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Nov 3, 2015

Pork Stomach Washing System

This is a Human Machine Interface touchscreen controller for a pork stomach washing application.  This system automates several aspects of the stomach washing process resulting in added value, reduced waste and a reduction in labor.

stomach washer

17-in touchscreen HMI controls all aspects of the stomach washing system

The client’s problem was their existing stomach washer would under-fill, or over-fill.  This occurred frequently due to an employee visually gauging when enough stomachs were dumped into the washer. An under-fill situation would eventually lead to a backlog.  An over-fill situation would lead to stomachs falling on the floor, resulting in the stomachs going to inedible rendering, or stomachs not being washed properly due to overloading.  In addition, they allocated a person to constantly monitor the washer.  The entire stomach washing process was inefficient.

In order to remedy the situation, Vande Berg Scales load cells were installed underneath the stomach washer basin.  These load cells will send a mV signal to our Scale Data System to ensure proper loading of the washer via opening and closing of product gates.  With proper basin washer loading, stomachs can now be washed properly, maximizing their value.

Our SDS is NEMA-4X washdown rated that can be located directly on the plant floor. It has a large touchscreen display that can be monitored from a distance.  It controls many aspects of the stomach washing process.  The system can run automatically or can be manually controlled with the stop, pause, or run buttons.  Our SDS can also generate reports outlining total batch weights throughout the day.

stomach washer screen

Close-up of interface for controlling the stomach washing system. Stomach washer can be easily paused, stopped or started with on-screen buttons.

The final result is additional profit realized by more efficient washing of pork stomachs, reduced product sent to rendering and reduced labor costs associated with monitoring the stomach washer! Ask how we can help you find a solution for your problems today!

SDS Industrial Controller

SDS Industrial Controller

See additional washdown computers.

Dec 12, 2014

Washdown Computer for Industrial Use: Get More Than a Toy

We make washdown computers that are designed to get things done in real world production settings. Often, we see competitors who simply take a basic computer and seal it in a stainless steel enclosure and pass it off as an industrial washdown computer.

washdown computers

17-in SDS Touchscreen HMI

Technically, they may be right that they have made a computer that repels water and not just a computer in a box, but does it have the peripherals that make industrial controller/computers truly productive and the power protection to keep it running?

Our customers have come to appreciate that our design allows room for an uninterruptible power supply within our NEMA 4X enclosure.  We add modular I/O capabilities that transform a basic computer into an HMI/Controller with nearly limitless abilities to run processes and gather data.

We start with a 17-inch touchscreen monitor that is rated NEMA 4X and mount it in our stainless steel enclosure that has been honed to near perfection.  We connect that monitor to a compact CPU by a USB port.  From there, we customize the arrangement and location of I/O modules to produce an industrial controller/computer with unmatched versatility that is able to stand up to the harsh washdown practices and the rigorous demands of so many of today’s industries, such as meat, poultry, dairy, seafood, chemical, and pharmaceutical.

Contact us today to see how we can provide you with a washdown computer that knows how to get things done.

See our Washdown Computers.

SDS Industrial Controller

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Dec 4, 2014

Can Product Info and Weight Be Displayed for Hand Scanner Use?

This was the desire expressed by a client recently.  They wanted to use an NTEP “Legal for Trade” certified scale and indicator with a display capable of displaying a barcode with the weight and product information, which could be scanned using a wireless hand scanner.

washdown computers

17-in SDS Touchscreen HMI

However, when confronted with an obstacle to a customers need, we look for a way to meet the need.  The solution in this case, was a custom program for our Scale Data System (SDS) with inclusion of an NTEP certified signal processor, as well as the associated software.

The software would actually interpret the weight and display a barcode on the touchscreen display that represented the weight. The end user was satisfied as they then could use their hand-held barcode scanners to quickly and efficiently obtain the scale weight. This saved the end user the costly process of modifying their hand held scanner host software. We accomplished this task with our SDS 1700 which utilizes a 17-inch NEMA 4X display housed in a stainless steel washdown enclosure.  This full featured color touch screen human machine interface is powered by an enclosed industrial controller utilizing an embedded Windows® environment.  This SDS has the added benefit of NTEP approved weight indicator functions built in. Consequently, programming can provide for the bar code display desired.

Of course, there are additional features available with an SDS such as data management programming, statiscal analysis, as well as Ethernet capabilities.  The fact is that the customer’s need has been met.

SDS Industrial Controller

SDS Industrial Controller

See our Industrial Controllers

Oct 23, 2014

History of Human Machine Interface & Weight Indicator Combination

Over the years, our control enclosures and human machine interfaces (HMIs) have evolved drastically. Our long-standing offering, the Scale Data System (SDS) HMI, is a combination of all of the indicator and interface knowledge that we have developed over the years. Now, it is used as the sole foundation for almost all of our new products including checkweighers that we are shipping out, and for good reason.

washdown computers

SDS 17-inch HMI Interface

In the past, our old control enclosures used to consist of a simple stainless steel enclosure with a smart (programmable)  panel-mounted weight indicator mounted in the face. It did what we needed, but it didn’t offer us the power, programming control, or the user-friendliness that we desired from a color touchscreen.

We also built HMIs that were making use of touchscreens, industrial computers, PCs and industrial controllers, which performed well in all of the categories except for the fact that they had to be interfaced to an exterior simple weight indicator. It just made sense to combine the weight indicator with a smart HMI and process controller that could function as the foundation for many of our systems including our checkweighers and conveyor scales. Faster-Processing-Smaller-Footprint

The real advantage for the whole system is the seamless integration of the VBS weight indicator functionality into the SDS HMI. This is important because it allows the system to function at a much higher speed. It processes load cell A-D values at a much greater usable rate, which is roughly 33% more than other leading weight indicators. This means that often conveyor scales can be shorter because the necessary averaging times decrease with the increased processing rate.

The HMI is equipped with a washdown sealed 17” touchscreen monitor which allows easy control and viewing for plant environments. This is a major step up in usability over traditional weight indicators and controls. Using an industrial controller allows us to program the HMI exactly how you need your process to work.

Having control of the programming allows us to include features that are non-existent in other offerings and it makes updating a much smoother process. The SDS still has all of the unique features that our other enclosures are known for, such as rain gutters and foam sealed cable entry for washdown rating.

A simple, compact design makes the SDS usable as a standalone system as well as an accompaniment to dozens of other systems besides our conveyor scales and checkweighers. The versatility allows us to make this a regular addition to many products.

See our SDS YouTube Video

SDS Industrial Controller

SDS Industrial Controller PDF

See our Washdown SDS Industrial Controller

Aug 27, 2014

How Existing Data is Integrated Into a VBS System

The simplistic answer to this common question is basically that it is a form of electronic copy and paste. When data is maintained in a host data base, our programming department can provide for necessary information to be selected and introduced through a retrieval program. Data is usually maintained in tables such as those in SQL format data bases. A program is written for the respective database to select desired data and place it in an applicable information table for export and use in a system as necessary.

washdown computer

Commonly, weight data from a scale system is simply stored on the indicator and is provided on demand from a program that we have developed on a host computer. This program subsequently provides the communication necessary for data transfer to occur between the indicator and SQL or other database.  The type of cabling between hardware may be either serial cable or ethernet cable depending on desired form of communication and speed requirements.

washdown computers

As with any project and especially when data integration is required, there should be a thorough review of the overall data process and utilization. Sometimes, there are artificial boundaries in the form of the left hand unintentionally not interacting sufficiently with the right hand to realize organizational information efficiency. Although information security is of prime concern for operations, it should not be a barrier to a company’s organizational efficiency. Often times, the round table discussions on data needs and use will result in a better understanding and greater appreciation of other operational activities of the company.

The end goal is to provide the necessary data when and where it is needed. The data could be integrated in labeling and also required in product tracking and accounting.

SDS Industrial Controller

SDS Industrial Controller