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Automatically following the packers rules

13 May 2018

A checkweigher is an essential tool for food manufacturers for fixed weight products produced to average weight, to ensure that every pack produced complies with the ‘three packers rules, says Wayne Johnson, OAL Connected director. 

These rules are:

1. The contents of the packages must not be less on average than the nominal quantity.

2. The proportion of packages which are short of the stated quantity by more than a defined amount (the ‘tolerable negative error’) should be less than a specified level.

3. No package should be short by twice the tolerable negative error.

Checkweighers keep an electronic record of the information but this is usually only recorded onto a ‘till receipt’ paper print out which can easily get lost or not printed. A better solution is to electronically store data in a database which can be reviewed by the site technical team at a later date. This removes the need to print information out and attach to a checksheet. It also ensures that giveaway percentages are minimised. The OAL Connected integration solution presents factory managers with a feedback loop of live giveaway values from every station on their hand-held, mobile devices. This helps managers make quick adjustments to help achieve their KPI’s.

One successful example which demonstrates how an integrated, automated checkweigher can transform a factory’s performance is cheese manufacturer, Ornua Foods (previously Adams Foods). Using the OAL Connected Autocoding system the company has reduced giveaway percentages because it now has the ability to react quickly when alerted to adjustments being required. Commenting on the solution, Dave Shepherd, continuous improvement manager at Ornua Foods, said: “While reporting the average ‘giveaway’ at the end of shift allows lessons to be learnt for future shifts, higher savings come from displaying live giveaway values in real-time ensuring critical adjustment can be made”.

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