News & Updates

September 19, 2013

Batch Weighing Systems

Batch Weighing System at Fredericks Dairies ensures 100% Batch Consistency and Paperless Lot Traceability

Fredericks is a business forged by pioneers – a family of ice cream aficionados who first developed their commercial roots close to the Italian Riviera in 1896 and then exported their brand of Italian cool to the North West of England over the next hundred years.

Batch Weighing Systems

Batch Weighing Systems

Today the business continues to invest in people and has an enthusiastic and ambitious team that would rival any of their competitors.

Whether it’s our sales communicators, ICOM team or production personnel, their entrepreneurial passion for ice cream you can believe in helps them develop new growth opportunities that deliver real competitive advantage for their fabulous brands (Such as Del Monte, Cadbury and Vimto to mention a few).

As consumer focused manufacturers they advocate a ‘factory to freezer’ ecosystem that allows them to respond quickly and efficiently to changing market conditions and deliver improved results for their brand partners, retailers and consumers alike. Of course, running such heavyweight brands requires serious attention to detail with manufacturing operations.

In addition, the retail outlets which Fredericks supply demand increasingly high standards of branding, production and consistency. For this reason, Fredericks has decided to implement the Batch Weighing System & Lot Traceability Solution from SG Systems. The system enables Frederick’s award winning recipes to be accurately reproduced from batch to batch, ensuring target weights are met and the weighing accuracy is achieved.

SG Systems Batch Weighing Systems

It all starts with a download of the production schedule from the management PC. Each morning, the Production Manager is provided with a schedule of production from the sales team. This schedule is then converted into manufacturing sized batches and entered into the SG Systems Batch Weighing System software and sent to the 3 Vantage Touch screen Batch Weighing System Terminal on the production floor. The Vantage Production Floor Terminals connect to weighing devices and other peripherals (such as label printers and scanners) to bring the data together.

Each Batch Weighing System Terminal requires an operator to login to view the production schedule on the Touch Screens. The Operator then selects the recipe which is required and follows a simple sequence of on screen prompts. The system calls for each ingredient one at a time, ensuring the operator doesn’t miss an ingredient out of the batch (which happens often with basic scales and a pen and paper schedule).

Each ingredient has a ‘high & low’ tolerance set by management to remove the opportunity for over or under weighing. Lot numbers are captured for each ingredient to comply with food safety standards of traceability. Following the systematic approach to weighing batches accurately achieves a whole host of production benefits – such as reducing the raw material usage, providing batch to batch consistency and operator accountability.

Fredericks Mix Room Manager Simon Crick comments “I had used the SG Systems Batch Weighing System in a previous company and found it an indispensable production tool for making the operators weigh things to the tolerances which management had specified for the formulations.  The thought of using just a scale and a manual system of data recording kept me up at night!  The system is well proven in the industry and SG Systems have a long and credible track record for producing quality Batch Weighing Systems. On that basis they were the obvious choice for the project. We initially purchased one for the dispensary area and have subsequently purchased two further systems to provide a more widespread installation into our facility”.

Studies have shown that the implementation of the Vantage Batch Weighing System can produce material savings of between 2 and 6% per year. This is achieved by preventing over weighing of ingredients into a batch and significantly reducing the production of badly weighed batches.

SG Systems comments “It is human nature to put more into a mix than is actually required. We’ve seen it in literally hundreds of applications across the world and the results are unanimous with our user group. However, it’s only when the system has been in place for several months that we obtain feedback about the product consistency benefits. It’s for this reason that many food production companies purchase the Batch Weighing System.

The savings normally represents system payback of around 6 months – for that reason it’s normally considered a high priority project for companies looking to improve their efficiencies and reduce costs”.

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