What are the various weighing , inspection and detection systems? How do they work? And what innovations are occurring with these machines?
Control and overseeing of a product in the confectionery and food sector is highly paramount in ensuring the high-quality management of a production line. Without production control the item becomes more susceptible to inaccuracies, contamination and product waste. There are various systems and machines in place that allow for this accurate inspection to occur. They are known simply as weighing and detection systems. Weighing and detection systems have been around for a few decades meaning that there is still plenty of room for innovation to occur within this niche sector. With that being said, this feature wishes to assess the various innovations occurring in the weighing and detection sector, and how these systems are becoming more energy efficient, simplistic, hygienic and cost effective.
What are weighing and detection systems
To put it as simply as possible, weighing systems are the technologies that accurately weigh the product to ensure that the right amount of a given commodity is being distributed evenly amongst each packaged good or fits within the specified limits. Detection systems on the other hand scan the various products to see whether there is any contamination or inconsistencies in the product design. This part of the production process happens towards the end of production after all the sweet treats have been cooked and formed.
In the past, weighing and detection would be done by hand, where an owner of a confectionery store would pick up a collection of weights and measure them for the quantity to match the given cost of the product. Detecting would also be done by eye which leads to the possibility of products being missed. However, the invention of the checkweigher led to great strides in this industry. A checkweigher is an automatic machine that checks the weight of packaged commodities and any packed goods that is outside the tolerance zone is taken out of the line through an automated process. Furthermore, the incorporation of X-Ray inspection systems are used within factories to replace human detection methods. This detection method is growing in popularity as it promotes safety and brand protection. But how do these two devices work?
How do checkweighers and X-Ray detectors work
X-Ray detectors are fairly straightforward to understand. Just as a typical x-ray works, a high amount of energy is utilised to penetrate through solid materials which can then be transferred into a radiograph which allows for objects to be seen in a clearer manner as well as allowing the capability to pinpoint its exact location. By also penetrating inside the product, the image of the interior is exposed without damaging the structural integrity of the given product. X-Ray’s also work in real-time, meaning that an understanding of what is in a product can be discovered in a very fast manner. This type of detection is needed for contaminants such as glass, hair, metal, jewellery and fingernails to be detected – all things that have been regularly found in food products.
Read more of this article in our latest edition here: March 2022 Single Issue form – International Confectionery Magazine (in-confectionery.com)