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Checkweigher Integration: Guide to Key Considerations

Last Updated: September 1st, 20233 min read
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For food businesses, a checkweigher can improve food safety and production efficiency. Integrating a system like this though can feel like a big ask, which is often a barrier for many businesses. This guide aims to explain the integration process to make it as seamless as possible.

In this guide, we’ll explore the key considerations your business should take when integrating a new checkweigher machine into your operations. These include:

  • Compatibility with existing systems
  • Space and layout
  • System requirements
  • Training and ongoing support

Why should you integrate a checkweigher?

Checkweighers are ideal dynamic weighing machines for improving the quality and safety of your food products.

Products are automatically weighed as they move along the conveyor belt on to the weigh deck, and the checkweigher will remove any under or overweight products from your line via an automatic reject mechanism. There are a variety of options for product rejection.

This automated approach to checkweighing means that you can be sure that all product weights are correct for all production batches, giving you peace of mind that you are complying to legal requirements and can show due diligence to auditors and customers.

Key considerations before the integration process

When you are looking at integrating a checkweigher, there are some important things to consider before you get started. You should factor in any potential challenges or concerns into your integration strategy (which we’ll come to later). Doing so can help you avoid any issues or downtime during the integration process.

Compatibility with existing systems

You should make sure that the checkweigher can be used alongside your existing systems. This includes the equipment on your production line like conveyors, packaging machinery and labelling systems. For example, will the checkweigher be able to fit in-line with and, where necessary, communicate with your equipment?

This is also relevant to your backend systems and software too. It is crucial that the checkweigher can link (or interface) with any existing quality control or data management software. Are data formats or connectivity options compatible? Can it support your reporting and analysis strategies?

Space and layout

It’s also crucial to know the feasibility of integrating a checkweigher into your available space. You should plan a layout that will ensure smooth workflow, accessibility, and effective use of the checkweigher in your production line. Make sure to consider the flow of products, and the ease of access for operators and engineers for maintenance.

Are there any space constraints or limitations that might impact the checkweigher unit? These could be walls, pillars, machinery, or other obstacles that will restrict the space. Are any adaptions to your existing line necessary to accommodate the new checkweigher system?

Environment can also impact the performance of the checkweigher, such as temperature and movement such as vibrations, so this should be considered also.

System requirements

When investing in a checkweigher system, you should first determine the requirements for the machine. Can the model handle the relevant throughput needed without causing bottlenecks? Forecasting the required volume and speed of products on the line can help you identify suitable units that won’t slow your process down.

Additionally, can the checkweigher accurately weight the relevant range of weights for your products? This is vital for compliance with regulatory requirements and your own quality standards. Make sure you know what your requirements are for the machine itself.

Training and ongoing support

If you are integrating a new checkweigher, training is essential for ensuring proper use. Operators should know what the procedures are for operating the unit and troubleshooting any minor issues. Does the supplier provide such training? Consider the availability and depth of this training.

As a vital part of your production line, you should ensure you have the necessary level of support for your checkweigher. This includes software support as well as maintenance and repairs. Does the supplier provide on-site and remote support, and what level of support is available? This is key to minimising the risk of downtime in cases of breakdowns.