With over 25 years’ experience in shrimp processing and export, Devi Sea Foods is a leading supplier of shrimp from India to large, reputed customers in Food service and Retail. Based in the state of Andhra Pradesh and located around major shrimp farming centers, Devi has built competencies and harnessed them over years, exclusively catering to farm raised Black Tiger and White shrimp.
Devi Sea Foods operations are built around has three core verticals. The primary vertical is Shrimp Processing and Export which form the backbone of its supply chain and renders strength to the other two sectors. The Second core activity is the shrimp feed division, which produces and supplies quality feed and gives the company a better control over its Supply Chain. The third core vertical is its wholly owned subsidiary Devi Sea Foods Inc., which has taken the company closer to the customer and has been the groups growth driver.
DEVI SEA FOODS TO IMPROVE PRODUCTION RATE, ACCURACY, AND LABOR SHORTAGES.
Devi Sea Foods has taken the journey to automate its bagging line to improve production capacity, improve bag-filling accuracy and decrease labor costs. The project was done in two phases, the first to install the bagging equipment and the second to add a palletizing cell. In the past, the company manually bagged and palletized the bags. However, this was inefficient, labor-intensive, and dusty, which motivated the company to automate the process.
Experiencing Bagging Problems
In the past, manually bagging and palletizing the products required six to eight operators per shift, depending on the bag size being filled. When manually bagging and palletizing, the company was able to produce 35Tns/Per 8Hrs Shift. However, to maintain this production level and continue meeting customer demand, the company typically had to operate three shifts a day, six days a week, and hire up few temporary employees per shift.
The bagger’s filling accuracy also varied. By sometimes overfilling the bags, they were losing product which cut into their profit margin.”
Devi Sea Foods told us that they were looking for an automated high-speed bagger, bag sealer, and robotic palletizer that could handle their product, which is shrimp feed. The equipment would be installed in an area with limited floor space and the conveying line and equipment layout would probably require to be custom designed to fit the available space.
They looked at each supplier’s installation and equipment costs, equipment quality and system design, project management and follow-up service and concluded that only one supplier had the package best suited for their application and budget”. Before they made their final decision, Devi Sea Foods have sent product and sample bags to Premier Tech for testing, and have visited one of the installations at CP Rajamundry. The tests showed that the Premier Tech bagger could easily handle the product. They also received positive feedback from customers they talked with. They have then decided to purchase one automated open-mouth bagger with an automatic bag sealer to complete the first phase of the project.
Improving Packaging Operations after a New Installation
Since installing the new OML-1140, the company has significantly reduced its operating and labor costs and improved production rate to 45 Tns/Hr. “The new packaging line, bags the product so fast that that they have to operate two shifts a day, five days a week to maintain the production schedule. It also eliminated potential ergonomic issues related to operators’ manually handling so many bags.” Says Hanumanth Rao, Projects Head, Devi Seafoods
The bagger’s PLC has a user-friendly touch screen operator interface that allows easy troubleshooting and error code reading, and its self-diagnostic software has emergency stop interlocks to ensure operator safety during operation. The bagger’s integrated scale-control system consistently provides accurate material weighments.
The bagging weighing accuracy has improved the company’s profit margin by decreasing product loss. “They are very pleased,” to say that “The bag-weight accuracy range is really tight, and our customers are happy because they get exactly the amount of product they order.
They are satisfied with the Premier Tech post-installation operator training and follow-up service.
“The Premier Tech engineers were very good about training our operators on the new equipment and really got us up to speed,” says Mr. Hanumantha Rao Project Head. and even though it has been a huge learning curve because the technology is still relatively new to us, the longer we operate the system, the better we get at it.
With Premier Tech it has also been easy to work with and very responsive. If something ever goes wrong, their tech support is available and we can call them up and get answers over the phone, and that’s been very helpful.”