Force measurement for efficiency in food processing and packaging
When we think of force measurement and its relationship to product development, we often consider the aerospace, automotive, or industrial industry; However, Interface has supplied sensors for industrial automation solutions to thousands of customers using stock sensors as well as custom application specific sensors for OEM equipment in the food processing and packaging industries for many years. years. Many Interface customers use load cells and torque sensors to test and develop machinery used in the consumer packaging industry.
Interface is the manufacturer of a complete line of load cells providing the food processing and packaging industry with sensor technologies that increase efficiency and reduce waste. Like many industrial facilities, organizations are striving to integrate new technologies and automation that make processes faster, more adaptable and smarter.
One of the key factors in creating a smarter factory is using force measurement sensors designed to collect data at every stage of production, as well as monitoring the equipment used for performance optimization. .
If you’ve ever wondered how a pill, candy or can gets a little logo on it without crushing it or how every bag of chips is filled to nearly the same capacity, chances are a cell load or a torque sensor was involved.
Interface has a wide variety of accurate and reliable precision-based sensors used for various applications in food processing and packaging. Our customers use miniature load cells in the production line to apply the exact force needed to gently press a logo onto an edible product. We have others that use Interface’s multi-axis sensors to verify the accuracy of intricately machined parts while moving through the manufacturing process.
Below are additional examples that highlight real-world application use cases in food processing and packaging. Further industrial application highlights can be found in our solution overview by click here.
Commercial food processing
A food processing plant wanted accurate results from their moving checkweigher when food is weighed and processed while moving along the belt. A checkweigher is an automated machine for checking the weight of packaged products. This included ensuring production line efficiency and food quality, real-time food weighing results, and a load cell capable of withstanding the polluted environment of the food industry.
Interface offered a solution using multiple SPI high capacity platform load cells that could be installed in the customer’s equipment used on the production line where the product is weighed on the conveyor. SPI high capacity platform load cells provide accurate weight data. When connected to the 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Checker, the solution provides the customer with real-time food weight results. The 920i Programmable Weight Indicator and Checker can also read up to four scale channels in real time. Processing efficiencies were visualized and managed during the weighing process to optimize control and production.
Distribution and weighing of water bottles
A beverage bottle manufacturer wanted to dispense the correct amount of liquid into their bottles and then weigh their bottles to make sure it matched the weight listed on their product packaging. This is both to minimize waste, but also to meet the normative requirements noted on the packaging. The interface suggests using the MBP miniature beam load cell and fixing it under a plate or platform on which the water bottle is placed while it is filled with fluids. The force weight is measured by the MBP Miniature Beam Load Cell and connected to the 9870 High Performance High Speed TEDS ready indicator where the results are captured, displayed and recorded by the customer using their load machines. assembly of water bottles. With this solution, the water bottle manufacturer received highly accurate results from each water bottle weighed in real time, using precision to reduce waste and speed up processing time.
Snack Weighing and Packing Machine
A snack manufacturing brand wanted to weigh the amount of consumable food product automatically dispersed into the bags during the packaging process. In this case, they had to weigh their packaged chips and ensure that the chips had the exact weight needed due to regulatory standards. Interface’s solution was to use multiple SPI platform load cells and install them on the potato multi-head weigher and packing machine. The SPI platform load cells were installed inside the bracket that secures the weigh head to the packaging machine. The potato chip bag filling force results are read by the load cells and sent to the ISG isolated DIN rail mount signal conditioner, where the customer was able to control the automated production from their control center.
The customer was able to determine the weight of the chips distributed in their bags with very precise results. They were also able to control the automated production process with the instrumentation provided. They will use this same weighing method for other snacks that require packaging using the same sensor solutions.