X-Weigh feature identifies packaged product waste discrepancies
Published: 11 August 2020 - Michelle Lea
As a result of a clever innovation by ‘Check & Detect’ market leaders, LOMA SYSTEMS®, food manufacturers are able to provide retailers with assurances that their packaged products contain at least the quantity displayed on the label, and not less. Intended to be used to complement end-of-line checkweighing, the X-weigh feature is available on LOMA’s X5 X-ray system, is fast to set-up and uses algorithms to convert data from an image into a weight.
Food manufacturers, by law in the UK, should package their products to an average measurement that is on the label, ensuring that a random sample is packed according to the ‘three packers’ rule, whereby the contents of the packages must not be less, on average, than the weight on the label, only a small number can fall below a certain margin of error, known as the ‘tolerable negative error’ (TNE) and that no package can be underweight by more than twice the TNE.
Weight discrepancies in packaged goods can occur when products contain multiple sections - such as yogurts or ready meals. Whereas a checkweigher will only check the total weight, X-weigh will check all compartments separately providing both an overall and an individual weight for each. If there is too little of one component, potentially caused by an issue with a portioning machine, X-weigh will alert accordingly. The X-weigh feature is also unaffected by vibrations, belt speed and other factors that are known to degrade traditional checkweigher performance.
For the best weighing results when using the feature, the inspected product needs to be uniform/homogenous and consistent from pack to pack. To achieve optimum results with an inhomogeneous product, several samples of the product are needed to set the weight range. The more packs used, the better the X-weigh results.