What Are Checkweigher Machines? Types, Methods, & Benefits

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TDI IXL Standard Checkweighers

Checkweighers help with quality control in food manufacturing. The short answer to “What are checkweighers?” is simple: These machines weigh items passing the production line.

There are several types of checkweighers on the market, and you must consider the specs of different systems before choosing one for your application. Learn about checkweighers and the advantages of using them in the food production process.

What Are Checkweighers?

Checkweighers are automatic machines that check product weights to ensure all item weights fall within the correct range. This helps food manufacturers reduce waste, comply with regulations, and ensure customer satisfaction.

How Do Checkweighers Work?

Checkweighers compare product weights against the weight limits you specify based on your guidelines to verify that all items going further down the production line are within the right limits. For example, if a product should weigh 50 grams, the machine will reject any item that deviates from this weight beyond the accepted variation.

Checkweighing machines typically include a monitor showing the item’s weight and a reject belt that steers over- or underweight products from the line.

Types of Checkweighers

strawberries on checkweighers conveyor belt

Static Checkweighers vs. In-Motion Checkweighers

Static checkweighers (a.k.a. manual checkweighers) weigh food products that aren’t in motion. Operators typically use this labor-intensive method for spot-checking and determining target weights.

In-motion checkweighers automatically weigh items that move on the production line. These highly efficient machines don’t need manual handling – systems often feature automatic removal devices like air jets or pneumatic pushers to eliminate items that fall outside the correct weight range.

Checkweighers Combined with Metal Detectors and X-Ray Systems

Some checkweighers also work in combination with food metal detectors and x-ray systems. These combo machines save space, and are more convenient than purchasing a checkweigher and detection machine separately.

Combination checkweigher and metal detector systems ensure product is within defined weight limits and free of metal contaminants.

Combination checkweigher and x-ray inspection systems are compact units offering flexibility in detecting many types of contaminants, as well as checking product weight.

Which Industries Use Checkweighers?

The product’s weight is critical in many industries. Checkweighers help ensure that any overweight or underweight products stay off the line rather than reach the market in an unacceptable condition.

Food Industry

If you work in the food industry, checkweighing is an indispensable part of quality control. A checkweigher helps guarantee that all your food products have consistent weights and match the pre-printed label with its nutritional and weight information. This also allows you to comply with industry standards.

Pharmaceutical Industry

Checkweighing is also crucial in pharmaceuticals. Checkweighers ensure accurate weight and dosage of medications and protect patient safety. High-precision checkweighers help pharmaceutical companies follow strict regulatory guidelines.

Packaging Industry

The packaging industry is part of all industries that use boxing, wrapping, bottling, or otherwise packaging consumer goods. Checkweighers verify that any product’s packaging is at the correct weight.

Consumer Goods Industry

Weight matters for practically any product that goes out to consumers. An efficient checkweighing process allows manufacturers to control the cost of goods, while consumers know they’re receiving carefully monitored, high-quality items.

Automotive Industry

Auto manufacturers use checkweighers to screen and weigh parts before the assembly line. This helps ensure consumers get quality cars and automotive parts while manufacturers preserve their reputations and avoid lawsuits.

What Are the Benefits of Using Checkweighers?

food factory worker inspecting bottled products

The next question after “What are checkweighers?” is often “How can these machines help me in my production niche?” Whatever type or scope of production plant you run, checkweighing comes with major advantages.

Quality Control and Assurance

Off-chart product weights are often the first and most obvious sign that something went wrong during production. If many products are significantly over- or underweight, this can help you spot and fix critical issues in the production line.

Compliance With Regulations and Standards

As a food manufacturer, you must ensure all your products weigh as close as possible to the values on the item’s label. An accurate checkweighing system will help you ensure regulatory compliance and prevent lawsuits.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

Modern checkweighers help production plants maintain quality without slowing down production. By quickly eliminating non-conforming products, checkweighers save money, prevent further production and shipping errors, and improve efficiency.

Reduction in Product Giveaway and Waste

By ensuring that products stay within the specified weight limits, checkweighers also reduce waste. Thanks to these systems, fewer incorrectly weighing products will reach consumers, which may lower the number of returns, re-processing, complaints, and money-back demands.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Checkweigher

It’s easy to see why checkweighers are so important, but what’s the best checkweighing system for your application? Accuracy, reliability, product specs, and budget are a few factors you should consider.

Throughput Requirements

Throughput determines how many items a checkweigher can screen within a specific time unit. You need a checkweigher that keeps up with your production demands. A checkweigher that’s too slow could reduce productivity and create costly downtime periods.

Accuracy and Precision Needs

Before you purchase a checkweigher, look into its precision level. Every checkweigher has a different maximum deviation from the target weight. If you produce items for which even a slight deviation would be unacceptable, it makes sense to invest in a high-precision checkweigher that ensures the correct product weight.

Product Characteristics

What type of products do you need the checkweigher to handle? Some checkweighers work great for bags and cans but are less suitable for tall bottles and other unstable items. Look into the checkweigher’s specs, like shape, height, belt dimensions, and more, to assess its compatibility with your products.

Integration with Existing Systems

Your new checkweigher should also be compatible with your existing quality control equipment. It should communicate with other equipment, like labeling machines or fillers, to ensure a streamlined workflow. Otherwise, you may need further equipment upgrades to prevent disruptions.

Also, consider the checkweigher’s ease of use. A user-friendly system with simple navigation, straightforward maintenance, and quick troubleshooting can make your life much easier.

Budget Constraints

It usually pays off to choose the best-quality checkweigher you can afford. However, you may need to compromise on certain features because of budget restrictions. Assess each system carefully and check whether it meets your needs without overburdening your finances. Opting for a combination system (checkweigher + metal detector/x-ray) may be more cost-effective than purchasing each piece of equipment separately.

Contact TDI Packsys To Find the Right Checkweigher

Now that you know the answer to “What are checkweighers?” it’s time to choose the right checkweighing system for your application.

Quality checkweighers by TDI Packsys help ensure your food products comply with regulations and go out to consumers at the correct weight. Our checkweighers are easy to clean and maintain, don’t require daily calibration, and come with a comprehensive annual support package.

Contact us to learn more about our checkweighers and choose the one that works best for your production line.

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