Trying to fill totes with product according to weight and specific project orders can be very labor intensive, time consuming and somewhat troublesome. This is especially true if there are product variables such as varied size and additional treatments affecting the volume and weight of the product.
We recently helped a customer increase productivity and decrease labor activities a great deal. Initially, he was using two independent 4’ x 4’ 5,000 lb floor scales, side-by-side to fill product totes. He would fill one tote to a desired target weight and then manually re-position a Y-valve over the neighboring empty tote.
The previously filled tote would then be subsequently removed after noting the weight and replaced with an empty tote. This activity continued until the desired computed weight accumulation for the project (customer) was complete.
The desire here was to automate the preferred process. To do this, we replaced the two basic indicators with a smart, programmable indicator. This allowed for our programming to use a specified formula incorporating user input of product and treatment variables to designate the necessary tote target, and project weights. Once the operator initiates the project, the smart indicator monitors the progression of weight accordingly. It subsequently provides an output signal to an actuator directing compressed air to re-position the Y valve as the tote target level is achieved. As the second tote fills, the first is removed and replaced and that scale is re-zeroed and ready for use.
The preceding process continues until the project run weight is achieved. An override feature was provided, should additional product filling be desired near the end of the run. As you can imagine, productivity and efficiency jumped dramatically from using the smart indicator and our associated program in this system development.
Both the customer and employees are happy with the reduced labor, greater efficiency, and accuracy.