When you think about meat processing/packing plants, what do they all have in common?
Every plant, large and small has to move the carcasses of the animals they are processing. This is always done on a rail of some sort.
Some rails are flat, some are round, but you will always see rails for hanging the carcass and moving it from place to place in the plant. The animal comes into the plant and once it is killed it is placed on a trolley which rides down the rail. Each of these animals needs to be weighed in order to properly pay the producer for the animal and in order to figure the yields after the animal has been processed.
There are several types of monorail scales which can be used to get the weights.
Static carcass scales are typically smaller in size and used to weigh the animal hanging on the trolley by pulling the trolley onto the scale, waiting for the animal to settle to get the weight, then pulling the trolley off the scale.
In-motion (also called dynamic) scales work in conjunction with the plant’s overhead chain. These scales weigh the carcass on the trolley as it moves down the rail.
This can be done two different ways.
One way is to just replace a section of the rail and weigh the trolley as it is pushed by the overhead chain.
A second and better way is to replace a section of the rail with a scale that includes an independent drive to pull the trolley away from the overhead chain. This way removes any inconsistencies that are in play from the overhead chain. These scales can be placed in several places throughout the plant: most notably right after the animal is killed (often called the hot scale) and right after it comes out of a cooler (often called the cold scale).
Carcass scales are a vital part of any meat processing plant. If you have any questions about or are in need of either a static or in-motion monorail scale, contact us!
With any mechanical system, you can expect to encounter mechanical wear, even if it is less pronounced. In-motion monorail scales are not exempt from this fact, so there are some signs of wear to keep your eyes on.
The most mechanical wear an in-motion monorail scale will experience occurs in the transitions between different rails due to minor trolley impacts.
By the nature of monorail scales, the live rail needs to be isolated from dead rails during the weighing process. At the same time, trolleys have to be able to roll smoothly from one rail to another so there cannot be a large gap between any of the rails because they would cause speed bumps.
For this reason, we often leave a gap of only a few hundredths of an inch between rails. This allows for smooth rolling, but such short distances can be problematic as well.
Because rails have a flat edge at gaps and a rounded surface on top, even the slight impacts you have with small gaps can cause slight deformations on the top edge. This is because the rounded surface of rails is thinner at the very peak of the radius.
Over time, these slight deformations could cause the two rails to eventually come into contact. This is a very bad situation because it can distort weight measurements. Pressure from the dead rail can be placed on the live rail during weighing, adding extra weight, and excess vibrations from the rail system can transfer to the scale adding noise to the weight reading.
When running plant maintenance, it is important that you regularly check your rails to make sure there is no contact. If there is, or if there is too little space between them, the rail edges can be ground down for a temporary fix. However, this only works for so long.
After continuously grinding away the edges of the rails, the gap between the two rails can increase and cause the trolley wheels to jump as they travel over a gap. When this starts happening, the only real solution you have left is to replace the worn rails.
If a problem like this happens with our monorail scale, we can help you in replacing rails, as most of our competitors have non replaceable rails.Our dedicated service department could do the whole operation for you if need be. We think you should be informed because we want you to get the best out of your system. If you want to minimize issues with weighing, talk to us about our High Accuracy In-Motion Monorail Scales.
In many plants that hang meat products, carcasses, etc., it is clear to see that the operation can be a little bumpy at times, and scales need stability to perform correctly, so you might wonder how we get accurate measurements in a monorail hanging plant.
Load cells are very sensitive instruments.
The slightest bump can change measurements drastically, so it is important to eliminate shock from the trolley system. We do this in a couple of ingenious ways.
Precision welding and tight fits on all of the parts eliminates a good deal of vibration from the system.
This keeps unwanted noise out of the load cell’s signal.
The spacing and movement of trolleys is controlled by a motor-driven chain with metal wedges or dogs that keep the trolley in place and moving consistently as it crosses over the live section of the monorail scale.
This also helps to ensure that the scale isn’t trying to weigh multiple trolleys at once.
The most intriguing way that we ensure a smooth load cell reading is by the addition of a special transition rail.
This simple transition rail is allowed to pivot slightly as a trolley crosses it. As the rail pivots, it puts more of its weight on the live section until the trolley actually reaches the live section and the system has transferred the entire trolley weight to the live rail and load cell.
If the system did not have this transition rail, the impact of the trolley on the load cell would cause a spike in the data that could cause your measurements to be inaccurate.
Basically, it just gives the load cell time to ramp up to the right level of force before taking any measurements.
There are numerous ways that we adapt our products to fit their situations, and some of them are nearly unnoticeable, but each one is important for making a fully-functional, accurate scale.
Our High Accuracy In-motion Monorail Scales are the epitome of attention-to-detail in an environment that makes detail rather difficult.
Take a look at our Monorail Scale offerings to see this attention to detail firsthand!
Like the last blog (see previous blog), we noted that improving our products is a priority, and in keeping with that concept, there is another notable change that we have made to the Monorail Scale manuals that would be helpful for current owners of this system.
Most of our Monorail Scales end up in fairly tough environments and have to be built to withstand a lot of wear and tear.
Because of this, we build the scales with a handful of stability precautions.
One of these is the squeeze plate that fixes onto the end of the load cell. The squeeze plate is bolt held to the top of the load cell to simply add more stability and structure at its base. This is a simple engineering addition that improves the load cells life cycle.
Currently, there are 3 bolts that hold the plate to the cell. Through extensive testing, we have determined that the center bolt isn’t a requirement and can add undue stress when overtightened beyond our specifications.
Also worth noting is the fact that there is a specified amount of torque to be applied to these bolts.
We have seen many instances of overtightening these bolts which also can add more stress than necessary to the load cell.
It is required that you use a torque wrench to tighten the two remaining pressure bolts to23 ft-lbs to avoid this.
Little changes like this may seem unimportant, but following these suggestions when using your Monorail Scale will keep it running correctly as long as possible without replacement parts.
We have put countless hours into making these some of the best scales in the industry, therefore we know how to keep them in the best shape.
If you don’t own this system yet, take a look at our line of high quality In-Motion Monorail Scales. You should be able to find something to fit your requirements with the wide variety of options we have available.
We can also talk to you about the best options!
Give us a call or send us a message today!
This type of scale has been developed to provide weighment of whole beef carcasses in large processing facilities.
This type of scale obviously requires heavy duty construction to meet the rigors of moving huge animal carcasses and providing accurate weights.
The reason this scale is called a shackle scale is simply because the entire animal carcass is suspended by a shackle from one leg.
This scale has the ability to accurately weigh up to a 4,500 lbs capacity.
Although this scale is not NTEP certified, it has been developed with the same principles as other high accuracy scale equipment we manufacture.
The patented in-motion shackle scale is truly a beast of a scale designed to play in the heavy weight division.
It is powder-coated to survive harsh environments and utilizes two load cells rated at 2000 kilograms each.
Like the WeighMore® High Accuracy Monorail scale, this scale provides for independent controlled scale chain movement to drive the shackle trolley.
The chain is a heavy duty number 80 chain. This provides durability, dependability, and smooth movement of the weighted shackle.
The shackle is driven to the shackle scale assembly’s transition rail by the facilities drive chain. The transition rail provides for gradual weight application to the live weight rail eliminating shock force in the weighment.
At the point of the transition rail, the scale’s chain takes over from the plant’s drive chain and smoothly transfers shackle drive to the scale’s drive mechanism to control movement across the live weighment rail.
Once weighment is completed, the house chain system regains trolley movement possession.
These scales are manufactured according to the directional movement (R to L / L to R) required. In other words, they are manufactured for the specified direction of in house chain travel.
To determine whether travel is from left to right, or right to left, consider this visualization: You are standing in front of live rail of the scale assembly. The scale assembly is mounted on the rear of the weighment rail. Now, if that rail was to be raised and placed in line with the house rail and chain, what is the direction of travel of the house chain? Hence, you have determined the necessary travel direction of the in-motion shackle scale.
The In-motion Shackle Scale is a valuable piece of equipment to large packing plant facilities providing the ability to check the weight of animal carcasses in an efficient manner as processing begins.
As stated above, the In-motion Shackle scale is built to last, but is completely serviceable should any needs arise.