Uphold Hygiene Standards Whilst Ensuring Weighing Accuracy

In the food production industry, there is nothing more crucial than keeping consumers safe from contamination – bacterial or otherwise. It is extremely important that production equipment is able to stand up to the rigorous cleaning routines required to maintain a hygienic environment without sacrificing accuracy.

Production line equipment, including checkweighers, must regularly complete mandatory, rigorous cleaning regimes to avoid bacterial contamination. But cleaning time equals downtime resulting in a reduction of production output and profits. 

Rigorous cleaning procedures are essential; however, the effectiveness of the cleaning process can be improved and the time it takes can be reduced by following these 3 tips.

1: Understand the hygienic design principles of production equipment
Having a hygienically designed inspection machine helps to avoid bacterial contamination. Hygienic design features, such as easily accessible machines, an open frame design with only four feet on the floor, sloped surfaces and an IP69 rating helps in withstanding thorough cleaning routines. 

2: Select inspection equipment with easily dismantled and reassembled conveyors
Conveyor belts and parts that can be removed intuitively and without requiring tools, dramatically reduce downtime and having parts designed following the poka-yoke principle assures error free and fast reassembly. This further reduces production downtime as the equipment is put back together correctly – and quickly – for the line to resume.

Manufacturers aiming for zero downtime during cleaning can deploy a second set of conveyor belts to resume production immediately after a product change over by switching the belts whilst the first set is being cleaned.

3: Uphold precision weighing irrespective of environmental conditions
A loadcell is the heart of a checkweigher, however, excessive fluctuations in temperature caused by, for example, high pressure cleaning with hot water can affect its performance. Manufacturers looking to uphold precision weighing irrespective of environmental conditions should consider Electromagnetic Force Restoration (EMFR) loadcells. These are more accurate, measure at a faster rate, and are temperature-stabilised compared to other loadcell types. This enables the manufacturer to resume production immediately after harsh washdown, without affecting accuracy and weighing results.