The ability to measure production for an entire shift without the expense of an operator is within the reach of just about any food plant.
A flow scale is often the right instrument for measuring production because it needs no attendant, yet it can weigh products that comes across it, even when product is presented to the flow scale unevenly.
To understand why a flow scale is a good choice for measuring production, let’s compare a flow scale to two other common methods:
- Tabulating individual weighments of combos
- Using a conveyor scale
The manpower and equipment expense associated with weighing combos is obvious. Forklift operators are skilled workers who command more than minimum wage; forklifts and pallet mules are expensive to own and operate. Any method of measuring production that is labor intensive and requires a forklift is clearly a drain on a company’s bottom line.
Another common method is to use a conveyor scale to weigh products that pass over the scale. Some plant managers find this attractive because it eliminates the expense of an operator and the equipment expense of a forklift. A conveyor scale usually costs a little less than a flow scale.
Problems arise because a conveyor scale works best weighing products that are adequately spaced, or indexed. As chaotically spaced product is presented to a conveyor scale, new weighments need to start before old weighments have been completed. Additionally, products that overlap will appear to a conveyor scale to be one item that weighs double its actual weight. Total weight and average weight figures will be off. It can be tempting to use a conveyor scale to get an approximation of production levels.
For just a little additional investment, no such compromise is necessary.
The genius in our patented flow scale is that it takes one weighment each time the belt travels the length of the scale. That means no indexing is required. Products can be continuously overlapping each other. We need to make sure that the in-feed and out-feed do not interfere with live section of the flow scale. That means sometimes a three-conveyor system is appropriate and sometimes a single conveyor system will do the job.
When you call us to discuss your application, we will recommend the approach that will work best for you!