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Europe: Ishida’s gentle solution for fragile pasties

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A special ‘gentle slope’ multihead weigher from Ishida Europe has enabled Spanish manufacturer Congalsa to offer tuna pasties.

Founded two decades ago, Congalsa has established itself as a manufacturer of high quality, pre-cooked, frozen seafood dishes.

When the company decided to enter a promising market in tuna pasties, which have long been a popular part of Iberian cuisine, it was important to balance superior ingredients with an economical packing process.

Overcoming fragility

Manufacturers in the market had encountered a fragility problem.

Any damage to the corners of the frozen pasties structurally weakens them, making them liable to leak their contents during the frying process, with the risk of downgrading the consumer’s experience.

To overcome it, they packed the pasties by hand into molded plastic trays, which were then placed in boxes.

Congalsa wanted to deliver an authentic, home-made taste, with better ingredients and a higher percentage of tuna than any of the existing products.

Achieving this commercially involved adopting a different packing concept: using the speed, hygiene and labor-saving potential of multihead weighing to bag the pasties before boxing.

However, multihead weighing poses a significant breakage rate, taking place largely in the weigher or at the weigher/bagmaker interface.

The extent of such damage could only be evaluated by inspecting the already sealed bags and removing the broken pasties by hand.

Solution

The solution, supplied through Barcelona-based CIMA, Ishida’s distributor in Spain, was a Gentle Slope Ishida model.

The 14-head weigher is configured so that radial feeder angles are shallower than usual.

Drop distances between feeders and pool hoppers and between pool hoppers and weigh hoppers are kept to a minimum.

A ring shutter halves the distance that the product must fall from weigh hoppers to bagmaker.

The weigher can make many more combination calculations per second (which enhances speed and accuracy) and has a self-tuning vibratory system.

The many damage-reducing features of the Ishida weigher and the Congalsa production team’s work in integrating it into the line have enabled high packaging speeds to be achieved.