Using an In-Motion Checkweigher in Quality Assurance Operations
An in-motion checkweigher is just a scale with a conveyor belt. It captures the weight of an object on the conveyor belt as it crosses the scale. Typically, checkweighers are used to check the weight of packaged goods. In-motion checkweighers perform the same function, but the addition of the conveyor belt increases efficiency. In-motion checkweighers are often used in production lines, where they are incorporated into weighing systems to create an automated quality assurance process.
Weight is a Great Indicator of Uniformity
Goods that are mass produced should weigh the same, so one of the easiest ways to ensure uniformity is to use scales. The same goes for packaged goods. If a factory mass produces 1000 bottles of juice each day, and 100 of those bottles are packaged in a box, each box should weigh the same amount. The easiest way to ensure that each box contains the correct number of bottles before it leaves the factory is to weigh it.
The challenge is finding a solution that weighs the boxes without slowing down operations. That’s where an in-motion checkweigher can help. By adding an in-motion checkweigher to their production lines, manufacturers can combine the weighing function with another task, like packaging. By doing so, companies can add a quality assurance check without disrupting production.
Fitting an In-Motion Checkweigher Into Existing Operations
Quality control weighing systems can be customized to fit any application, and can require as much or as little human interaction as desired. These weighing systems are a great way to streamline operations, and to free up human hands to be used for more skilled labor.
One of our customers recently had an issue with quality assurance. They were looking for an efficient way to ensure uniformity between products as they left the facility. We worked with them to determine the best solution. The company was using a conveyor belt for packaging operations, so it was easy to add an in-motion checkweigher into the operation. We matched them with the right equipment for their environment. Next, they provided us with the final package target weight, or the weight that each package should be if it is filled to the correct capacity. We programmed the weighing system so that if a package comes across the scale that weighs more or less than the predefined target weight, it is rejected.
Customizable Rejection Options
Weighing systems are customizable, and with an in-motion checkweigher system, the customer determines what happens upon rejection. For example, if a package is rejected, the conveyor belt may stop, and an alarm might sound until the package is removed. Alternatively, a light may be attached to the scale, and if a package is rejected, the conveyor may stop and that light might flash red until the package is removed. Yet another option is to have a mechanical arm push rejected packages into a collection area, while allowing the packages within the target weight range to continue down the conveyor.
Options to Minimize Potential Errors
In the video above, the weighing system incorporates cameras to prevent more than 1 package crossing the scale at a time. (Look for the orange devices in the video, on each portion of the conveyor belt. Those are the cameras, or “photo eyes”.) If 2 packages come down the conveyor belt together & run across the scale, their combined weight would be greater than the target weight, prompting a false rejection.
The in-motion checkweigher in the video contains 2 separate conveyor belts. Conveyor belt 1 contains 1 set of photo eyes. Conveyor belt 2 contains a scale and 2 sets of photo eyes. If the photo eyes on conveyor belt 1 register more than one package at a time, the conveyor will stop. This ensures that only package A will cross conveyor belt 2. Once the package has cleared the last photo eye, located at the end of the conveyor belt 2, the first conveyor belt begins to move again, allowing the second package to proceed across the scale in conveyor belt 2.
Could A Weighing System Help You?
There are many ways a weighing system can be incorporated into existing operations. Many customers aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for when they contact us. Luckily, our team of experts has installed many weighing systems, including those incorporating in-motion checkweighers, in a wide range of industries. So our team works with potential customers to find the best use of weighing in their existing operation. We are here to help you find & implement the best solutions to increase efficiency & maximize productivity.
Learn More About In-Motion Checkweigher Weighing Systems
Contact your local Michelli Weighing & Measurement office. Our experts can help you find the right weighing solution for your application. Even if you’re not quite sure what to look for, contact us today. We can walk you through several different options to find the right fit for your operation.