Checkweighers are important pieces of equipment in the food weighing and inspection industry. They help ensure accurate weight control, maximized efficiency, and consistent product throughput. They can make the difference between short-changing your customer, meeting product specifications, or giving away your profits.
Setting up your checkweigher to achieve optimum performance isn’t a luxury– it is critical to meeting your production obligations. This means knowing the signs of when and where you need to take action – and what action to take quickly and effectively to get back in the zone of peak operation.
We’ve outlined ten ways you can help ensure your checkweigher continues to minimize give-away while making certain your products meet labeled weight and nutritional information.
- Mechanical Alignment
Is the frame firmly on the ground? Are the conveyors all level and aligned? Without correct mechanical alignment the weighing process will fail to meet specifications.
- Photoeyes and Rejectors
All photoeyes should be checked for position and operation. Rejectors should fire at the proper time to ensure the rejected product goes into the reject bin properly.
- Belts or Chains
Inspect your belts or chains for wear or product build-up. Replace if needed. Otherwise inaccurate weights are guaranteed. Inspect timing belts for wear, cracks or missing teeth.
- Product Transfer
Do products jump or vibrate when they transfer onto the checkweigher? Are the gaps between the conveyors minimized? Stable products weigh better! Are the infeed and weigh table belts running at the same speeds? This is critical.
- Product Pitch
Is there enough gap between products to guarantee there is never more than one product on the weigh table at a time during the weighing process? You may need to speed up the infeed to correct the issue.
- Product Setup
Make sure the proper dimensions and weight of the product are correctly entered into the product recipe. Are the cutpoints for over-weight and under-weight products set to correct product specifications?
- Calibration and Auto Zero
Has the checkweigher been calibrated recently for zero and span both empty and with the product? A calibration should be done daily or whenever switching product. Is there enough gap during production for the auto zero routine to adjust?
- Grey Zone Validation
When was your calibration last checked? A grey zone check should be run before every shift or product change-over to ensure optimum weights every day. Be sure to run a package at least 20 times to get a statistically valid result.
Are the triggers for alarm conditions set properly? An alarm that constantly goes on will be ignored by operators.
Reports that deliver lot, batch or shift information on accept/ reject quantities need to be formatted properly to be accurate representations of production.
If you would like to keep these ten tips in a handy place, download this infographic.
Need help figuring out which checkweigher is best for your business? Here’s a Checkweigher Selection Guide.