Robot awards: Ishida’s packaging and inspection equipment scoops two excellence gongs

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Ishida claims that the RobotGrader can reduce giveaway to less than 1% per pack at speeds of up to 320 pieces per minute.
Ishida claims that the RobotGrader can reduce giveaway to less than 1% per pack at speeds of up to 320 pieces per minute.

Related tags: Supply chain, Industry

Robotic technology that can grade meat products of varying weights and pack them swiftly into fixed-weight trays won a notable award at Gulfood Manufacturing this year.

Ishida’s lightning-fast RobotGrader was named winner of the Robotics Industrial Vision category at the trade show’s Industry Excellence Awards—one of two products from the Japanese packaging and testing heavyweight to win a gong.

Ishida claims that the RobotGrader can reduce giveaway to less than 1% per pack at speeds of up to 320 pieces per minute—more than 10 times faster than when the same process is done manually by a single operator, said Jeff Say, Ishida’s regional general manager.

Designed to be economical on space, the machine can be incorporated into fresh food packing lines alongside other equipment.

Ishida also won an award in the Production Protection category for its leak detector, the Airscan, which helps food manufacturers minimise spoilage in pre-packed retail products.

The Airscan uses a laser to identify carbon dioxide leaks from holes as small as 0.25mm in sealed modified-atmosphere packaging, doing so at a rate of up to 180 packs a minute.

The technology can help retailers and meat processors reduce food waste—Ishida estimates that nearly 500,000 tonnes of food is binned every year as a result of packaging leaks.

The equipment major says the machine can guarantee the identification of all carbon dioxide leaks in fast-moving production environments.

Its quality control range also includes X-ray inspection systems, check weighers, weigh-price labellers, seal testers and vision systems.

Winning these awards at the inaugural event is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team​,” said Say.

They’ve worked hard to protect our customers’ brands and develop innovative solutions for the poultry and meat sectors​.”

Sustainability prize

The inaugural awards, held on the fringes of Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai, recognised best practices and innovation across the food manufacturing industry value chain.

The 12 awards were split across automation, ingredients, manufacturing, processing and packaging, and supply chain.

In the ingredients category, Archer Daniels Midland scooped the award for Most Innovative Food Ingredient for its Fruit Up Fibre, a low-glycemic and non-GMO ingredient for clean-label food, drink and snack developers. Novozymes took the gong for Most Innovative Health Food Ingredient with Spahera, a lactose-free, fermented dairy product.

European firms dominated the manufacturing awards, with Barcelona-based Liven taking the Major Plant Sustainability Initiative gong for its Green Energy Snacks line. Meanwhile Italy’s Elettric 80 scooped the Greenfield Facility award for its fully-integrated and automated system, and compatriot A Due Si Squeri Donato & Co won the Cost Waste Reduction prize for Niagara, a revolutionary water-saving technology.

This award brings industry-wide recognition for the company and the work we do to preserve our environment​,” said Gian Luca Catellani, A Due Di Squeri Donato & Co’s commercial director.

This is a milestone achievement that recognises our efforts in saving water—our planet’s most valuable resource—for a sustainable future​.”

Elsewhere, Tetra Pak walked away with the Distributor accolade for Plant Master, its customised automation solution; Germany’s VF Verpackungen claimed the Packaging Design award, and the hotly contested Processing Innovation gong went to Dutch firm Log5 for a new-to-market dry food pasteuriser.

In the supply chain categories, Ford’s refrigerated Transit Custom drove away with the Best Commercial Vehicle award, while Transveritas Foodstuff Trading scooped Supply Chain Innovation for its intermediate bulk containers, Goodpack.

Winning this award equates to true industry recognition amongst our peers​,” said Pankaj Jaiswal, head of foods and liquid sales at Goodpack.

Going forward we aim to provide the best of supply chain systems to our customers and help businesses maximise bottom line through our world leading end-to-end supply chain solutions​.”

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