Word from the top

SF Engineering welcomes summer with a new design of InSync. In this expanded issue we present you with in-depth information on products from Ishida and Ilapack along with an introduction to our new, tubular conveyor design.

New testimonials from our customers and product users include Goatsbridge Trout farm in Ireland, one of a growing number of fish production companies turning to SF for assistance.

The SF camp is very pleased with the great response we’ve had to the tubular chassis conveyors that were designed to improve hygiene and reduce clean time. To improve production of the tubular chassis we invested in a new CNC plastic router.

In our focus feature, Bringing Home the Bacon, we see how the SF team assisted long term customer Callan Bacon, in streamlining their operation, while the article Easy Packing of Sticky, Delicate Meat tells us how Ishida takes automation a stage further with a new 12-head Fresh Food Weigher and X-ray inspection system.

Our product highlights showcase the Carrera 4000 horizontal packaging machines, a new addition to our Ilapak portfolio, as well as the new Ilapak Vegatronic 2000 OF bagging machine.

In packing, the spotlight is on the Ilapak Delta FLOBAG application. This truly innovative and effective piece of equipment has become the ideal wrapping machine to replace pre-made shrinkable bags.

The benefits of Ishida’s Data Capture Software are outlined in State of the Art Monitoring while brand protection is the main issue in our article on CEIA’s metal detection systems. And finally, Bord Bia export report show the industry is optimistic as global growth underpins the food markets

Creating Excellence through Investment

To strengthen the R&D and manufacturing process SF Engineering has invested in a new CNC Router. This practical addition to capital equipment already installed at the SF facility in Sligo reduces waste and improves lead times, which ensure that SF can deliver to our customers high expectations.

We have invested heavily in the development of plastic components in our equipment to improve the overall performance of our conveyor product. The new CNC enables us to profile plastic components to suit the easy clean high performance demands of the food processing industry.

New Tubular Conveyor Design

SF introduces a new line of conveyors that integrate an innovative, hygienic tubular chassis with the best available belt technology. This state-of-the-art conveyor solution guarantees hygienic conveying with fast and efficient cleaning and quick turnarounds.

To meet the requirements of the consumer market, food producers are constantly on the lookout for solutions to help them meet and exceed the most rigorous hygiene and quality standards.

In the conveyor range, SF Engineering has responded with a new open tubular chassis designed for fast and effective cleaning. Released on a production scale at the end of 2010, our open tubular conveyors have few flat surfaces, less product trap points and easy access to every part of the equipment; all features that make cleaning a breeze.

Less cleaning time

Building on decades of experience in conveyor design and manufacture, SF has come up with a new conveyor that meets the needs for quick turnaround while also ensuring an effective clean. “Our new design is extremely hygienic. The tubular chassis coupled with the most high tech plastics designed and modelled on our new routing machine insure optimium safety for the operator, and optimises the open free area for cleaning and allows us to create belt hold in place technology. that has no trap points” says Padriag Regan.

Few product trap points

The tubular frame is designed with as few flat surfaces as possible to minimize product trap points. “The fewer the trap points, the better the hygiene,” says Regan. “The tubular design also makes it simple to monitor cleaning and make sure that conveyors are cleaned effectively.” What’s more, the open design minimises cleaning time ensuring fast turnaround during cleaning breaks. Together these features reduce wash down time and save money.

The best belt technology

To ensure that optimal hygiene standards are upheld SF uses only the best available belt technology on the market; namely the Intralox hygienic SeamFree modular belting and ThermoDrive technology.

Careful belt selection

SF works in close partnership with Intralox to identify and supply the appropriate hygienic belt for each application. “Selecting a conveyor belt created specifically for a particular application can prevent failed swab tests, product contamination, or recalls,” explains Thomas Gallogly, Account Manager at Intralox. “As a global company, Intralox has 40 years of experience producing conveyor belts designed specifically to combat contamination.”

The right fit conveyor

SF’s new conveyors integrate a hygienic tubular chassis design with the most hygienic belt technology on the market. “Our new line of conveyors promises to surpass the current hygienic conveying application on the market, offering a solution that is perfectly suited for the fast paced modern production environment,” concludes Regan.

“Our new design is extremely hygienic. The tubular chassis coupled with the most high tech plastics designed and modelled on our new routing machine insure optimium safety for the operator, and optimises the open free area for cleaning and allows us to create belt hold in place technology that has no trap points ”
Padriag Regan, SF

Bringing Home the Bacon

The SF team assisted long term customer Callan Bacon in streamlining their operation and improving production flow at their renovated Kilkenny facility in Ireland. The new layout has proven to be far more efficient and cost effective than the previous one.

Run by brother and sister John Walshe and Geraldine Clohessy, Callan Bacon and M&M Walshe have become two of the key pork production houses in Ireland. The family run businesses have grown and expanded over the years, moving away from primary manufacture to value added processing of pork and bacon products.

Expanding business called for new plant in 2009

Callan Bacon are trade partners with many of the leading retailers in both Ireland and the UK. With business booming at the end of the last decade, John Walshe decided to extend his Callan Bacon processing facility in 2009 building a new processing and dispatch area and a new reception area.

The new factory was designed to accommodate his own growing operation and incorporating the growing business at M&M Walshe in Limerick. Callan Bacon concentrates on the consumer end of the market supplying fresh meats to retailers in Ireland and the UK. The company produces a range of products with different brands, including the well known Truly Irish brand, for which they make a range of traditional Irish rashers.

Strong partnership

Having established a strong working relationship with SF Engineering in the past, Callan Bacon contacted the team at SF to assist with the development of a new layout and production design. The result: a new and improved processing plant that truly brings home the bacon.

Efficient production flow

Focusing on improving efficiency, throughput and yield, the team designed a smooth product flow, going from raw to finished product in one process. This streamlined production flow has made all the difference. Product handling was minimised, yield has increased and overall efficiency has improved significantly.

No operator packing system

The packing end of the production is completely automated, requiring no operators. What’s more, SF and Callan Bacon have easily achieved the line speeds required at the front end of the packing hall. Controlled by SF’s high speed conveyors, five packing lines converge into one via an automatic converger that delivers the product onto a single lane ready for labelling.

Labels up to 60 packs per minute

The Ishida Weigh Price Labeller more than keeps up with the fast pace, applying labels simultaneously to both top and bottom of the pack at the rate of up to 60 packs per minute with minimum operating costs and label waste. Product and labels changeovers are easy and cleaning is simple. All these features combine to significantly reduce payback.

Real time yield control

Data on every pack from the labeller is fed directly into the company’s control system, providing valuable real time yield control. Label changes can also be done very quickly thanks to Ishida’s unique label cassettes.These allow the operator to prepare all labels for the next production run in advance.

Efficient Operation

With the help of SF Engineering, Callan Bacon currently runs one of the most modern and efficient processing lines in Ireland. The factory is Bord Bia and BRC approved, supported by a full traceability and HACCP system.

“Congratulations to John and Geraldine on the phenomenal growth and success of their business. It has been a pleasure for SF to be at the forefront in supplying hi tech equipment and we are delighted to be associated with a brand as progressive as Callan ” Seamus Farrell, SF

State of the Art Monitoring

Ishida Data Capture System Improves Reporting Procedures

Ishida has developed a data capture system that records data from every pack weighed by up to 100 checkweighers into a single secure database. The new system not only provides a rich source of valuable production data but helps improve every step of the packing process.

Legislative compliance

The Ishida Data Capture System (IDCS) is a user-friendly, secure system that offers an extensive range of reporting options to enable production managers to employ state-of-the-art monitoring for legislative compliance whilst also identifying cost saving opportunities, minimising product giveaway and improving production efficiencies.

Works with all Ishida checkweigher models

The system is compatible across all Ishida DACS checkweigher models. As well as allowing remote control and set up of the checkweighers, an extensive range of reporting options is available.

Efficient reporting

“In today’s modern production environment, manufacturers need to reconcile the need for full reporting to meet legal obligations with the pressures of operating to maximum efficiency,” explains Paul Griffin, Ishida Europe’s Marketing Director. “IDCS has been developed to meet both these challenges and importantly the software can be tailored to individual customer requirements.”

Easy Packing of Sticky, Delicate Meat

Ishida takes automation a stage further with
a new packing and X-ray system for a major
meat producer.

Every day two million people enjoy the meat and fish products of Micarna S.A., part of Switzerland’s Migros Group. Amongst its specialities is Geschnetzeltes, thinly sliced chicken which, like all fresh meat, can be difficult to handle automatically. Because of a tendency to clump together and to stick in machines, Micarna’s Geschnetzeltes have until recently been both weighed and packed by hand.

12-head Fresh Food Weigher

At the heart of the line is an Ishida 12-head Fresh Food Weigher. Sliced meat is fed onto two conveyors mounted on pivoting arms, each of which can feed any one of six belts supplying the pool hoppers. Optical sensors identify which hoppers need filling, and direct the conveyors to supply product to the appropriate belt.

Giveaway cut by up to 7%,

The new packing line has made significant savings for Micarna. Not only has product giveaway been cut by up to 7%, but automated operation has also allowed personnel to be re-assigned to other tasks. With hygiene a major issue in meat packing, eliminating manual handling has obvious benefits.

Fast Payback

Micarna’s Antonio Varela, head of poultry processing, is very pleased with Ishida’s innovative solution: “Our estimate is that the investment will have paid for itself in just eighteen months.”

Trusted to detect any contaminant

Micarna now use the line incorporating the Ishida X-ray machine to pack all sliced and minced meat products where contamination cannot be excluded. Metal, plastic, glass, stone, hard rubber or pieces of bone can all be detected, along with damaged or underweight products.

Lowest Cost Per Pack

Ilapak’s new range of Carrera 4000 horizontal packaging machines enables customers to achieve lowest cost per pack.

Ilapak’s new Carrera 4000 has been added to the SF product portfolio. The Carrera 4000 is the first of Ilapak’s new range of horizontal packaging machines to enable the lowest cost per pack to be achieved by optimising machine size and performance at the time of purchase through its incremental modular design.

Future proof your equipment

Customers are able to future proof their equipment, allowing configuration changes to be made simply by exchanging or adding new modules. Specifications of a new machine can be cost-effectively tailored to current requirements, while changes can be made easily and economically in the future without incurring the cost of a new machine. In addition, the electronic control platform for Ilapak machinery has also been redesigned and upgraded.

Easy online access

The new powerful system runs on an industrial PC and offers fast, detailed diagnostic and machine status information. This can be accessed both locally or remotely via either an Ethernet, wireless or GSM connection for fast, online fault correction.

Full service at SF Engineering

To simplify maintenance and repairs, the system uses commercially available components that are stocked by SF Engineering for quick and easy service if needed.

Wrap and Seal – New Flobag

New Delta Flobag Wrapping machine produces hermetic seals at speeds of 60ppm while leaving one end open for vacuum packaging.

The Ilapak Delta Flobag is the ideal wrapping machine designed to replace pre-made shrinkable bags used in the meat and cheese industries.

The hygienic design combines a robust and reliable Long Dwell sealing head to produce hermetic seals at speeds of 60ppm while leaving one end open for vacuum packaging. A quick jaw change sealing system can also use laminated films for MAP applications.

The main features include PC-controlled electronic multi-axis technology, variable cut-off length, no product/no bag, misplaced product detection and automatic size-change functions. Auto feed systems are also available.

Improve Your Seal Integrity

SF Engineering introduces a new Ilapak open-frame bagging machine that uses leading ultrasonic sealing technology to deliver exceptional seal quality on a wide range of bags.

Ultrasonic sealing technology

The Vegatronic 2000 OF’s ultrasonic sealing solution delivers dramatically improved seal integrity. The ultrasonic sealing technology not only allows an exceptional quality of the finished product but also enables customers to increase production efficiency. This ground-breaking technology minimises the amount of product damage in the seal area and reduces leaker rates to a new low in products such as salad and cheese.

Up to 120 per min

Using servo motors in the new model has greatly improved speed and accuracy. The Vegatronic 2000 OF is capable of speeds of up to 120 bags a minute with a variety of bags. The model can accommodate anything from pillow and block bottom bags to Quattro bags, stand-up Doy packs and zipper packs.

Reduced maintenance

The new model is designed with minimum maintenance in mind with fewer moving parts and an open frame design that makes cleaning, maintenance and service fast and efficient.

Brand Protection

Ensuring brand safety is key in today’s food industry. CEIA Metal Detectors are designed to help you achieve just that. Their advanced detection technology picks up even the smallest traces of metal contaminants.

The food industry is perhaps more than other industries, sensitive to having a spotless brand. A product gone wrong can result not only in a reputation gone bad but a health crisis, a situation every company wants to avoid. Effective and accurate detection of any contamination in the product process is of key importance in this competitive market, both to ensure brand safety and to avoid liability issues.

New partnership agreement

SF Engineering and CEIA have entered into an agreement that positions SF as the exclusive provider of CEIA Metal Detection systems in Ireland. CEIA metal detectors have attracted worldwide attention for their breakthrough technology, detection accuracy and reliable results. In the last decade SF has sold and installed countless CEIA metal detection systems that have proven to be both reliable and effective. With the new agreement SF will take on a full service commitment for CEIA products in Ireland.

Protect your Brand with CEIA

CEIA’s series of THS Metal Detection Systems, have proven to be one of the best Metal Detection Solutions for compliance with FDA requirements on manufacturing, packing and storing food for human consumption. The THS Metal Detection Systems can be used for gravity feed systems, pipelines and conveyor belts, making the extremely versatile and able to fulfil different requirements in the industry.

Reliable results

CEIA has a reputation for consistency, state of the art materials, advanced components and extensive manufacturing automation. Their latest Conveyor Inspection System CEIA THS 21 has been a great success since its launch in 2010. THS 21 is ultra sensitive to all magnetic and non-magnetic metals and uses multi-spectrum technology to detect contaminants.

Full inventory of spare parts

The CEIA portfolio encompasses every aspect of food production, enabling SF to supply advanced metal detection solutions to a wide range of needs. SF maintains an extensive inventory of CEIA metal detection heads, components and spare parts on site to ensure the best possible service to its customers.

A Clean Splash

Robust and durable, Roser sanitising systems help maintain top quality hygiene at family run Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Kilkenny, Ireland

SF Engineering caters to a diverse range of customers of different sizes, in different industries with very different needs. One recent customer from the fish industry is Goatsbrigde Trout Farm, a family run trout producer located in Tomastown, Kilkenny.

A Family Business

A steady supply of fresh daily catch of Goatsbridge Premium Irish Trout is shipped to the retail, wholesale and catering industries. The company offers a selection of whole trout, gutted trout, portioned trout and trout fillets as well as a range of smoked trout products. Heading the operation are husband and wife team Ger and Mag Kirwan.

Clean and safe

To ensure the best quality and hygiene in their operation, the Kirwans installed a range of hygiene equipment and solutions from SF for their processing facility in Kilkenny. A new Roser sole and boot washer was installed in the processing room, along with floor mounted, knee operated hand sanitising stations, wash basins and a double chamber wall mounted knife sterilizer.

The right quality at the right price

The Roser range is designed to fulfil the most strict hygiene and safety standards. “We got everything we needed from SF to sterilize and maintain top quality hygiene at our operation at the right price and most importantly of the right quality,” says Mr. Kirwan. “The employee locker rooms also received an overhaul with new storage lockers installed as well as a new boot and apron rack. ”

SF also provided the company with custom-made wall guards and filleting tables for trout filleting. The new SF filleting tables were designed with a box holder, folded panel storage basins and cutting boards for ease of operation. “The custom work was excellent and the new equipment has made both hygiene and work conditions even better than before,” concludes Mr. Kirwan.

“We got everything we needed from SF to sterilize and maintain top quality hygiene at our operation at the right price and most importantly of the right quality”

Export Report – Industry Optimistic as Global Growth Underpins Food Markets

Irish food and drink was a major contributor to the economy’s strong export performance in 2010, with export sales expanding by 11 per cent to reach €7.9 billion, according to Bord Bia. The increase, amounting to just over €800 million, was supported by a more stable consumer environment, reduced exchange rate pressures, and improved relative competitiveness. It was also boosted by rising global prices for most agricultural commodities.

Highly competitive environment

“The strength of the industry’s export performance is all the more commendable for the fact that it has been achieved in what remains a highly competitive marketing environment” says Dan Browne, Chairman of Bord Bia. “All major categories recorded increases, led by dairy, which jumped by more than €300 million or 17 per cent. Meat and livestock exports were almost €200 million higher while beverage and prepared food exports recorded growth of €130 million and €100 million respectively.”

“The success of the industry in growing its penetration of Continental EU markets is also to be welcomed”, according to Mr.Browne, “with exports to the mainly eurozone markets increasing by 14 per cent.” Continental EU markets now account for 34 per cent of the industry’s total exports of food and drink.

Cost competitiveness, innovation, and marketing

The prospects for Irish food and drink exports in 2011 remain positive, helped by strong global demand for commodity products and a relatively tight supply situation in a number of key product categories.

“In a year in which the world’s population will reach seven billion, growth in global demand is set to underpin food markets well into the future, albeit with some volatility to be expected”, according to Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive of Bord Bia. He added that “the challenge for the Irish food and drink industry is to maintain its current momentum, particularly in the areas of cost competitiveness, innovation, and marketing.”

iphone Winner

Winner of our iPhone competition, John Poniatowski from Ishida Europe, accepts the prize from Seamus Farrell, Managing Director of SF Engineering.

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.