Although fixed-weight batching may be on the lips of many processors nowadays, catch-weight products still represent an important part of the market.
In practice, both fixed-weight and catch-weight jobs should be programmable in a processor's recipe. The multi-job software of Marel Multihead Weighers manages both calculation challenges perfectly.
Fixed weight batching means working with a target weight for a batch, e.g. 400 g (14.1oz). Everything above the total, pre-calculated weight is considered as give-away.
Most of the large retail and fast food chains demand fixed-weight batched products. Marel Multihead Weighers are ideal for producing these with absolute minimum give-away.
Consumers around the world want to be able to choose from packs with various weights from e.g. 500 up to 900 g (17.6oz to 31.7oz). Small families require packs with just two pieces, while larger families might require four or more pieces. This variation on the supermarket shelf is called catch-weight.
When a supermarket asks a poultry processor for catch weight trays ranging from 500 g to 900 g it will not know in advance how these weights will be distributed. It will also not know what the day’s demand from families living in its area will be.
Having taken delivery of this order, the supermarket will risk being left with unnecessary stock at the end of the day, because catch-weight trays didn't match the consumers' needs. It is, therefore, a good idea for the supermarket to get to know its customers, so as to be able to predict their behavior.
A loyalty program for regular clients can address this problem and help the supermarket determine in advance the right weight distribution.
Besides not knowing how weight will be distributed, a supermarket will not know how much it will have to pay for a catch-weight order until it has been actually produced and delivered. This makes catch-weight orders in principle unattractive. Innova food processing software, however, combines Marel Multihead Weigher data with details gathered from other equipment.
It knows exactly how many trays of each catch-weight between 500 and 900 g are to be supplied and calculates the price prior to the order.
Marel has developed dedicated catch-weight software for Multihead Weighers. It can divide the catch-weight range from e.g. 500 to 900 g up into a maximum of 5 “zones”, where it controls how many percents of the portions must be in each weight range (see picture).
This feature can help the supermarket with purchasing trays with the correct weight distribution for its local customers. At the end of the day the supermarket will not run out of a specific weight range which is in great demand nor will it be left with unsold unpopular trays.
Marel's catch-weight job software allows portions to be batched within a selected minimum and maximum target weight. It is, therefore, possible to control the final weight distribution of catch-weight trays.
Thanks to Marel's Multi-job software, catch-weight becomes predictable and supermarkets can now control their inventory of catch-weight products. This is totally unique!
Not only do customers benefit from the ability to predict catch-weight, but the processor himself also profits from much lower give-away. If required, Multihead Weigher can run both catch-weight and fixed weight jobs simultaneously!
In doing so, close-to-zero give-away can be achieved, since only the perfect batch enters the fixed-weight process, while the rest passes to catch-weight jobs.