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Weighing Solutions for the Food and Beverage Industry
The convenience of our extremely varied diet is due in large part to the development of industrial food processing in the 19th and 20th centuries, which resulted in the production of packaged foods, flavored drinks and health beverages, instant meals, canned foods and more.
Yet these conveniences wouldn’t be possible without the technology that drives high volume production. At the heart of these systems is the industrial scale. Without accurate measurements of ingredients, products would not have the taste, look, and consistency we rely on.
When everything runs smoothly, the overall quality of processed foods is increased while the amount of raw material required is decreased, which in turn lowers manufacturing costs and waste. Accurate industrial scales help keep everything running properly and ensure that formulas are strictly followed while ensuring food manufacturers stay productive, profitable and competitive.
Importance of Proper Weighing Practices
Different equipment and processes at food storage sites are often exposed to various temperatures and environmental factors. To cope with these unique environments, it’s important to take necessary measures to protect your weighing equipment. Several recommended weighing practices include:
In food areas that require varying temperatures, there is a high likelihood that liquid may accumulate on your scales and those food particles may stick to them as well. This can affect the accuracy of weight readings. It’s important that scale surfaces remain clean at all times. Contact your scale manufacturer to learn appropriate techniques and materials that can be used to clean your scale.
With the propensity for measurement inaccuracies, it’s important to regularly calibrate your scales. It’s also important to factor in the disparity between a food’s weight under normal conditions and also when frozen, if applicable. Some scale manufacturers make the calibration process extremely time-consuming, which should be a factor when choosing a scale to use in the food industry.
All of our scales leave our New York factory fully calibrated and ready to go to work for you. Through our self-calibration scale feature, should your scale ever need calibration, it can easily be done out in the field, without having to take your scale out of service.
This allows for the compensation of temperature variations and other environmental and equipment factors. While many scale manufacturers make scale calibration extremely difficult, if not impossible without a manufacturer or dealer’s assistance, at Arlyn Scales, our calibration process is extremely easy and can be done right from your digital display.
Understanding the Environment
Different food products require different temperatures for packaging, processing, and storage. It’s incredibly important to understand how these temperatures will affect your scales to take the necessary steps to protect your weighing instruments from rust, cracks, and pitting, among other damaging elements. Depending on the scale that you choose, environmental factors like draft can have significant effects on the accuracy of your weight readings.
Arlyn Scales – Industrial Scales for the Food Industry
At Arlyn Scales, we’ve been leaders in the scale industry for more than three decades. We’ve used our 30+ years of experience to develop a wide variety of industrial scales that can help improve productivity among our customers in the food industry. We currently offer a variety of different scale models to meet your needs, including:
- Bench Scales
- Ultra Precision Scales
- Drum Scales
- Cylinder Scales
- Platform Scales
- Floor Scales
Our stainless steel platform scales are available in 500 lb. and 1,000 lb. maximum capacities. The 500 lb. model has a resolution of 0.1 lb., while the 1,000 lb. model has a resolution of 0.2. lb. We offer a variety of platform sizes that range up to 48 in. sq. Our stainless steel floor scales are available with several maximum capacities including:
- 2,500 lb. x 0.5 lb.
- 5,000 lb. x 1 lb.
- 10,000 lb. x 2 lb.
- 20,000 lb. x 5 lb.
Regardless of the model you choose, all of our scales are built to withstand many of the challenging environmental factors seen on a daily basis in the food industry.
A few of the features of our scales that help separate ourselves from other food scale manufacturers include
Stainless Steel Load Cells
Load cells are undoubtedly the most important component of any industrial scale. While many manufacturers will cut costs by fabricating their load cells out of plated steel or aluminum, at Arlyn Scales, the majority of our load cells are built using stainless steel. This helps to add an additional layer of durability to our scales that isn’t often seen from other manufacturers.
Other companies may attempt to use fancy materials on other areas of their scales to make them appear more rugged when in reality, components such as the load cells are built using vastly inferior materials. We understand that many of our larger scales may be used in the food industry and have made the commitment to always use stainless steel load cells on these models.
Aside from the benefits of customization, manufacturing our scales in the U.S. allows us to sell our scales factory direct to our customers. This has helped us offer our scales at highly competitive prices, while not having to sacrifice our scale quality or features. We do not utilize a dealer network and have instead chosen to build strong and direct relationships with our customers.
Stainless Steel Material and Coating
Sanitation is critical when it comes to food production. There are many regulations and guidelines that must be followed, which means equipment needs to be easy to clean. Sterilization is a frequent process that equipment must be durable enough to withstand.
Equipment must also be able to withstand the production environment, which can mean extreme hot and cold temperatures, acidic ingredients, liquids, and other corrosive elements.
Stainless steel is the preferred material in these kinds of operations because it’s easy to clean, resistant to corrosion, and durable enough for heavy, consistent use.
Our platform scales and floor scales are both available in full stainless steel construction to meet the stringent guidelines that must be followed in a production plant while being rugged enough for constant use.
User-Friendly Touchscreen Displays
While we still offer our more basic, digital indicator, we’ve recently released our UpScale Touchscreen indicator, which puts a wealth of scale features directly at your fingertips. Powered by a Quad Core processor and a 7-inch IPS widescreen display, you’ll no longer have any problems reading weights from the crystal clear digital display. In addition, your employees will quickly master the touchscreen functions, as if they were using their favorite tablet at home.
Optional Set Point Controller
While Arlyn is a scale manufacturer and distributor, we also design and develop accompanying solutions like our set point controller.
This device is an add-on that allows you to automate your batching and filling processes. With it, you can set up to eight target weight values that the scale uses to signal the ignition or shut down of equipment like mixers, motors, feeders, valves, solenoids, and other computerized devices.
So let’s say that you’re pumping 50 lbs. of vanilla extract into a mixing vat. The pump would be connected to your scale holding the container of vanilla extract. When the pump reaches the target weight of 50 lbs. it would shut off. However, there would still be some residual liquid left in the pump and pipes. If you wanted to clear them, you could use the set point controller to set two target weights – one at 46 lbs. and one at 50 lbs. When the pump reached the first target weight, it would slow the flow down to a trickle and when it reached the second, it would shut off completely, stopping the flow without leaving liquid in the system.
Datalogging, Transmission, and Complex Label Printing
While our scales offer a wide array of connectivity options, one that is often used in the food industry is our data logging functionality. Many of our customers in the food industry must place their scales in areas that are not easily accessible by a PC. This makes it difficult to use some of our connectivity methods such as USB, Ethernet or WiFi.
To address this issue, we’ve added the “data logging” feature to our scales, which allows our customers to connect a USB drive directly to one of our scales to quickly download weight data. After downloading this data, customers can then access and analyze it on a computer at a later time. This allows users to still have the accuracy of computer-based weight readings, without having to ever connect their scale to a network or PC.
Our scales can also be equipped with the connection ports that match your operational needs. Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Cloud, flash drive, USB, RS-232, RS-485, analog 4 – 20 ma, and other ports are all available. Depending on the port(s) you choose, you may have the ability to monitor and control your scales from a remote location, import scale data directly into Excel spreadsheets or Access database files, print complex labels with various details about a particular batch or shipping information, or connect to other programmable logic controllers and devices.
Custom Scales and Equipment
While our standard models offer a variety of styles, platform sizes, maximum capacities and resolutions, your production equipment may have limited floor space, unique size requirements, or need another piece of equipment to sit on the platform. We offer custom size platforms with no additional cost penalty so you can get the made-to-order scale you need without having to pay extra for it. We can also manufacture a completely custom system based on your needs.
If you operate an OEM system that requires a weighing component rather than a full scale, we can fabricate those instruments for you. And if you have a unique weighing need that you haven’t been able to find a viable solution for, we urge you to contact us and let our engineers get to work on a solution.
With the features and considerations you need for your food production, our team at Arlyn Scales is happy to report that we have a number of scales that fit the bill. Contact us today and explore our featured scales.
Learn more about Weighing Solutions for the Food and Beverage Industry
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Weighing Solutions for the Food and Beverage Industry Application Notes
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