A common problem area with in-motion shackle scales is the movement of the trolley from the inbound and outbound side of the live weighment rail.
If there is no smooth transition, there can be a shock or drag action affecting the credibility of the weight average indicated. Thus, a scale with a relatively smooth transition mechanism is highly desired.
Location and support structure for a scale are very important areas which require attention to detail. Brute strength is absolutely necessary in the support structure of any scale, but especially when dealing with high accuracy in-motion scales. Elimination of an unrecognized problem such as this can be the simple solution for seemingly distorted or inconsistent weights.
Along that same type of problem, where a tension transition rail is used in the scale system, the area should be frequently inspected for correct operation and the absence of any binding or grime build-up. The push dogs of the supply chain should be free from affecting the live scale weighment while the carcass weight is averaged as it crosses the independent scale rail. The photo eyes for starting and stopping the weight averaging process need to be accurately positioned reflecting freedom of push dog activity. Speed adjustment of the scale chain may be required to enhance freedom of trolley movement away from the push dog.
Testing and calibration should occur on a recurrent basis. Static weight testing should occur at the threeprime points of the live weight rail (Entrance rail end, Center rail, and Exit rail end). Depending on differences, corrections can be made and accuracy often restored with the simple scale calibration action. In addition, preventative maintenance should include inspection of the sprockets and chain for movement and lubrication.
With a capacity of 4,500 lbs and a patented design that helps to provide the most accurate in-line weighing of whole beef carcasses, our WeighMore® Heavy Duty In-Motion Shackle Scale is a powerful tool in beef plants across the country. In order to get the best performance and longest life from your Heavy Duty Shackle Scale, here are a few tips.
Check the Chain Daily. The chain tensioners need to move freely and be adjusted so that there is not too much slack in the chain
, but if they are too tight, they will accelerate chain wear. Check them daily to make sure they are adjusted properly. While doing that, inspect the chain for wear and missing or broken springs. Regularly check the fluid level in the chain motor’s gear box. Add Mobil SHC 630 synthetic bearing and gear oil as needed. Check the chain to make sure it also is properly lubricated. A dry chain will wear out far more quickly. It should be oiled with food machine grade oil or better, based on USDA requirements.
Check Load Cells. Regularly The load cells need to be kept free of debris and obstructions. The best way to ensure that they are is by inspecting them from the ends with a flashlight. This should be done once a week. Another preventive maintenance item that should be conducted regularly is photo eye checking and adjusting. The entrance eye should be positioned so that the carcass weight is at its most stable point on the live rail. Usually, this is about 5 inches after the transition rail, but that can vary depending on chain speeds. The exit photo eye should be set to detect the trolley at the very end of the live rail. Finally, photo eyes are at their peak performance when the red L.E.D. is lit, so adjust them regularly.
Re-torque on a regular basis. First, make sure the load cell bolts are torqued to 118 ft-lbs. Second, check that the dead rail and the live rail bolts are torqued to 80 – 90 ft-lbs. with thread locking compound. used as a serviceable sealant.
Our in-motion shackle scale is built to be the best. These ideas will help keep yours that way longer.
That is why we make our in-motion shackle scale. It is a non-legal-for-trade, steel monorail scale that is built to be very strong, and it allows you to get weighments for each carcass that comes in to the plant. This offers far more accurate yield calculations, which is important information for management. Still, there are a few issues to avoid.
There is an ideal place to install your shackle scale on your line, but often it gets put into a poor location. The scale should optimally be placed shortly after some sort of trolley indexing system and the outbound area should tend to move carcasses away from the scale. Having a poor installation location could mean that carcasses don’t flow correctly over the scale. If carcasses get too close together, the scale could have multiple animals on it at once.
To protect the scale against this, we created it with extreme durability in mind. It has a 5000 lb capacity, which is more than enough for the biggest animals. This ensures that it won’t experience any mechanical failure from multiple carcasses stacking up on the scale.
Another thing to be concerned about is maintenance accessibility. Often, the incoming monorail is rather high up in the air, and this is normally where you would install the in-motion shackle scale. A scale at this height could be difficult to get to for cleaning and service.
Many plants solve this by installing some sort of platform which is accessed via a ladder or steps. This provides a manageable and safe work area for any maintenance technicians.
Lastly, it might be difficult to avoid, but sometimes animals might have involuntary reactionary movements which cause them to jolt while on the shackle. This can cause errors and fluctuations in your readings. About the only thing you can do in this situation is use a weight indicator filter to decrease the noise in your data.
Our shackle scale can take a beating and still you give you reliable data
, so if you are looking for something that can handle weighing whole animals before going through the protein harvesting process, it is your best in-motion option.
Imagine you have an incoming truckload of cattle heading to your plant. You know the average weight of the cattle by measuring them all at once on a livestock scale, or by measuring the truck after they are loaded up, but those numbers could be inaccurate.
You could have a variety of weights among the cattle.
This would mean that your average is going to be off for some cattle more than others.
This is easily remedied by installing a shackle scale.
Click here for our brochure on WeighMore® In-Motion Heavy Duty Shackle Scales
After the cattle are knocked out before they are bled, the shackle scale, essentially a stronger, higher capacity version of our monorail scale, can take a weight of the animal before it is processed.
Compared to the 750 lb capacity monorail scale, the shackle scale can safely hold much more with a 4500 lb capacity.
What use is this?
To a producer, this number’s accuracy could mean a lot for profitability and business decisions.
With an accurate start weight, the producer can determine yield percentage/efficiency. This gives him a picture of how much meat/product he is getting per unit weight of the animal being harvested.
The producer expects a certain yield from the cattle.
With the shackle scale, he can determine why said cattle aren’t doing well.
They could just be smaller, or it could be that it hasn’t developed the expected level of muscle tone.
Premiums are paid for high-yield cattle and lot uniformity.
If a producer sees wild variations in yield and in weight between cattle from the same place, he might want to withhold premiums or look elsewhere for quality cattle.
This makes a shackle scale very important in gathering appropriate info to optimize profit.
If you are currently running a production facility based on yield per lot and want to start saving money by measuring yield per animal, then a shackle scale is the way to go.
The question, “Just how much information do we need?” is asked a lot.
Packers looking at “Shackle” or “Just Dead” scales are looking at the possibility of adding one more piece of information to the never ending needs of efficiency and profitability.
What will a “Just Dead”, blood in or blood out weight do for you?
It will give you a true measure of yield.
The yield can be caught at different points throughout the kill floor even all the way to exiting the cooler.
What would this data mean to you? The fact that it is an accurate yield has to offer comfort to your data as no assumptions on beginning weight are being made.
Assumptions are just that, they make us assume that a certain carcass had a starting weight of _ _ _ _ #?
What was the weight loss on mud, the hide, blood, bone, etc.?
The shackle scale will take this assumption out of the equation and provide quality data.
The shackle scale is a totally different scale than the monorail scale; it is the “bigger” brother of the in-motion monorail scales.
The scale has to be built heavier and stronger in order to accommodate the heavier weights, whole carcasses and the movement of the just stunned animal.
The scale has to be built to accommodate shackles instead of trolleys and it uses a heavier rail than the monorail does.The shackle scale will give you an accurate weight of each carcass ran across the scale; the weight, not legal for trade, can be recorded and transferred into a database system for accurate yield data.
The shackle scale is a great tool to be used along with systems that track carcasses throughout you plant.
Using it with systems like Trolley Vision® and the WeighMore® In-Motion Monorails, insure that you are at the top of the game in data collection.