Antonio Gambin Balsalobre, director of engineering, Sánchez Cano, said the company is looking to expand overseas and is increasingly dedicating individual machines to specific products.
Its export markets include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US and South Africa. Its biggest export markets are Germany and France, but it is looking to grow in Asia to build on its presence in the Philippines, Taiwan and Korea.
It has 12 Ishida multihead weighers at its Spanish factory at Molina de Segura, in Murcia, including a 16-head double outlet model to fill resealable doypacks with chewing gum pieces. It fills 180g packs for the EU and 142g for the US market.
Anti-stick contact parts
It currently uses a single-charge 14-head weigher with anti-stick contact parts, including metal mesh in the hopper gates, for its oiled jellies.
Chewy jellies come in a variety of shapes and sizes but for weighing and packing purposes they fall into two categories. On separation from their molds, the jellies can be oiled, ‘to give that wonderful shine so they appeal to children, or sugar-sanded for a traditional look’, he said.
“The sugared jellies are relatively easy to handle. We’ve tended to favor 16-head double discharge multihead weighers because you basically get two fast weighers into the space of one,” added Gambin Balsalobre.
Oiled jellies are inclined to stick
“They’re very flexible, and you can for example run one side while cleaning the other.”
Oiled jellies are more inclined to stick, especially with products such as ‘fried eggs’ or ‘rings’, where there have large flat surfaces.
Glazed liquorice is comparable to oiled jelly in stickiness. At Sánchez Cano, mixtures of liquorice candies are also weighed on 14-head weighers with special contact parts.
“We prefer to dedicate a whole weigher to each product, where the number of heads make up for a relatively slow-moving product,” said Gambin Balsalobre.
“Chewing gum begins to lose moisture as soon as it’s made, which means harsh treatment could cause pieces of the outer coating to break off, which is why we selected an weigher with bancollan linings to reduce the impact of damage and the force of collisions.”
It can also handle smaller packs for the home market, 28 pieces per pack, at 120 packs per minute (60ppm each side).
Marshmallows, dusted with sugar or cornflour, are handled on a 16-head double discharge weigher mounted over twin bagmakers, filling 500g and 1.25kg bags. The weigher has three litre hoppers to accommodate this bulky product.
Ishida and CIMA (Ishida’s Spanish distributor) have six engineers for after service support and Sánchez Cano continues to use an Ishida machine it bought in 1987, weighing 1kg bags of liquorice at 36ppm.
“Despite the age of this machine, it is still working at a good speed and I can predict and plan my spares costs for it," added Gambin Balsalobre.