Hailing from Kyoto, Japan, Ishida has firmly established itself as a distinguished manufacturing company specializing in weighing, packaging, and inspection machinery for the global food industry. With over 50 years of expertise, Ishida has not only shaped the food industry by inventing the multi-head weigher but has also continuously evolved, offering a comprehensive portfolio that includes check weighers, bag makers, and cutting-edge inspection machines. The company is deeply committed to energy efficiency, user-friendly design, and the relentless pursuit of addressing the dynamic needs of the food manufacturing landscape.
In an exclusive interview with FoodTechBiz at Gulfood Manufacturing 2023, Matt Eastham, general manager for Ishida Middle East, shared insights into the company's rich history and its integral role in the food manufacturing industry. Eastham provided a comprehensive overview of Ishida, emphasizing its roots as a Japanese manufacturing powerhouse based in Kyoto. Specializing in weighing, packaging, and inspection machinery for the food industry, Ishida collaborates closely with partners to ensure precise portioning, efficient packaging, and thorough quality control throughout production.
He remarked, "We pioneered the multi-head weigher in 1972 and have been manufacturing high-quality multihead weighers for over 50 years, maintaining our status as the world leader. In addition to weighing, we specialize in check weighing, incorporating a check weigher at the end of the production line to ensure the final product aligns precisely with the weight stated on the packaging. This safeguards against underweight products entering the market and prevents customers from unintentionally giving away excess goods. Expanding our offerings, we provide a range of inspection machines, including seal testers, to verify product integrity by detecting leaks that could compromise quality."
Ishida's portfolio also includes X-ray machines, which are increasingly vital for ensuring food security and safety throughout the supply chain. X-ray technology effectively identifies contaminants that may have entered the food production process from farm to end product, offering customers peace of mind beyond traditional methods like metal detectors.
Innovative advancements by Ishida
Matt provided insights into Ishida's recent innovations, spotlighting three major advancements:
QX-500 Tray sealer, a compact and energy-efficient tray sealing solution.
The latest generation of multi-head weighers CCW series – This was unveiled last year and featured at the Ishida stand at Gulfood Manufacturing.
Ishida iX PD X-ray, utilizing photon technology for enhanced detection capabilities. Its enhanced image processing and detection capabilities, including a dual sensor, enable Ishida to identify smaller contaminants in food, ensuring the utmost safety in the food supply chain.
Discussing the recent innovations, he explained, "Our recent introduction, the QX 500 Tray sealer, demonstrates our commitment to innovation, featuring enhanced tray sealing capabilities and utilizing 50% less energy compared to contemporary alternatives. Through close collaboration with our customers, we deliver high-quality solutions for weighing, packaging, inspection, and end-to-end production line needs. Responding to the need for enhanced efficiency and reduced factory downtime, we have optimized our machines for quicker changeovers."
Evolving landscape of food manufacturing
The conversation shifted to the dynamic trends shaping the food and manufacturing industry. Eastham underscored the escalating consumer awareness, pushing companies to prioritize food safety, security, and quality control. He outlined how Ishida responds to these trends by providing energy-efficient machines, real-time monitoring through Industry 4.0 integration, and solutions to reduce food waste.
While addressing challenges, Eastham highlighted the need to raise standards in response to heightened consumer awareness continually. He emphasized how Ishida collaborates with customers to enhance food safety, protect brand reputation, and adapt to the ever-changing market dynamics.
He emphasized, "One aspect I would like to emphasize is the current heightened level of consumer awareness. Access to information is now readily available through the internet and smartphones, a trend that we recognize and appreciate. This reality compels us to elevate our standards as manufacturers and partners in the food production industry. Reflecting on the past, approximately 15 to 20 years ago, if a customer had a negative experience with a brand, they might share their dissatisfaction with a limited circle of friends and family, impacting a relatively small audience. Contrastingly, today, within minutes of such an experience, it can be shared on social media platforms, potentially reaching millions of people. This increased awareness rightly demands a higher standard regarding food security and safety. As manufacturers and suppliers, we diligently collaborate with our customer base, actively listen to their concerns, and assist them in safeguarding their brand, reputation, and, most crucially, the well-being of their customers and consumers."
Ishida at Gulfood Manufacturing 2023
At Gulfood Manufacturing 2023, Ishida's participation in showcasing new launches and integrated solutions reflected the company's commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry.
Sharing his experience at the Gulfood Manufacturing, Eastham expressed satisfaction with the show's vibrancy and engagement. He said, "Yesterday was fantastic! We've been participating in Gulfood for many years, and returning each year brings us immense joy. The first day was particularly impressive; it was bustling with activity, keeping us occupied. We had the pleasure of meeting familiar customers from across the region and establishing connections with numerous new customers. The overall experience of the first day was truly positive, setting the stage for an anticipated great day today. I am excited to be part of a panel debate and discussions at the Food Tech Summit later, adding to the overall excitement. So far, it's been a fantastic experience!"
Commitment to growth, global expansion, and partnership-oriented solutions
Eastham concluded by discussing Ishida's future vision, expressing a commitment to continued growth and global expansion. He reiterated Ishida's role as a true partner, offering cutting-edge solutions and extensive expertise to help customers find optimal manufacturing solutions. "We aim to continue developing and expanding our business. We aim to maintain collaborative and partnership-oriented customer relationships, providing assistance whenever needed. This approach is integral to our ongoing efforts to grow our business, extending our reach across the Middle East and globally."
He further added, "Our extensive history and rich experience in the food industry enable us to act as partners truly. We operate not just as suppliers but as consultants, working closely with our customers to identify the optimal solutions for their needs. Our business possesses a high level of expertise from diverse backgrounds, allowing us to offer comprehensive insights. Therefore, when you engage with Ishida, you can trust that you are in safe hands!"