Intelligent Food Weighing

Monitor your packing process, reduce giveaway and increase efficiency with PA’s intelligent food weighing system.

With growth in the demand for tray sealing in a number of markets and a requirement for more automation and better efficiencies accelerating during the past 12 months, PA found many customers in the convenience and fresh produce markets were looking to improve the process of weighing and packing food into trays. This is a very manual element of the packing process with high labour costs and the potential for high value give away. PA wanted to improve specifically the changeover time, feed rate and accuracy of pack weights to the tray sealer.

PA identified a gap in the market for an intelligent weigh scale system which was cost effective and easy to use. The ultimate goal was to develop a product that would speed up the preparation, improve pack weight accuracy and reduce give away of products such as protein, tomatoes, salad leaves, soft fruit, ready meals pasta and other convenience foods. Additionally, it would provide live information to line leaders that could highlight training requirements for the product assembly line workers.

The MiWeigh product range comprises individual mobile line side weigh scales and a master control system. Scales are individually connected to the master control system through a 24v DC single connector which carries power and data and is intrinsically safe. Competing scales typically use a wireless connection and battery operated scales which have proved to be unreliable.

The Positive weigh scales enable the operator to add product up to a target weight into a tray or punnet with a clear traffic light system on the HMI screen. The screen also has a visual product display (photo of the product and target weight) which removes the need for physical product display cards.

The Negative weigh scales again use a clear traffic light system to indicate to the operator when the target weight of product has been removed from the weigh pan into the tray or punnet. Both scales auto tare after each correct weigh removing the need for the assembly worker to do this.

The system provides accurate, extensive live data enabling you to monitor and improve the packing process, reduce giveaway and improve efficiency by individual scale and operator. The end of line batch report gives a truer picture of the packing cost per unit and the cost of giveaway. The MiWeigh wizard has been developed for setting up new lines and recipes simply. The Master Control Hub automatically sets up all the scales directly removing the need to setup each scale individually allowing product changeovers in seconds and preventing human error. The RFID system tracks all changes and limits who can change anything through an individual operator fob.

“The new weigh scales have transformed our business, on average give away on some of our high cost proteins are as low as 1% which is a saving of up to 4.5% compared to before MiWeigh was installed and we are seeing some speeds have almost doubled from 12 weights per minute to 21 per minute. We now have visibility of training needs which is provided by the system and have a more accurate and truer picture of the packing cost per unit from the batch report generated from each run. The scale interface is very simple to set up and helps reduce the need for line operative training”. Matthew Codd Continuous Improvement Manager from Freshtime.

Contact us for more information on MiWeigh