varieties are collated in the corresponding discharge chutes for each portion to create the final product mix for each pack.

Discharging the mix into the boxes is carried out by a double discharge chute system which fills two folding cartons in parallel. The empty boxes are conveyed under the weigher outlet on a dual-track conveyor and are briefly raised to receive the product.

Three operators, who received on-site training from Ishida, are sufficient to run the complete line. The system is controlled using a touchscreen, and product changeovers are carried out by accessing the pre-settings on the remote control unit.

Plans to purchase a second machine have been put on hold due to a legal case surrounding the validity of Ritter Sport’s claims of ‘natural flavourings’.

Source: Confectionery Production