Hollingbery & Son is a fourth-generation hops broker in Yakima, Washington. A little over a year ago, the company made a sizable investment in processing and packaging equipment that automated their operations, producing significant gains in speed and efficiency.
Hollingbery & Son would receive 200-lb bales of hops, which would then be ground up and milled into quarter-inch pellets. Then the company would re-bag the hops pellets, requiring manual labor and pre-made bags. This is precisely why Hollingbery decided it was time to automate their processes.
According to Packaging World, Bratney Companies, a specialist in meeting the needs of the agricultural processing industry, was key in helping Hollingbery & Son automate the bagging process. VP of Operations, Matt Hollingbery, also made many of the decisions when it came to choosing suppliers.
Ultimately, along with a few other pieces of key equipment, the company decided to use a Yamato for a 14-bucket combination scale.
How a Yamato Combination Scale Met the Challenge
The company had heard great things about Yamato’s products, and ultimately Matt Hollingbery decided that the 14-bucket combination scale would help the company save money in the pellet bagging process. He noted that hops are a rather expensive item, sometimes costing up to $30 a pound, and mused, “We could have opted for a three-head combination scale like some others here in the valley have done. But the 14-head Yamato keeps giveaway to an absolute minimum, so payback on our investment will be quick.” Hollingberry also said that the Yamato scale came highly recommended.
Yamato knew that Hollingbery had very specific needs, and the two companies worked together to find the perfect solution. An extraction fan was included in the ADW-714SV scale in order to keep the hops’ airborne particles from contaminating the electrical circuitry. The scale was also customized to include patented ultra heavy duty load cells able to withstand more than 500 pounds of weight. These aspects are very important because during cleaning or maintenance operators sometimes accidentally use an actuator or bucket as a foothold.
Yamato was able to meet the unique needs of Hollingbery & Son when they sought to automate the pellet bagging process. Hollingbery is now producing the 22-lb bags at a rate of 6 to 8 minutes. Said Hollingbery, “It’s faster throughout with the same amount of labor. We also see less waste compared to when it was done manually.”
Yamato commercial scales offer food manufacturers like Hollingbery & Son durable, customizable food weighing solutions that can grow to meet their evolving needs. To learn more about this and Yamato’s other commercial weighing products, visit the Yamato Americas website or contact us for more information.