Weighty argument

12 February, 2010
With more emphasis on minimal wastage, getting the right weigher is important. We look at four systems offering different advantages
Page 29 

The world's first integrated check weigher has been launched by Benier as part of a divider control system, which aims to optimise accuracy of dough weight.

The Benier Dough Controller is a check weigher that is integrated into the divider's Programmable Logic Control (PLC) to become part of the divider control system. There are three parts to the package the Dough Controller Check Weigher, a reject unit and a PLC upgrade module with both software and hardware.

This is said to be a huge improvement on current dough check-weighing systems, which are still predominantly standalone or even manual. With the new Dough Controller, the weighing function can now be totally integrated with the dividing process, cutting costs by increasing accuracy.

The Dough Controller checks the weight of the bread as it comes out of the moulder and then automatically adjusts the volumetric settings on the divider to ensure it makes the target weight.

The system works by measuring the weight of each individual dough piece, adding it to a running average and adjusting the divider volume settings accordingly. It is capable of running at speeds of up to 9,000 pieces per hour, making it ideal for industrial bakeries.

When combined with Benier's servo-driven Doughmaster divider, it has a module that monitors standard deviation and adjusts the main piston backstroke action at the dividing stage to further improve accuracy and assist dough quality. The end result is a better-quality baked product with total weight control, says the company.

All the operator's controls are visible on the divider control screen and all dough controllers can be accessed for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) over the divider PLC interface. SCADA is an industrial control computer system, which monitors and controls the overall process.

David Marsh. MD of Benier UK in Milton Keynes says: "Benier was at the forefront of combining dough check weighers with


CASE STUDY 1: Jackson's

Hull-based Jackson's Bakery has integrated its recipe formulation and average weight systems with new technology from Dataprocess Stevens.
It is claimed the new Vantage system ensures traceability, product consistency and virtually eliminates scrap batches. It also controls average weight legislation conformance and helps to ensure a consistent product with regard to size, shape and texture.
"We have relied upon Stevens' weighing systems since the early 1990s and they have become an essential tool," says Paul Berry, technical manager at Jackson's. "The latest integration with [business and accounting software] SAGE line 500 means we have one source of information instead of lots of small applications all out of sync with each other."
Under the new system, production requirements are displayed on the Vantage Touch Screen, enabling operators to select from the list of requirements, eliminating the need for a paper production schedule or a manual transfer of production data to a database. In the same way, lot numbers of each of the raw ingredients are recorded on the system, providing a comprehensive audit trail.
The Vantage system eliminates the risk of human error by prompting operators through the recipe formulation process, one ingredient at a time. This ensures that the weighing tolerances are met with no over- or under-weighing.
Information relating to lot number, batch number, ingredient usage and operator productivity is captured and sent to SAGE line 500, ensuring that the accounting department has the latest information. After the batches have been weighed, mixed and baked, the finished loaves are sampled using the Vantage Average Weight/SPC System. This sampling process involves operators taking samples from each batch of product and placing them on to the high-resolution scale connected to a Vantage terminal. After the samples have been taken, a 'pass' or 'fail' scenario is presented to the operators and the data is recorded electronically.





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