Checkweigher monitors filler-head performance

Lisa McTigue Pierce in Inspection on June 27, 2017

Because product giveaway = profit giveaway, you need to fix inefficient filling lines as soon as you can. A new option on the Versa checkweigher identifies when the filling machine produces overweight packages—as well as underweight ones—to help you keep fillers working at peak performance.

From Thermo Fisher Scientific, the Versa checkweigher—when equipped with this feature—will monitor the operation of up to 16 filling valves for liquid or viscous products: Think condiments, sauces, peanut butter, dairy foods, and personal care products like lotions, soaps and shampoos.

Alarms can be set to warn of deviations, up or down, from the ideal weight range. The system will also keep track of high consecutive rejects. All this is done in real time, so you can take necessary steps to maintain optimum accuracy throughout the production run and prevent problems. Remote monitoring is possible through Versa’s Modbus protocol.

Rick Cash, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s checkweigher product manager for product inspection, explains what’s involved in implementing this solution.


Fillers have been able to monitor and report on the accuracy of individual heads for a while now. What’s the benefit of having the checkweigher do this, instead of the filler?

Cash: This system is for fillers that do not have weighing capability. Monitoring flow is a good metric of performance but is not the same as weight.


What extra checkweigher setup is needed to connect it to the filler/filling valves?

Cash: The checkweigher needs a synchronizing pulse from the filler—every fill cycle—to identify when the leading bottle arrives at the checkweigher.


How does the checkweigher get that synchronized pulse from the filler?

Cash: The filler triggers a pulse upon the completion of a cycle and the subsequent release of the bottles, delaying the pulse until the initial container is about to reach the checkweigher.

The signal is a simple two wire D.C. logic signal sent to the data out of the checkweigher. The signal must be held high for a specified number of milliseconds prior to the arrival of the first container from each filler cycle. There is no other technology required.


What types of fillers does this work with?

Cash: Volumetric liquid or viscous product fillers. Also, those that have 16 heads or less, and a synchronizing pulse that properly identifies the leading bottle from every fill cycle.


How much does this optional feature cost?

Cash: It adds approximately 10% to 12% to the price of a checkweigher.

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