In Sync Newsletter, Issue 01

Word from the top

Welcome to the first issue of In Sync… our quarterly newsletter!

We have been celebrating 25 years in business and will have some exciting news to tell you throughout 2009.

With a turbulent economy our commitment to customers, investment in people, products and R&D means we look to the future with a very positive foundation. The business is growing with new partnerships and a new UK base (watch this space!) will allow us easy access to new territories throughout Europe and in the Middle East.

I have been to Japan attending a Best Practice Programme at the HQ of one of our partner companies, Ishida, with Mr Ishida himself and some of the foremost food manufacturing and engineering companies in Ireland. This was a fantastic opportunity to look at processes and efficiencies that we can apply to our own business. I hope to be able to tell you all about it at our Open House event in April.

At SF we are ‘smart’ about what we do and how we do it. So we look forward to 2009 continuing and improving the great customer and partner relationships we have built over the years.
Here’s to another 25 years.

Seamus Farrell, Managing Director

Production Line Solutions Event

“Your Challenge – SF Solution – Real Returns”

SF are hosting this unique event to focus on how we can help make real changes that will have real results for your business. This is an excellent opportunity to discuss your manufacturing, processing and packaging challenges with the leading experts in the food manufacturing industry.

Joining the SF team will be product specialists from; Ishida Europe, Stork Further Processing, Ilapak, CEIA, Roser, Carso, Jeros, Key Technology and Intralox.

In an increasingly competitive economy, bottom line figures are what count. Innovation and efficiency are key to remaining competitive and increasing profitability. We will look at your process, and advise how you can take cost out. The SF team will be on hand to talk to you about solutions that will streamline production, improve yield and maximise the throughput on your line, leading to higher efficiencies and increased profit margins.

Investment in equipment, service and training can put a considerable strain on resources, and customers demand that the payback is shown in their bottom line figures. We understand that for companies to remain competitive, it is time to look beyond production and throughput and focus on profit margin and yield.

We work as partners to our customers to clearly understand your environment and needs, drawing from our own extensive expertise and the technologies of our carefully selected market partners to create the most economical solution to make your process more efficient.

DEMONSTRATING a full fresh food weighing & packaging line in operation
OPPORTUNITY to bring your own product for trial
FLEXIBILITY to visit at a time that suits you

SF Bringing Japanese Efficiencies to Ireland

Seamus Farrell Visits Ishida, Japan For Best Practice Seminar

SF was one of several leading Irish food manufacturing and engineering companies who have completed a successful and innovative trip to Japan.

The company was one of a number of Irish manufacturing companies taking part in the ‘best practice’ mission organised by Enterprise Ireland.

It coincided with the national trade mission, led by Taoiseach Brian Cowen, which brought home €46million worth of business to Irish industries.

SF believe that investing in a trip like this is in valuable. SF were exposed to many new ideas and innovations that have potential to increase the competitiveness of the company. Seamus Farrell said of the trip.

“The technologies we were exposed to and the business partnerships we forged on the trip are set to play a key role in a €1million research and development project currently under way at SF”.

SF has adopted the “WCB” World Class Business philosophy to improve operations and quality, ultimately leading to improved performance, increased competitiveness and customer satisfaction.

Among the highlights was meeting the President of Ishida, Ryuichi Ishida.

Since its establishment in 1893, Ishida has had significant global growth and remains at the forefront of developing new solutions in weighing technology.

Adding real value to SF, the Japan visit has reinforced the strategy to remain competitive by continually challenging the bottom line and asking how we can be more efficient. The trip has also further strengthened the SF relationship with Ishida, a key international player in the industry.

“High speeds, increased throughput, low giveaway and gentle product handling – these are the qualities of Ishida’s range of multi head weighers. With over 100 years experience of developing and producing weighing machines and scales, Ishida built the world’s first automatic weighing machine in 1959 and later launched the revolutionary multihead weigher which is still one of their leading products.”

Fruit Salad Giveaway Reduced From 7% to 1%

Using an SF & Ishida Solution including the Ishida QX775 Traysealer and two Ishida Fresh Food Weighers (FFWs), mixtures of up to four different sticky fresh fruits can now be weighed accurately into a single tray at a relatively high speed, making automatic weighing and packing of this type of product commercially viable!.

Previously, such products would have been mixed before weighing, and the weighing step would have been carried out by hand. Apart from being very slow, this route does not give packing staff optimum control over the makeup of any individual ack’s contents. Mix weighing ensures a far more consistent pack content for the end-user.

Reduce giveaway of valuable ingredients… Two weighers working in tandem

For four-component salads, each of the two 12-head FFWs is partitioned into two sections, enabling a different but constant target weight to be allotted to each fruit. Each empty tray arrives under an array of four dipping funnels, which is lowered below rim height before discharge, thus providing the precise mixture required, with no danger of juice splashing onto the seal area.

High-speed tray sealing

Filled packs proceed to the Ishida QX-775 Traysealer. The QX-775 is a medium-speed machine which is compatible with a wide variety of trays and modified atmosphere compositions. A rapid tool changeover system further increases the versatility and responsiveness which it brings to the packing line. Packs then pass via an Ishida DACS Checkweigher for a final weight check, before moving on for labelling and casepacking.

Lower giveaway, fewer man-hours

The performance of the new, automated system has certainly met our customers main requirement, reducing giveaway from 7% to 1%. The result is that more saleable packs can be produced with the same amount of valuable ingredients. However this is not the only contribution to the bottom line. As well as the vast improvements in accuracy, the increased level of automation means the number of people required on this line has been halved, freeing up personnel for other duties.

Impressive speeds for such sticky products

The line speed specified for the installation was 25 packs per minute. At over 30ppm, actual performance is well beyond expectations. On single-fruit products, speeds of up to 40ppm are being achieved.

Stork: Revoportioner

Stork RevoPortioner, consistent quality through continuous portioning

Stork Food Systems has developed the Revopotioner, an advanced low-pressure portioning machine combining high output with exceptionally high product quality and low ‘cost of ownership’. This technology complies with all requirements and wishes of the further processor both now and in the future too!

RevoPortioner combines high capacity with high product quality and low cost of ownership. The forming technology offers an alternative to the traditional method of forming that has been used up to now. With the high pressure forming machines currently in use, formed products display non-conformities in relation to the intended shape immediately after release and/or heat treatment. With the RevoPortioner, products retain their typical shape and weight and, consequently, there is very little non-conformity. The use of low pressure will ensure that red meat or white meat either mixed as dough or with fully structured muscle is converted into products of a consistent portion size without losing its texture and structure.

Until now, the further processing industry has not been able to realise high outputs of three-dimensional formed products. RevoPortioner allows processors to introduce new product variants and is also suitable for producing extra thin end products.
Also within this range: Forming, Coating, Frying & Hot Air Treatment

ILAPAK Ultrasonic Sealing

The latest package sealing innovation

Using low energy ultrasonic welding means rather than heat sealing it is a highly efficient system. It saves on time and waste, by ensuring that no food is trapped in the pack seal.

Saving time and waste; Lower costs; Less downtime; Increased Product Quality; Adaptable

The Ultrasonic System eliminates food waste on the packaging line. Products and particles are pushed out of the sealing area before sealing allowing for a clear clean seal, with no thermal damage to food. Packages can be filled all the way to the sealing area.

Full range of equipment available to suit a variety of applications

SF Introduces New Multihead Hopper Washer

The new Jeros ACE High Speed Washer, significantly reduces cleaning time and labour costs, while also providing a thorough cleaning solution at temperatures of 85° C – impossible to provide by hand washing and drying!

Flexible and efficient, the machine can be loaded from three sides, with racks tailor made allowing hoppers to be cleaned with opened flaps and tensioned springs. This highly efficient washer has a range of advantages over hand and power washing systems:

  • Wash cycle time is typically 6 minutes. Loading and unloading including washing can be done typically in 20 minutes
  • Labour saving allows cleaning staff to clean other parts of plant or weighing machine
  • Lower water consumption than traditional power washing
  • Reduced contamination risk after cleaning through reduced handling

Contact Richard Smith, Sales Manager on +353 (0)878 1233 798 or email

Product Reminder …


Full range of hygiene and handling equipment. Price Reductions available within the product range


Full range of metal detection products available to suit a range of applications.


New and improved design on tray denesting systems.

Contact Richard Smith, Sales Manager on +353 (0)878 1233 798 or email

Richard Smith

Sales Manager

Information on his background

Richard Smith has been appointed Standard Products Sales Manager for SF in Ireland. He has a wide experience of labeling systems in the food and pharmaceutical sector and will be working with the Ishida, Ilapak, Stork, CEIA, Jeros and portfolio of products at SF.

Richard looks forward to contacting SF customers in the coming weeks, but you can contact him on + 353 (0)87 1233798 or

Winner – National Award 2009

Alan Vial has recently been awarded Engineering Inspection Specialists Award from School of Manufacturing & Design Engineering at D.I.T., Bolton St, Dublin. Alan is a final year apprentice with SF having served 4 years across all disciplines of the SF Business.

“Alan is following a long tradition of apprenticeships in SF. I would like to congratulate Alan on his achievement and I am extremely proud of his personal commitment to succeed at this high level”

Seamus Farrell, Managing Director

Talk to SF Engineering Now

Call us now at +353 71 91 63334 or +44 (0) 1487 740131 or email or to discuss your requirements with us. Alternatively click on the Request a Callback button below to arrange for one of our team to contact you.