Weight grading in the food processing industry – what you need to know and what technologies to choose.

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Food processing is all about accuracy and scrupulousness. And weighing products, especially raw ones can be crucial in further processing. But why is it necessary? And how do you choose the best technologies? In this blog post, we will answer all the important questions about weight grading in the food processing industry.

Why Weigh?

Weighing is an essential part of the food production process applications can be found across every food processing plant no matter what your industry is. These weighing applications can be found as early in the production process as the weighing of incoming products on the receiving dock to the weighing and labeling of finished goods boxes going into inventory. Another crucial role weighing is playing in product recipes – measuring ingredients with extreme accuracy ensures they are distributed equally, and the product tastes the same in every batch.

 

And of course, scales help processors reach the production requirements and reduce the risk of creating an out-of-spec product, which can jeopardize the health of consumers and subject processors to fees for non-compliance with food service regulations. And to do so, processors must invest in accurate, high-quality food scales in every part of the production.

Applications of weighing scales in food production

Weighing is important, which we have cleared, but every stage of production is different, so there are many steps and many uses of weighing equipment. Let’s start with the first step of food production – harvesting or farming. Before raw ingredients are processed or used to manufacture other products, the first step involves farming or harvesting these ingredients. No doubt, weighing is crucial in determining the quantity and quality of the products they are delivering to their customers. For example, when it comes to seafood, fish to be particular, sorting fish according to size and weight is essential, as that will determine the price of the product.

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Scales for the Food Processing Industry

Alright, as we found out – food processing is not possible without weight grading, that’s for sure. But you might have a question – what kind of scales are there in the food processing industry? Let’s clear things out and look at the most common variations of scales typically used: 

  • Floor Scales can be found in multiple areas of a food processing plant, most commonly on receiving docks to weigh incoming pallets of product. And the main task for this kind of scale is to ensure what has been received matches what was ordered. Floor scales are also found in production areas of the plant, of course. Processors use them to weigh larger products like combos, steel bins of products, and trollies.
  • Bench Scales are the ideal method of weighing for food production. It has high readability and a lower capacity. In other words, it can be highly precise and able to weigh small individual food items with a high degree of accuracy. 
  • Counting Scales allow for efficiently weighing a high volume of identical parts. This can be very useful where the same ingredient may be used repeatedly in a batch. This weight measurement ensures the final product is consistent and of high quality.
  • Checkweighers or check weighing scales are useful weighing features that enhance efficiency in packaging and sorting procedures. They allow users to select a weight range and, in turn, accept or reject a product based on whether or not its weight falls within the predetermined range.

Weighing scales used in food processing

It’s no secret that during food processing, ingredients pass through numerous quality control steps. And as we discussed before – weighing ingredients accurately is essential in maintaining product consistency. But there is one setback – most of the scales used in this stage of food production have high readability but lower capacity. So, remember that check weighing can be a useful feature to have, especially when products are on their way to being sorted and packed. And to control the manufacturing even more – here are other useful features that include parts counting and batching.

Weight grading used in shipping and storage

The last step in the manufacturing process involves packing, shipping, and storing products. In this stage, heavy-duty platform scales provide the necessary capacity to measure products in crates, boxes, and pallets. To be honest, it’s also more convenient to weigh large quantities of packed products using a floor or platform scale used together with indicators for more accuracy. You may also fit floor scales with cages and railings to keep products secure while being weighed.

Introducing - PERUZA’s Flow weight grader

When it comes to fish processing, you should know – PERUZA is an expert. So, we have a new weight grading solution for you – The Flow weight grader. 

The Flow Weight Grader has been designed for continuous and fast fish dosing in boxes. The technique is simple and effective – it makes precise weighing of the fish and places them into relevant boxes. It can be enabled for grading fish in boxes by specific size, also considering their weight.

The product for grading is filled by the operator on an infeed Z-type conveyor – one product per pocket and it is transported and transferred to the acceleration conveyor. To be extra precise, each product is weighed separately in a flow-weight conveyor unit. And then the weight is compared to the correct exit gate grade and transported along the main conveyor to the corresponding exit gate. When boxes at several stations have reached close to the needed weight, the product will be transferred to the exit gate that has the lowest possible up-weight compared to other gates. And what are the main benefits? For example, 

  • Continuous grading process;
  • Precise and fast weighing;
  • Adjustable speed;
  • Requires only 1 operator at each gate.

Final thoughts

As we discussed, weight grading is very important when it comes to food processing. Whether you process vegetables, meat, or seafood, you cannot skip the weighting process. So, it’s really important to choose solutions that not only do the job right but help you speed up the process, just like PERUZA’s Flow weight grader. 

As robotics, automation, and machinery develop, you must look into the best possible solutions now. If you’re interested in learning more about how PERUZA can help you get the best results with your fish processing, feel free to get in touch at info@peruza.com, and we’ll be happy to discuss the possibilities of us creating something great for your fish processing business!

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