How to Weigh Properly and Maximize Profits: An Introductory Guide to the Advantages of Using a Checkweigher

In a global economy, the finer details of a business model set individual enterprises apart. Due to an increase in competition, consumers now have increased buying power. Increasingly, a company’s on-the-ground equipment catalog can provide them with a competitive advantage against leaders in their industries. Imagine two companies that specialize in distributing a single bulk product. If the product is more or less identical, what will prompt a consumer to choose one company over the other? The price point is often the deciding factor when making this kind of choice. This begs the question: what factors into making a product cheaper for a consumer? If one of these two companies uses a more traditional method to package the product, chances are their costs will be higher. However, if the other company uses a device like a checkweigher, they more than likely will be able to cut labor costs drastically and sell their product for a lower rate.

High-speed checkweighers are weighing solutions that offer a whole host of benefits to their users. When placed in tandem with other production devices, checkweighers can greatly increase productivity. On their own, industrial check weighers negate human error, ensure government compliance, and increase product output. Despite the comparatively high cost of purchasing a checkweigher, the return on investment is incredibly high. But, before you can get a better sense of all the advantages of using a checkweigher, it is first important to understand what exactly these devices are and what they do. 

What Is a Checkweigher? 

A checkweigher is a machine that weighs items as they move through a production line. These devices are rugged and large, and they come equipped with a conveyer belt that sends items over scales. Most checkweighers possess the following traits:

  • State-of-the-art, high accuracy digital scales 
  • Removable parts for deep cleaning 
  • High-speed FDA compliant anti-bacterial conveyor belts 
  • Easy to troubleshoot LED control panels
  • Reject-sorting apparatuses 

Industrial checkweighers are designed to carry and convey heavy loads and multiple products. In fact, the Yamato I Series can weigh 300kg loads with pinpoint accuracy. The parts are removable and easy to clean, which means that a business can use the device to weigh multiple products. Regardless of whether your business weighs wet or dry products, a single checkweigher can measure both. 

How Does a Checkweigher Work?

Yamato I series checkweigher with LED monitor system

As items are sent down the line and through the device, the built-in scales weigh the products within .07g. Workers can program the device to weigh up to 480 individual parts per minute. The rate, coupled with the accuracy, produces results no human could hope to produce. Additionally, the programmer can set individual parameters (both weight and size) for various kinds of packages. If a product registers outside of these parameters, the checkweigher will automatically remove the product from the production line. At that point, a worker can easily reconfigure the product and send it back through for further verification.

Overall, you can think of an industrial checkweigher as a regulator for your production line. If there is an error, the machine will flag it for a worker to re-evaluate. If the checkweigher itself experiences a technical error, it will alert the worker and provide a way to fix the error. The device’s main objective is to make sure that everything is uniform and in compliance with your industry’s guidelines. Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of checkweighing, here are the benefits of using them.

Checkweighers Keep Your Business Compliant

Perhaps the most important reason to invest in a checkweigher is the fact that they will keep your business compliant. Compliance means different things for different companies, but most industries adhere to federal statute. If your business is in the food industry, you will have to adhere to FDA guidelines. These rules and regulations dictate weighing and packaging best practices. Businesses who do not play by the rules run the risk of incurring fines or lawsuits. To make matters more complicated, some businesses even have guidelines within guidelines.

For example, some produce distributors must adhere to certified organic guidelines in addition to FDA regulations. According to certified organic guidelines, organic products cannot touch conventional products or surfaces. This means that checkweigher operators would have to fully sanitize their weighing devices before allowing an organic product to touch it. Weighing solutions such as the Yamato J Series Checkweigher ensures that everything is properly weighed and handled before being packaged. Again, checkweighers remove human error and handle everything in the same manner. Utilizing one of these machines will ensure that your company follows all the pertinent weighing and handling regulations.   

In addition to handling issues, checkweighers assure your company that every single package weighs the same (within a very narrow margin of error). It is important to follow federal statute, but it is also important to provide a standard product to your consumers. If you produce and sell an inconsistent product, this will reflect poorly on your business’ image. By using a fool-proof weighing device, you will provide your customers with the same product every time.

Checkweighers Catch More Mistakes 

In an intense warehouse situation, human workers are prone to make mistakes. Even the smallest of errors, if repeated at an industrial scale, can add up to vast sums. It is difficult to quantify how many errors the average human worker makes per shift. However, according to a case study, a Yamato checkweigher reduced Tasteful Selections’ giveaway by 4%. If a business generates one million dollars over the course of a year, 4% savings would equal $40,000! These savings would be attributable to one machine. By automating your weighing processes, you stand the chance of catching costly errors that can set your business back.    

In addition to addressing weight measurement mistakes, checkweighers also reduce sorting mistakes. On a rapid production line, humans can mistakenly sort out perfectly fine products once an individual product has been flagged as faulty. This happens less frequently than giveaway or mismeasuring, but sorting errors do happen. Fortunately, checkweighers weigh and sort out faulty products in one continuous action. Furthermore, when an item has been flagged as faulty, the easy-to-read LED monitor will provide a solution regarding how to make the flagged item compliant.     

Checkweighers Are More Efficient Than Human Workers

As mentioned earlier, workers can program the measuring speed of a checkweigher. These devices measure up to 480 units per minute. This means that a Yamato device can weigh over 230,000 units in a single 8-hour shift! The speed coupled with the slim margin of error (+/- 0.07g per item) translates into higher profit margins and lower labor costs. A worker will need to reload the conveyor belt with products that have been flagged as faulty; additionally, if multiple products need to be weighed, a worker will have to power wash the device. But, aside from these low-maintenance requirements, human workers will be able to perform other essential tasks while the checkweigher does the rest of the work. 

Checkweighers Can Correct Themselves and Report Real-Time Errors

Depending on the configuration of your checkweigher, you can retrieve information regarding many aspects of your production line. These scales are able to audit their own performance. Once a scale operator has imputed the correct information, a checkweigher will catalog any and all weighing errors. Each checkweigher comes equipped with an easy-to-read LED monitor (available in multiple languages) that will provide comprehensive reports. These reports will provide the operator with a solution and method of implementation. Most operators will be able to address these issues with relative ease.

On a separate note, if a majority of the products being inserted into and weighed by the checkweigher are flagged, you will know that your pre-weigh portion of your production line is performing tasks improperly. Similarly, if weighing errors arise after the products have been packaged, you will know that something happened between the initial weighing process and the packaging process. Due to a checkweigher’s high accuracy, you will no longer have to wonder which portion of your production line is responsible for generating errors. From there, you can make adjustments and streamline each aspect of your workflow.    

What If I Need More Information about Checkweighers? 

Checkweighers are incredibly complex machines despite the fact that they are simple to operate. That said, if you have read through this information and still have questions, Yamato is here for you. Yamato has offices in Wisconsin, California, and Mexico, and we offer training to companies that use our checkweighers. We have served multiple industries for over 100 years, and we are confident that we can answer any and all questions you might have about our equipment. 

If you are looking to streamline your workflow and increase your profits, a Yamato scale can help maximize your business’ efficiency. For more information about our training services and product catalog, contact a Yamato expert today. Together, we can help save your company money and give you a competitive edge in your industry!