The principle of efficiency is paramount on packaging lines. At the same time, food production companies and those in other industries also have to comply with extremely strict safety standards. Modern dynamic checkweighers increase safety and provide new ways to improve efficiency, both as combination systems with additional inspection technologies and via networking.
Checkweighers are rarely used in isolation. In addition to full weight verification, many manufacturers also require additional inspection technologies (as per HACCP) for detecting foreign objects or vision inspection for identifying packaging and labels. These product inspection technologies can be used at various integration points on production and packaging lines. So what could be better than bringing together two inspection systems as a combination solution, helping to save space and take advantage of synergies?
Vision Inspection and Metal Detection
One example of this approach is Mettler-Toledo’s C3000 System checkweigher series. In addition to the dynamic checkweighers, Mettler-Toledo has also introduced other combination systems which include vision inspection (CV3770) and metal detection (CM3770). In both cases, the checkweigher has a verifiable weighing range of three grams to ten kilograms. The load cell inside is protected from shocks and vibrations by a redesigned conveyor belt system and four-tube frame design. This ensures accurate weighing results are achieved, even at high throughput rates. The CV3770 uses a smart camera control method to check the accuracy of labels and critical information on up to three sides of the packaging. The CM3770 uses a Profile Advantage metal detector to detect metal contamination in foods.
More Streamlined, With Just One Terminal
Two inspection systems in one, for greater space-saving on the production line. Many companies want to optimize their production facilities, either to increase capacity or because they have already reached the limits of the current space available. These companies should consider using a combined solution. A combined solution also offers the advantage of being installed and integrated with very little effort. Only one connection is required in each case for the power supply and network cable. Employees can operate both technologies at the same terminal. The standard configurations for both technologies can be accessed there when switching products. This saves an extra step in the event of product changeovers.
Combination Systems are Not Always the Best Choice
However, the “piggyback” system consisting of a checkweigher and additional inspection solution may not be suitable for every application scenario. It’s sometimes necessary to separate the weight check and foreign body detection within the process for technical reasons. It may make sense, for instance, to detect foreign bodies in food products immediately after production to prevent them damaging the production equipment. Complete systems are also designed with the product sizes and formats that are typical for the industry in mind. Companies producing special items, such as larger chocolate bars, may need to integrate two individual systems, which can be controlled from the office.
The fact that you can control and read data from two systems at a single terminal makes data collection and daily documentation activities that bit easier. Anyone wishing to automate their data management further, whether with complete systems or with individual devices, can use central database software to network control systems. All the measurement data from the inspection systems, including the percentage of acceptable products and the line speed, is then pooled in a database. Using current software, production directors and managers can also access this data using tablets, so they can then see the status of the line in real time.
With data management software, the values can be analyzed automatically and formatted in accordance with compliance requirements. Plus, the software brings together the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the ongoing calculation of the OEE value. Very little intervention is needed in the production hall or on the shop floor; as with networked inspection systems and checkweighers, even product changeovers can be initiated from the office.
Combination systems for quality control bring together common product inspection pairings. These “twin packs” are an efficient and space-saving system for companies that require these combination solutions. The largely standardized systems are extremely accessible and can be integrated with very little effort. Modern complete systems have a modular design and are scalable. They can be operated even more efficiently using data management software.
About Mettler-Toledo Garvens
Mettler-Toledo Garvens is the world's leading provider of checkweighing solutions for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Mettler-Toledo Garvens is part of the Mettler Toledo Product Inspection business unit, alongside Safeline, CI-Vision, and Pharmacontrol Electronic GmbH (PCE).
For more information about the C3000 system or other areas of dynamic checkweighing technology, visit our website http://www.mt.com/garvens, contact Mettler Toledo Garvens by telephone on +49 (0)5121 933 222 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information about Mettler Toledo's Product Inspection business unit can be found here: http://www.mt.com/pi.