The development of a new seed variety is a long and intensive process. Bejo produces all seeds under its own management in areas with the best climatic conditions. After harvesting, each batch of seeds is subjected to a long set of cleaning and quality controls at the head office in Warmenhuizen in the Netherlands.
Only half of the seeds will eventually be sold as Bejo seeds. Before a new variety is successfully introduced to the market the whole process takes between 10 and 15 years. This shows the high quality as well as the value of the Bejo seeds. It is then of vital importance that the weighing and packing of these special products creates a uniform quality and value. This is why Bejo has been relying on the technology of Ishida for 30 years.
The latest technology of Ishida is represented at the company. The multihead weighers are tailor-made for the processing of small target weights. Weighing the seeds of Bejo raises challenges for the equipment. Each batch of seeds has different characteristics and some particularly small seeds need a special coating, which is rapidly broken down in the soil, to effectively process and sow them.
Bejo predominantly sells a number of seeds per package, rather than by weight. For that reason the weighing instruments are set on a target weight corresponding to the number of seeds per package. To ensure that each package has the right number of seeds, the accuracy of weighing is vital. Bejo has indicated that the accuracy is up to a precision of 0.03 gram for a package of 2 grams, with a speed of up to 75 packages a minute. The speed is currently limited because the packages are manually packed in boxes. The company is in the process of installing a pick & place robotic system to take over this work, improving the speed of the line.
The huge variety of seeds means that the seeds on the weigher have to be changed 20 times a day. Thanks to the use of a simple cleaning routine with dust extraction and compressed air, as well as the programmable settings, the changes can take place in 10 minutes.
For all their activities Bejo also makes use of checkweighers of Ishida. These are conducting a last essential quality control. This is becoming more important when the transition is made to automated packaging.
For more information:
Tel: +44 121 607 7836
Fax: +44 121 607 7740