A Beginner’s Guide to Checkweighing
In the second of our series of technology blogs, we focus on checkweighing…
Checkweighers are widely used as part of an overall quality control programme in a variety of industries, including the automotive, chemical, cosmetics, food and beverage, metal and pharmaceutical industries. Systems are used for purely checkweighing, to support serialization processes and for end-of-line applications.
In simple terms, a dynamic checkweigher is a system that weighs items as they pass through a production line, classifies the items by preset weight zones and then sorts or rejects the items based on their classification. Unlike random off-line sampling, checkweighers are capable of weighing 100% of the items on a production line and provide a 100% overview of production data, such as production counts, batch tracking, total weights, good weights and rejected weights.
Customer and Manufacturer Protection
Checkweighers are often referred to as policemen/in line patrol by packaging and processing companies who rely on them to prevent unacceptable under or overweight packages from reaching consumers. In addition, checkweighers play a key role in helping manufacturers avoid product recalls and consumer complaints about underweight packages by increasing product quality and aiding compliance with local Weights and Measures guidelines. What’s more, in the event of a legal claim or audit, a checkweigher can help manufacturers prove that reasonable precautions and due diligence were applied during the manufacturing process to increase process safety.
ROI – the Faster the Better!
As well as protecting consumers and brand reputations, a checkweighing system can help to prevent retailer contract penalties and quickly amortizes through reducing the overall material/resource costs. Checkweighing systems can also help to increase Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) by reducing errors occurring in up and downstream processes. What’s more, manufacturers can save valuable line space by combining checkweighers with metal detection, x-ray and optical inspection technologies.
Typical Checkweigher Uses
Checkweighers are used for a variety of applications, including:
• Checking for under and/or overweight packages
• Ensuring compliance with net contents law for pre-packaged goods
• Completeness checking for missing components in a package, such as labels, instructions, lids, leaflets or products
• Verifying count by weight by checking for a missing carton, bottle, bag or can in a case
• Checking package mixes against weight limits to keep the solid to liquid ratio within established standards
• Reducing product giveaway by using checkweigher totals to determine filler adjustments
• Classifying products into weight zones for grading or portioning
• Ensuring product compliance with customer, association or agency specifications
• Pure net weighing with tare/gross systems
• Weighing before and after a process to check process performance
• Fulfilling USDA, FDA, OIMI, FPVO and other reporting standards
• Measuring and reporting production line efficiency
Common Checkweigher Applications
Checkweighers are capable of weighing almost any item produced on a production line, ranging in weight from below one gram to several hundred kilograms and more. Systems are frequently used to weigh raw or unwrapped food products prior to the packaging process, as well as pre-packed food in a wide range of packaging materials. They also have the ability to check the volume or density of a mixture, such as bread or yoghurt, as well as weigh boxes, cartons, tubs or blister packs to determine if papers, components, instructions or other items are missing, clever hey?!
Don’t miss next week’s blog entitled ‘A Beginner’s Guide to X-ray Inspection’.Leave a reply →