3-D weighing technology

Related tags Food processing companies Force Weight

As with many other food sectors, the meat processing industry loses
a considerable amount of money from wastage throughout the supply
chain. Danish firm Scanvaegt has come with a solution to help
manufacturers cut costs by limiting giveaway at an important stage
of the meat process.

The company has just launched ScanPortioner B55, a machine specifically designed for food processing companies that require portions with fixed weight and/or length. Scanvaegt claims that by accurately measuring the weight of each product, unnecessary giveaway is reduced to a minimum.

According to the company, errors can occur when scanning is less than perfect, and this leads to waste. In addition, the retail industry pays food processing companies on the basis of the weight printed on the pack - not the actual weight of the product in the pack. Packing net weight trays manually often leads to a give-away of more than 10 per cent, and the company claims this figure is up to 6 per cent or more for automated packing methods.

The ScanPortioner B55 limits wastage by providing manufacturers with 3-D scanning results that do not require corrections from weighing equipment. The system consists of 24 static precision scanners placed in a 360° circle around the conveyor avoiding unseen areas and shadow effects. There are no moving parts to jeopardise stability.

The firm also claims that the equipment gives manufacturers physical control of the product during the cutting process with adjustable V belts to reduce product movement, ensuring precise, consistent portions and optimal yield. Large doors that provide easy access for cleaning and maintenance.

There is also a quick-release open knife guide, which does not require continuous use of water and helps make cleaning quick and easy. Operating costs are therefore reduced. Automatic calibration makes it possible to change product set-ups in seconds (up to 90 customer-specified programs available), giving the manufacturer a highly flexible portioning solution.

Weighing has also become an important ID point in the process flow, and a means by which a manufacturer can trace a particular product. Each formulation or batching step within a production order provides an opportunity to identify and/or mark a particular component. This is especially important considering the traceability regulations about to come into force in the EU. This legislation, which comes into force in the EU in January 2005, states that food manufacturers have to be able to show that they can trace products right through the food chain. "Traceability is all about record keeping,"​said Scot McLeod, Ross Systems vice president for marketing, North America. "It means keeping track of raw materials through to shipping a final product, and everything in between."

Scanvaegt has a history of innovation in the field of meat processing. The company invented the multi-channel grader in 1978 to allow food processing companies to grade and portion fresh food products to fixed weights. Since then, the company has worked on new technologies and techniques required for efficient net weight packing.

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