Weber's S6 slicer created a buzz at the company's booth during the 2016 IFFA. It is considered the next generation of the 906 slicer, which debuted at the 2013 event. 

FRANKFURT, Germany – From its hospitality area situated above and overlooking the bustling Weber booth, the company’s increasingly diverse product offerings were all within eyeshot at this year’s IFFA (held May 4-9, 2016). Known best for its expertise and engineering of slicing technology, Weber has evolved as a solutions provider in other parts of the plant as well, as evidenced by the Weber Shuttle System (WSS), which was center stage and a lure for hundreds of attendees at the booth. To showcase its flexibility, the WSS was set up to be fed by three slicers and delivering products to two packaging machines. The WSS utilizes magnetics to deliver products at speeds of up to two meters per second on durable plates in an almost-endless variety of configurations for processors challenged by space restrictions or awkward floorplans in their plants. Kevin Duesterhaus, Weber’s Technical Solutions Manager, pointed out that the magnetic-based, modular delivery system of the WSS ensures gentle handling of single-portion products and offers sophisticated sorting and buffering periods for continuous production flow between the slicing and packaging processes. This should be especially beneficial for high-volume processors of variety-packed products, he believes.

“It’s all magnetic; there are no moving parts,” Duesterhaus said. “It’s like a grown-up’s train set,” he added.

To nobody’s surprise, Weber also debuted leading-edge technology in slicing at IFFA: the S6 slicer. The S6 is going to be the company’s flagship slicer moving forward, according to Jarrod McCarroll, CEO of Weber Inc., based in Kansas City, Missouri. “It’s the slicer of the future,” he said of the prototype machine at the booth. Norbert Muehlich, vice president, said refined engineering on the S6 includes a hood covering the blade that raises vertically, which saves space, as well as an even more open design for easier accessibility. The design ensures performing routine maintenance and sanitation procedures are more efficient and visual inspection is simplified. “You can actually look through from the front to the end” of the machine, Muehlich said. Other processor-friendly features of the S6 include tool-less blade removal, a touchscreen-based power control that bends and extends for access from almost any position and a series of see-through panels to allow visual access to previously covered parts, including electrical panels.

Weber engineers also listened to customers whose operators requested flexibility in loading product, including lowering the loading height. Attention was also paid to the four grippers of the S6, as its design allows for easy removal and change-out. “We tried to keep this very simple,” Muehlich said. Considered the next generation of the Weber 906 slicer, which debuted at the IFFA in 2013, orders for the S6 will begin to be taken in November and the slicers will be available in the first quarter of 2017.

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