Lock Inspections Systems has specified a custom-designed solution that has increased production efficiency while also protecting fruit and vegetables against bruising.
Exotic Farms produces and distributes exotic fresh fruit and vegetables to supermarkets and retail outlets throughout the UK. With quality an imperative, the challenge facing Lock was to design and commission a checkweighing system to verify the weight of delicate products, without bruising or damaging them. Lock customised its WeighChek checkweigher to incorporate a diverter arm reject mechanism. By smoothly diverting unwanted product onto another conveyor, the device prevents impact or vibration that can be caused by the reject mechanism.
In addition, Exotic Farm wanted a facility to print weighing data locally at the end of each production session. Lock integrated printers into the checkweighing systems, enabling line and maintenance personnel to analyse data and identify areas for improvement on the spot.
Lock claims the machine's touch-screen display panel is simple to operate and that the menu-structure is easy to follow, making training and set-up straightforward. Automated validation of bag weights and piece count eliminates the need for human intervention, as well as ensuring compliance with label claims and weighing legislation.
"It was Lock's flexible approach coupled with the WeighChek's easy operability which led us to invest in their checkweighing equipment. Instead of pushing a standard system at us, Lock's engineers listened to our requirements and developed a checkweighing system which met our specification exactly;" said Keith Hearne, NPD & Engineering Manager at Exotic Farms.
Lock supplies metal detection and checkweighing equipment to manufacturers in the food and pharmaceutical industries world-wide. The group has direct sales and service operations in the Netherlands and France, in addition to its manufacturing facilities in the UK and USA.