A weighing process is essential to verify the load weights for inbound ingredients and outgoing products. This critical step ensures the dispatch workflow process is accurate and efficient.
Performing the weighing correctly can prevent a number of errors, which can have monetary, logistic and security consequences. Sources of error can be due to the environment, the balance, or the weighing technique.
Identify the Sample
Incorrect portioning of ingredients during manufacturing processes results in a quality of products that doesn’t meet production standards and can damage company reputation and profits. To avoid these issues, companies need to make sure that their weighing systems deliver consistent and accurate results.
To do this, they should be able to accurately track and store data based on pre-programmed user-defined criteria. This can be accomplished through routine checkweighing and other automated procedures.
A few factors can complicate the weighing process. For example, if a sample is transferred incorrectly or if the barcode is damaged on a bottle, the results can be skewed. These problems can be avoided with the right technology. For example, using an analytical balance with a barcode reader like the LeDoser-12 can help you avoid these errors by tracking your samples in real time. This also helps you prevent data loss and reduce the amount of manual processing required. Also, avoiding physical changes in the sample can improve accuracy.
Place the Sample on the Balance
Before any readings are taken, the balance should be “exercised” by placing a load equal to its maximum capacity and arresting it (or removing the weight from electronic balances). This helps improve the repeatability of the measurements.
The location of the balance should be selected carefully to avoid exposure to vibrations, humidity, temperature fluctuations and drafts as these can distort weighing results. Ideally, the balance should be placed on a stable platform in an area that is free from other laboratory equipment and a low-traffic zone.
Consider the Temperature – Both the sample, the glassware or plasticware and the hands that are touching the scale can affect the accuracy of the measurements if they’re not at the correct temperatures. This is especially important for volatile or hygroscopic samples, which can absorb moisture and cause the weight to change.
For chemically sensitive weighing applications, special glazed paper is available that can be used to hold the sample and protect it from contamination during measurement. The weighed container can then be tared on the paper before being removed from the pan to ensure that the reading is accurate.
Take the Readings
In order to obtain accurate weight results it is important to record the readings during the weighing process. A good practice is to tare the balance with a standard object such as a beaker prior to taking every reading (the mass of the beaker plus the zero displayed should equal zero). Also, make sure you are using a clean glass or stainless steel pan and that the balance is not overheated. It is also a good idea to take calibration and/or test weights on a routine basis to ensure accuracy. This will help eliminate errors caused by environmental conditions such as air temperature, humidity and vibrations that affect the weighing results.
Record the Readings
Weighing is a non-contact process that measures material quantity without correction factors for bulk density. It’s a popular method of quantifying packaged products in the food industry.
When a load is placed on the scale pan, it causes the load cells to sense a change in electrical signal proportional to the weight. This signal is summed in a junction box and sent via one cable to a weight controller that converts the summed signals into a weight reading.
Recording weight measurements accurately is crucial to the weighing process. This ensures that the reading is correct & eliminates errors due to transcription. It also makes it easier to compare results from different weighing sessions to identify any inconsistencies.
Michelli Weighing & Measurement incorporates data tracking capabilities into many of our weighing systems to automatically record information for our customers. This helps them monitor operations & improve productivity. For example, if an employee receives a high number of over/under weight rejections during 1 shift, management can review the records to identify the source of the problem.