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Proof of accuracy is in the eating

15 April 2011

Accuracy and reliability of factory equipment is important for all types of business, but as any food producer will tell you, the need for accurate and reliable equipment becomes all the more critical where weighing systems are involved, such is the delicate nature of weighing precise quantities of foodstuff.

When a major producer of ethnic food experienced repeated faults in the load cells on a set of large, weighed cooking vessels, operators found themselves in a position whereby they were unable to accurately weigh in minor ingredients once the bulk materials had been added to the system.

This was leading to losses in the most expensive ingredients, and variations in product quality were costing the factory as the batches needed to be reworked in order to meet specification. Despite the strong performance of the food and drink manufacturing sector in 2010, uncertainty regarding the state of the economy remains, and so the ability to keep costs to a minimum continues to play a pivotal role when determining the success of producers within this sector.

After an investigation was undertaken by the food producer, it appeared that the problems encountered were due to vibration and flexing in the support frames for the cooking vessels and their drive systems. In pursuit of a solution to this problem, Applied Weighing, the UK’s leading manufacturer of weighing systems, offered to redesign the whole weighing system, including making improvements to the support structure for the vessels.

When work began, Applied Weighing supplied Stainless Steel Baby Safemount loading assemblies, along with a new support frame for the largest cooking vessel and improvements to the support frames on the other cooking vessels were made.

Crucially, all the work was completed within the Factory's seven day shutdown period and the cookers were ready for use again when the operators began producing. With the problem resolved, the food producer was able to concentrate on other matters, such as conceiving further ways to improve its products, rather than concerning itself with the reliability of its weighing systems.

From the time that the work was completed, calibration checks have shown that the original problems that existed have now been eliminated and that the operators are once again confident with the weighing systems that are in place. Furthermore, the new weighing equipment is proving to be very robust in what is normally a very wet area and is capable of withstanding regular cleaning operations using high pressure water.

Applied Weighing, which was first established in 1990, provides a complete range of weighing solutions and systems. These are custom built to meet individual customer requirements. Their range includes platform scales, silo and vessel weighing systems, drum filling systems, high speed weighing systems, telemetry systems and load cells.

Applied Weighing products are used in a diverse variety of industry areas including pharmaceutical, food processing, milling and bakeries, aggregates and cement, fuel oils, chemicals and plastics. Their aim is to provide quality products on short delivery times, backed up with comprehensive technical support. Applied Weighing is an ISO 9001:2000 registered company and is certified for the manufacture of ATEX compliant products.

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