Perfectly labelled and without foreign objects

HEUFT systems are responsible for labelling and inspecting the quality of filled yoghurt jars at Emmi.

Applying tamper evident labels precisely to the lid, fitting jars accurately with back and body labels, examining the end product carefully for foreign objects and rejecting faulty packaging consistently:  HEUFT has integrated two systems along a jar filling line for premium yoghurts at Emmi Frischprodukte AG in Ostermundigen, Switzerland, in order to perform these tasks.

An extremely compact labelling machine with only one carousel was required in view of the lack of space on site.  Nevertheless it should be able to place three different labels exactly there where they belong.  The solution:  the HEUFT TORNADO D.  It sends the jars through twice.  During the first circuit they are subjected to a camera–based and servo–controlled alignment using the opening tab on the closure and then fixed into specially constructed clamping starwheels.  During the second throughput the lids are fitted with adhesive labels first.  Their tamper evident strips are pressed exactly onto the body of the container.  Finally the wet glue labels are applied to the front and back of the jars.  The triple labelling is so precise that the strips of the closure labels are always centrally positioned under the body labels.  The presence and position of the labels are checked optically before the containers leave the machine.  Then it is off to the foreign object detection in the HEUFT eXaminer XA the unique X–ray and image processing technologies of which provide maximum detection reliability.

We spoke to Fredy Hofer, Head of Dairy Technology at Emmi Frischprodukte AG, about the project and its results:
Mr Hofer would you please briefly explain the Emmi quality philosophy?

"Premium products set high standards regarding quality.  We are committed to paying special attention to the safety of the food which we manufacture and put on the market.  Our quality management is thorough and certified in accordance with the principles of ISO 9000 and the GFSI standard FSSC 22000 and backed up by means of quality management systems in line with the demands of our customers in order to guarantee food safety and high product quality.  We use established and validated methods for checking our quality.  Our processes, which we are continuously improving, are documented and the results are registered and evaluated.  Emmi produces tasty and safe food".

What does that mean with regard to yoghurts packaged in food jars?

"The appearance of the product is the first thing which the consumer notices.  Therefore we only want to have perfectly labelled yoghurt jars on the market.  A safe product is also extremely important – no foreign objects in the yoghurt particularly no metal or glass residue".

You use HEUFT systems in order to guarantee this.  Why did you decide in favour of the compact labelling machine with double throughput?

"We had a choice between the labelling machines of three suppliers altogether.  The solution from HEUFT which requires little space was decisive in the end.  A visit to the HEUFT factory and a reference visit to a filling plant with a HEUFT labelling machine underlined this decision".

Which requirements should the HEUFT TORNADO D meet?

"These were the requirements:  precise labelling, the tamper evident strip should not be stuck over the opening tab on the lid, the rejection of incorrectly labelled jars, simple operation and fast trouble shooting in the event of technical failure".

Which brands are filled on the line and which container formats are processed?

"Toni in a 180 gram jar – stirred fruit yoghurt and set yoghurt, Toni in a 140 gram jar –  a fruit layer with fruit yoghurt and Swiss Yogurt in a 175 gram jar – stirred fruit yoghurt".

What is the output of the installation?

"The filling capacity is 21,000 jars per hour for stirred yoghurts, 16,000 jars per hour for set yoghurts and 14,000 jars per hour for layered yoghurts.  The filler / product features are performance limiting factors".

Are you satisfied with the HEUFT TORNADO D?

"The labelling machine has proved itself to be very effective on a day to day basis.  It is hardly susceptible to failure.  The machine is very easy to keep clean with minimum cleaning necessary.  In our opinion maintenance is low".

How do you assess the performance of the HEUFT eXaminer XA foreign object inspection?

"In our opinion the device accomplishes the tasks extremely well.  We have not had any complaints regarding glass breakage concerning this product since the inspector was commissioned in December 2010".

How do you assess the user friendliness?

"Both systems are very user–friendly.  Unskilled employees can also handle the machines, operate them properly, clean them and change formats after receiving introductory training.  The electricians and mechanics cope very well with the information system which is new to us".

How was the cooperation with HEUFT in your opinion?

"The cooperation was very good from the project planning stage and finally to the implementation and commissioning of both installations.  We were aware of the fact that we were receiving one of the first labelling machines of this series.  However the HEUFT company was extremely supportive.  HEUFT always gave priority to quickly resuming production when trouble shooting".