Custom-Automation Showcase - Brussels Sprout Weighing

Find out how Contour International helped a South Island Sprout producer overcome major challenges like inconsistent weighing, slow packing and excessive manual work in their packaging line, all through a custom-automated solution.

The Challenge

Despite being a treasured part of the Christmas dinner table and, increasingly, the underappreciated darling of fine dining, Brussels Sprouts are not an easy thing to weigh and package consistently. Because they roll like little balls, and each weigh a fair bit, they can be a nightmare to put through standard weighing equipment like linear weighers.

Why? When weighed on standard equipment, their individual weight and tendency to roll all at once mean that packages can easily get overfilled in the blink of an eye. Overfilling a product that is sold at a bag price, rather than by weight, is an incredibly fast and efficient way of eroding profit margin.

The solution

Once we had run some tests using industry-standard equipment, it became clear that we needed to get creative.

Traditional Linear Weighers work by vibration; two or more lanes of product that are ushered into hoppers through vibration. This works brilliantly for free-flowing products like coffee and grains, but for products like sprouts wheresingle unit can over-tip the scales, we needed a different approach.

Enter the two-speed solution. We took the traditional linear weigher up a notch by introducing high-speed and low-speed weighing paths. The high-speed weighing path portions out 80% of the target weight at pace, then hands over to a low-speed weighing path that finishes the portion at sprout-by-sprout accuracy.

The result

The custom-automated linear weigher has meant that our client can accurately, rapidly, and consistently package the Brussels Sprouts they produce. By automating their weighing, the business is able to scale production quickly and easily, particularly at peak production times without compromising on anything.

Ultimately, this makes them a more resilient business and one that is well positioned for continued performance and growth.

Contour is here to help

Helping food manufacturers choose and use the right equipment and materials to grow their business is what we live for. With 20 years’ of keeping New Zealand’s produce fresh, we have the engineering expertise and service to level our customers up and keep their packaging lines humming along smoothly.

Talk to our team today about which packaging equipment solution will suit your business.

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