Ishida Europe’s new facility in Gauteng is tailored to meet the needs of the company’s ever-expanding local customer base, to offer in-house demonstrations and provide a more effective sales and service support throughout South Africa.ISHIDA recently welcomed industry partners and customers to the official opening of its new 500m2 sales and service office in Chloorkop, Gauteng, with demonstrations of its latest product launches followed by an enjoyable evening of traditional African fare and entertainment.

Paul Griffin, Ishida Europe market director, officially opened and presided over the day’s event. This included an introduction to the local Ishida team of Belinda Sijstermans Brits, commercial coordinator; Craig Bergset, sales manager for South Africa; and service engineers André Systermans and Chris Blanche.

Ishida claims to be the world market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of complete weighing, packing and quality control solutions for the food industry. Having previously worked in South Africa for six years, Paul Griffin is more than familiar with the local terrain and remarked that opening an office here is ‘a real pleasure’.

‘This is about a partnership with customers and working together in the future,’ he added. Paul went on to explain that the South African market is strategic to the development and growth of the Ishida brand. With a current worldwide annual turnover of nearly £800-million and a turnover of £2-million in South Africa (R26-million) the company plans to double this local figure by 2012.  Ishida currently enjoys an almost 50% share of the market in developing countries and, according to Paul Griffin, owes its success to continual innovation, research and development and having the right people in place.

This supports the company’s philosophy of being truly committed to increasing packing line speeds, maximising accuracy, improving efficiency and cutting total cost of ownership (TCO).    

Advances on top selling models

New equipment showcased at the event included the new IX-GA X-Ray inspection system that can check a broad spectrum of contaminants and defects in packaged products. It’s especially good for searching the density of a contaminant and, for instance, can detect ‘bone’ in poultry. Other traceable contaminants are metal, glass, shell, grit, plastic and hard rubber. These foreign bodies can be traceable down to 0,3mm in size.

It can also monitor product weight by calculating the mass of all or part of a product by making use of volume and density information from each scan. By reference to a known ‘good’ product that has been passed through the system, the IX-GA automatically calibrates itself. All inspection results and logs can be securely stored to disk with time stamps for traceability and tracking purposes and all information is easily accessible with a standard PC application.

Multihead weighing technology, pioneered by Ishida and an integral part of the Ishida Total Packaging System (iTPS), has undergone a number of advances since its inception in 1972. The iTPS incorporates an integrated operation with Ishida multihead weighers, throat metal detectors, printers, seal testers and check weighers to maximise line efficiency. With over 30 000 multihead weighers installed worldwide and a total market share of over 60%, Ishida is still revolutionising the food industry.

André Systermans demonstrated Ishida’s latest RS-Series incorporating the Atlas 122 high-speed, high-efficiency snack food bag maker with its innovative double rotary jaw motion and superior control technology. The RS-series is designed with new hardware and software to allow for improved efficiency in calculations. Ishida assures customers that the new technology will increase speed and accuracy and allow product to be weighed correctly at maximum speed. With a new wider angle and simple-to-use colour display interface, operators will quickly become more productive. Downtime is also minimised, through on-screen alerts and clear simple instructions. With the RS Series and Atlas 122 running at full capacity operators can achieve a top speed of up to 250 bags/min with accurate film registration and tight seals.

Ishida also manufactures and installs an advanced range of tray sealers, and the team took advantage of the open day to demonstrate the new entry level QX-300. Suitable for a wide range of products, including meat, poultry, fish, soups, salads, sauces and snacks, it’s easy to operate, reliable and hygienic. Ideal for low volumes and frequent changeovers the tray sealer is compatible with all types of tray and top lid materials such as board, plastic and aluminium, and has a top speed of over 20 trays/min. It can handle different tray formats with depths of up to 130mm and can be configured to specific product requirements including sealing only, vacuum and vacuum/gas flushing. Operator friendly features are on an easy-to-use control panel with a pre-set menu, automatic tray drawer and motorised film drive with automatic waste rewind.

From humble beginnings

It all started in 1982 when Ishida sold its first machine into the South African snack market. Sales of multihead weighers continued to grow during 1983 and 1984 through an agency. With a need to improve sales and service support Ishida established a dedicated South African office in 1998. By 2004, over 500 machines had been sold, 400 of which were multihead weighers.Ishida’s local customers include market leaders such as Mars, McCain, Tiger Brands, Kellogg’s and Pioneer Foods. With the introduction of the new Ishida technology and a sales and service office now established right in the heart of Gautent’s industrial business area, it seems certain that Ishida will continue to dominate the South African market, not only in the snack industry but the fresh food and pharmaceutical markets too.

Ishida South Africa, T +27 011 9762010/2011, www.ishidaeurope.co.za

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