THE latest intelligent weighing system from UK-based Stevens Systems is set to have a significant impact on the accuracy, reliability and traceability of manufacturing processes within New Zealand’s growing food industry. One of New Zealand’s largest bakers has three systems installed, and Palmerston North’s Golden Crust Pastry Makers is in the process of installing one as well.
The bakery was looking for an improvement in product consistency, a reduction in raw material wastage and an improvement in ingredient traceability to meet the latest quality standards (including BRC and ISO9001). According to the Australasian Agents, Wedderburn Scales, the Stevens weighing system is delivering on all counts. And since the first system was installed in Auckland in October 2008, there has been 100 percent reliability.
Golden Crust chose the Stevens system because it requires ingredient traceability from the moment raw materials arrive at inwards goods, plus consistent quality of product, and the ability to record where, when and to whom the finished batches of product have been sent. In the event of any issues leading to product recall, the customer can be advised of all information in the click of a mouse button.
“The Stevens system is the only intelligent weighing system we’re aware of in the New Zealand market which controls the manufacturing process,” explains Brenda Davenport, Wedderburn’s New Zealand marketing manager. “In essence, unless an operator weighs each ingredient out to management-set tolerances, he or she cannot proceed through the recipe to the next ingredient. In short it polices the manufacturing process 24/7.”
The main aim of the system is recipe control and ingredient traceability, says Davenport.
“With the ability to add a stock control module to validate all ingredient traceability. For example, with the stock control module attached, once an operator keys an ingredient batch number into the recipe terminal and it is either not known (invalid), has zero weight shown against it, or an ‘out of shelf life’ or ‘stock rotation’ order, then it is blocked from being used.”