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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Scaling new production heights


Reporting and analysis of data gained from weight control operations can boost a production process by as much as 25 per cent. Here we learn how a British company with a history of more than 125 managed to improve its efficiency at the same time as introducing a new line.


As Wilkin and Sons Ltd expanded its operations, the Tiptree jam producer and fruit grower sought Mettler Toldedo’s expertise to ensure appropriate capture of weighing data for better quality control and to reduce product giveaway. It gained more than just tighter weight control. ColorWeight-enabled ‘traffic light’ scales are also helping to boost productivity.


Wilkin and Sons manufactures premium quality foods. Its exclusive ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberries have been celebrated for generations and the company’s 125th anniversary was marked by a visit from the queen. 

When Wilkin and Sons sought to expand its existing fresh-fruit pack-house capacity by introducing an additional line, it seemed natural for the company to improve its overall efficiency at the same time.


The primary issue was a need to have more visibility over the performance of its packing facility, in particular its weight control and compliance with customer specifications. The company hoped to gather this data from in-use scales and consolidate it centrally to allow for reporting and analysis, which could help maximise efficiency of its operation. It would also give the company a better view to operators’ performance and provide the statistical data to allow it to maintain certain productivity rates.


Local Mettler Toldedo weighing experts Bernie Gately and Phil Tyler suggested the installation of ICS449 colorWeight-enabled scales. These hygienic scales’ LCD screens register with an unmistakable backlight of red or green after settling. Red indicates that the balance contents are not yet in an acceptable tolerance range, and green indicates an operator’s ability to ‘go ahead’ and move onto the next weigh. This increased the production process by almost 25 per cent.

The scales were further equipped with Mettler Toldedo UK’s ScaleMonitor data capture software and customer-specific SQL Server Reporting Services reports and dashboards. These enable easier central productivity reviews and better decision-making to maintain processing standards. This has allowed more precise ongoing weight-monitoring of punnets.


Wilkin and Sons’ farm manager Andrey Ivanov said: “We’ve had a very good experience and excellent support and service from Bernie and Phil. The ‘traffic light’ system on the ICS scales has maintained and even improved our productivity, while easier data capture has allowed better overall quality control on outgoing products.” 

For further information, please visit www.mt.com/uk-scalemonitor  

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