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

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Food processing is about accuracy and carefulness, so weighing products, especially raw ones, is crucial. 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 the different types of weight grader, and the roles they play in the food processing industry. 

Why Weigh?

Weighing is an essential part of the food production process, and applications can be found across every food processing plant, regardless of industry. Weighing happens early in the production process, such as when incoming products arrive at the receiving dock or weighing and labeling finished goods boxes as they move into inventory.

Another crucial role played by weighing instruments happens during the construction of product recipes, where ingredients must be dosed with extreme accuracy to ensure products taste the same in every batch.

Scales also help processors reach their production requirements and reduce the risk of creating out-of-spec products. A failure to accurately measure edible products could jeopardize consumers’ health and subject producers to fines for non-compliance with food service regulations. 

As you can imagine, the importance of weighing during food processing means that businesses must invest in accurate, high-quality food scales for every production stage. 

Applications of weighing scales in food production

Weighing is essential, yet every production stage is different, so there are many steps and uses for 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. Undoubtedly, weighing is crucial in determining the quantity and quality of the products producers deliver to their customers. For example, when it comes to seafood, fish to be particular, sorting fish according to size and weight is essential, as it will determine the product’s final price.

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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 exist in the food processing industry? Let’s clear things up and look at the most common variations 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 products. 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 the production areas of the plant. Processors use the scales to weigh larger products like combos, steel bins, and trollies.
  • Bench Scales are the ideal method of weighing for food production due to their high readability and lower capacity. In other words, they can be highly precise and able to weigh small individual food items with a high degree of accuracy. 
  • Counting Scales allow for the efficient weighing of a high volume of identical parts. This can be very useful when the same ingredient is used repeatedly in a batch, and 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 a predetermined range.

Weighing scales used in food processing

It’s no secret that ingredients pass through numerous quality control steps during food processing. And as we discussed before — accurately weighing ingredients is essential for 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 valuable feature to have, especially when products are on their way to being sorted and packed. And to control the manufacturing even more, there 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 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 that 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 the needed weight, the product will be transferred to the exit gate with the lowest possible up-weight compared to other gates. And what are the main benefits?  

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

Final thoughts

As we discussed, the weight grader is an essential tool when it comes to food processing. Whether you process vegetables, meat, or seafood, you cannot skip the weighting process. So, it’s imperative 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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