Darren Waplington, Product Manager
When it comes to the meat processing and poultry industry, fast and accurate checkweighing can make a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. To meet food safety standards and hygiene requirements, meat processors are highly focused on leveraging the most durable weighing solutions that are easy to clean. Microbiological cross-contamination in meat and poultry plants can pose a significant risk to human health. As such, the last thing any processor needs is critical weighing equipment turning out to be a breeding ground. The COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified the need for meat processors to comply with the stringent norms enforced by food safety departments. In a pandemic afflicted environment, where the virus can remain active on most stainless steel surfaces at lower temperatures for a long time, ensuring proper sanitization is all the more necessary to meet the new norms. Alongside this, it is crucial to deploy weighing systems that can streamline operations to maximize throughput and reduce giveaway or waste. This is where companies like Avery Weigh-Tronix can make a difference. One of the world’s leading suppliers of weighing solutions and service, Avery Weigh-Tronix brings over 250 years of experience and draws on the latest research and technology from around the globe to design, manufacture, install, and service a range of high-quality industrial products and weighing systems that are second to none. Avery Weigh-Tronix offers customers a complete package, from products and custom solutions to service and maintenance.
For almost any business-related weighing requirement, there is an Avery Weigh-Tronix solution—from checkweighers and bench scales to forklift scales, vehicle weighing, and everything in between. Avery Weigh-Tronix’s checkweighers feature stainless steel enclosures that are sealed up to IP69K to comply with washdown scenarios.
These checkweighers are ideally suited for food and beverage applications, as well as pharmaceuticals, transportation, and many others.
The company’s ZQ375 checkweigher is designed to meet the latest NSF/ANSI 3-A food safety standards, ideal for most poultry deconstruction lines. The product offers a robust reduced maintenance solution that is ideal for most food processing applications. "The ZQ375 has been designed to be food safe and can effectively remove all food bacteria traps and make regular cleaning fast and simple. Our ZQ375 is constructed from high quality food-grade 304 stainless steel with a fine grain brushed finish under Ra 0.8 μm that stop microorganisms from taking hold and growing on the surface and finished with an electropolished surface finish," explains Darren Waplington, Product Manager at Avery Weigh-Tronix. The product also provides IP69k protection, which allows it to effortlessly withstand rigorous high-pressure steam/ water cleaning up to 176˚F/80˚C at 1160-1450psi/80-100 bar; ideal to guarantee all surfaces are bacteria and virus free after cleaning.
The ZQ375 has been designed to be food safe and can effectively remove all food bacteria traps and make regular cleaning fast and simple
The ZQ375 static checkweigher was designed to be thoroughly used within the food industry. The system’s robust food-safe NSF-approved base design enables it to work at speeds that deliver stable and accurate weight reading under 0.5 seconds. It also comes with a full range of time-saving software features to improve daily throughput while reducing operator fatigue.
"Over the last 50 years, our instrumentation ranges have evolved into our latest ZM series. This utilizes some of the latest technology and components used in the market today. When developing the Z series, a lot of effort was put into the designing stage to eliminate unplanned components failure. Our goal was to utilize only high quality componentry to help reduce unwanted failures," explains Waplington.
The ZM series comes with a wide range of connectivity and application programs to allow data to be quickly gathered to meet most customers’ application needs. The ZM and ZQ range can easily be set up to provide a wide range of useful data that can be requested, captured, or transferred to PCs or smart devices. The ZM and ZQ375 can also capture or feed other valuable line data back to supervisors or quality personnel to allow regular monitoring of the line performances and provide early warnings to ensure reliable, functional, and efficient equipment at all times. The ZQ375 has been designed to do more than just simple checkweighing. Due to its outstanding accuracy and connectivity of this scale, many ZQ375 checkweighers are also being used by quality inspection teams to monitor changes within the lines’ performance or processes. All of them can be easily captured and transferred for closer analysis by using either a USB drive or one of the many data port access points found on the ZQ375. The ZQ375 has also been programmed, with several special food application programs, to cover specialized food processes and quality requirements to check and monitor the weight gain percentage when processing meats and poultry. The company also offers weight grading programs to sort different cuts of meat.
With such market-leading products, Avery Weigh- Tronix helped one of its clients that required a very accurate static checkweigher set up in a critical area of their process line to monitor and check the product remains within the correct weight tolerance. This required regular checks every 15 minutes by the machine operator. While the operator conducted regular checks and adjusted the equipment when needed, the client also needed their quality team to capture this data. However, the equipment's position in the production line and the hygiene requirements made it expensive to install new data transfer lines. This issue was easily solved with the ZQ375 checkweigher by utilizing its onboard data storage and the built-in USB port. This allowed the data to be fully captured by the operator and automatically stored inside the scale. The quality team could quickly download this data without stopping or slowing down the production line in any way.
For the future, Avery Weigh-Tronix will continue to develop and improve its food processing equipment and software application packages to make them even more accurate and reliable and meet the growing needs of customers.