Why Are Checkweighers so Important to the Food Industry?
Checkweighing scales offer users a quick, simple way of checking the weight of a subject to ensure that it sits between two pre-set parameters. The food industry uses them for all kinds of different reasons, and in this blog, were going to explore how they can be used to guarantee consistency, improve efficiency and save valuable time and money.
What is a checkweighing scale?
A checkweighing scale, also known as a checkweigher, is essentially an instrument that can be used to ‘check’ the weight of a given subject. Users enter in two pre-set limits – a higher and lower limit – and the scale will measure whether your subject sits in between them. If it is over or under, an audible or visual signal will be activated. The visual display may be a light that is shows red, amber or green, whilst others may use a bar graph on a graphical display.
How is a checkweighing scale used in the food industry?
As you can imagine, checkweighing scales can be used for all kinds of different applications. Here are some of the main ones:
Portion control is something that many restaurants and cafes may want to keep track of on a daily basis. This will not only save you money from reducing waste, but it will also allow you to better understand your required quantities during your ordering process. This can be hugely important for smaller companies where profit margins can be small. Checking the weight of your plate before it goes out is also a great way of promoting consistency in your food output.
Integrating checkweighing scales into your food business will also greatly reduce your environmental impact, as it will help to curb any unnecessary plastic packaging from being used, prevent excess food waste and keep unnecessary airmiles low.
Packaging and production lines
Using a checkweigher during the packaging process or on production lines can help to establish an effective and consistent production operation. Similarly to portion control it can help to reduce any waste, but it can also be useful for spotting any errors before they are mass produced, helping to reduce the risk of product recalls. Inconsistent quantities and contaminants can all be spotted and dealt with straight away by using a checkweighing scale. This is especially useful for pre-packaged food with printed labels, as correct weighing and consistency guarantees compliance with UK Food Standards.
Many checkweighers can now be used alongside data analysis software, such as Adam DU software. This allows users to analyse their checkweighing data in real time to help identify any issues with your current production output, which can ensure consistency across your production line.
Checkweighing scales may be used in dispatch departments in food producing facilities. Checking the weight before food is packed up and dispatched is essential to ensuring that shipments are weighed and therefore priced correctly. Dispatch stock that is incorrectly weighed risks being sent back or sent with a postage due stamp, neither of which are good for business. This can cause unhappy customers, poor efficiency in the workplace and holdups in getting stock out. For fresh items with relatively small shelf lives, such as fruit and veg, even minor holdups can cause items to spoil and therefore be wasted.
After harvest, food growers and producers will need to check their overall yield for the year. This can be achieved by using a heavy duty agricultural weighing scale such as a platform or crane scale with a checkweighing function. Quickly checking the weight of your fresh produce gives a good indication to yield amounts, and makes sure that your packaged goods fit the weight limits when being transferred onto their next destination.
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