Factory productivity specialists MARCO have installed a ground-breaking factory automation solution at Bakkavor’s Cucina Sano plant in Lincolnshire, which produces high quality, hand-crafted salads, deli products, and ready meals for Marks & Spencer. MARCO’s Trac-IT Manufacturing Execution System provides complete control for food production sites, controlling and tracking the complex ingredients used in real time, thereby optimising quality, productivity, profitability and traceability.
There are currently five meal assembly lines within the Bakkavor plant, fitted with 40 LineMaster smart scales operating in ‘takeaway’ mode. This allows for fast and accurate portion control with minimal overpack. The smart weighing devices are connected via a secure link to a central Editor PC. The central PC logs all weights on individual scales allowing managers to continually monitor operator performance in real time. The LineMaster smart scales are simple to use, yet highly effective. Each operator uses a 16-segment coloured bar graph, immediately giving a clear indication of whether the amount of product added to the tray is over, under or within weight tolerance. The operators soon ‘tune in’ to such visual systems and simply pack to the ‘green light’ without having to think about the actual weights. This system is ‘language transparent’ making it ideal for multinational operators.
The finished products come out of high care into the despatch and collation area. During this transition, label verifier scanners check finished barcodes to ensure that the correct product is in the pack. Additional end-of-line MARCO hardware installed at the Cucina Sano plant includes Checkweighers and Labellers. All these hardware items are connected through MARCO’s Trac-IT Line Control Module ensuring each bit of hardware can be set-up automatically for each different product being packed. The system also ensures all products are labelled correctly and are fully traceable throughout the packing process.
As Cucina Sano’s IT/IS manager Jon Purbrick concludes:
“The Cucina Sano operation is highly complex and we need to deal with rapidly changing product requirements in different pack formats. The relationship with MARCO has strengthened over the past two years and the added security now delivered by this latest innovation brings greater levels of confidence for Cucina Sano and in turn for our customer and their consumers. We are confident that wrongly labelled product cannot leave our plant and even ‘near misses’ will be a thing of the past”
To find out more about MARCO’s factory floor solutions for the food industry, please contact a member of the MARCO team below:
+44 (0)1732 782380