Coffee good to go with Ishida
An entry-level Ishida CCW-SE-210 with 2 litre hoppers is counting by weight to pack 18 Illy coffee capsules into a quadro bag for the Italian retail market, while two mid-range CCW-RS-210 weighers with 5 litre hoppers are dedicated to packing 3kg tins of illy coffee beans for the foodservice sector worldwide.
Established in 1933 and still a family-owned business, illy pioneered the pressurised system for its coffee beans in 1934 which today is still the process that ensures the preservation of the unique aromas and flavours of the company’s carefully selected coffee beans.
From the start, illy recognised that product quality also depends on the quality of the packaging. The company therefore produces its own 3kg cans which are supplied to restaurants and cafes. In addition, the company’s technical team is responsible for the design of the filling lines, with much of the equipment manufactured to illy’s bespoke specifications.
For its 3kg cans, illy had previously used a single head weighing system but as the supplier of this machine was no longer in business and spare parts were becoming difficult to obtain, the company needed an alternative solution.
As well as delivering accuracy to within 3-4g of target weight, a key benefit of the new weighers has been their speed. This has enabled illy to increase the packing operation from 10 to 25 cans per minute. As a result, the company is now investing in new end of line equipment in order to be able to maximise the benefits of this speed increase.
Both weighers are discharging the coffee into illy’s bespoke filling system, which incorporates a series of rotating chutes that direct the coffee beans into the moving cans. With the increases in speed from the weighers, the line is now handling around 45 tonnes of coffee beans every day.
Thanks to its 5 litre hoppers the Ishida weighers can achieve the high target weight in a single product dump. Because after the roasting process, some coffee beans can occasionally stick together, the pool hoppers incorporate a grid designed by illy that prevents clumps of beans falling into the weigh hopper.
The two weighers for coffee beans are in operation 24 hours a day, five days a week. Carlo Valente from illy’s Technical Department says they are easy to operate and confirms their reliability as one of their most important benefits.
“The settings for the different coffee varieties handled by the weigher are stored in its memory and are easily called up on the Remote Control Unit for fast and simple changeovers,” he explains. “We have also been very pleased with the reliability of the Ishida weighers, which have continued to perform without any problems since their installation.”
Currently illy handles four different coffees for its 3kg cans – standard, decaffeinated, dark and extra dark – on the Ishida RS weighers but their flexibility and versatility means that new varieties, which the company is continually working on, can easily be introduced at any time. The weighers are cleaned after each shift, and between changeovers, with a major clean at the end of every week. Carlo says that this is a simple process, thanks to the hygienic design of the weighers, with smooth lines and surfaces that avoid dust traps, and the simple dismantling and re-hanging of the hoppers without the need for tools.
The 10 head Ishida CCW-SE offers speed, accuracy and efficiency at an entry-level price and is ideal for all types of dry applications. At illy, the weigher is being used for the company’s exclusive Iperespresso capsule system that has brought authentic espresso preparation to the home. With the capsules all being of a practically identical weight, the CCW-SE-210 is able to count 18 coffee capsules into flat-bottomed quadro bags at around 50 packs per minute. Again, the weigher discharges the pods into an illy-designed handling system that transfers them to the bags.
Quality has always been the driving force behind all of illy’s product and packaging developments and was a key factor in the company’s selection of Ishida for these two applications, with the weighers supplied by Ishida’s longstanding Italian agent Itech.
“We chose Ishida equipment because the company has a worldwide reputation for excellence,” confirms Carlo. “We are very pleased with the results so far, and with the support we have received from Itech and Ishida.”