Automation and control specialist, A&D Australasia , were recently commissioned by a leading Australian beverage producer to design and manufacture a waste reduction weighing system that could accurately account for stock discrepancies arising after raw materials were utilised in production processes.
A typical process for this beverage producer involved the stores preparing raw materials for each product run, such as liquids, powders, caps, labels, and packaging. On completion of that batch run, production would have the remaining stock of various materials in part measures, for example, half a roll of labels, and quarter of a tub of flavouring.
These remaining quantities seldom matched what was expected “on paper” and it was becoming problematic on two fronts:
- there was obvious waste that was not being measured
- stores discrepancies were common due to physical returns being short of the theoretical consumption.
As Australia’s largest manufacturer of weighing systems and one of the only weighing companies in the world to have a systems integration and automation division, A&D Australasia had to think outside the box to come up with a simple yet powerful waste reduction weighing system which was robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions of a wet area production line.
Utilising “off the shelf” components, A&D Australasia designed mobile, rechargeable, weighing trolleys with customised software running on an on-board touch panel PC. The trolleys incorporated either a wired, or wireless link to a label printer that enabled production staff to accurately label the partly used items and sign off on the amount remaining.
Using the custom software created by A&D Australasia’s subsidiary A&D TechEng, the operator simply enters the product code via a touch screen dropdown keypad, then places the item on the trolley based scales and presses the digital “PRINT” button to produce a label. The software calculates the volume, weight or part count and includes this information on the label along with product information, date, time and an operator signature block.
With this comprehensive waste reduction weighing system, goods returned to stores for future use are now clearly quantified, areas of loss can be accurately identified, and production consumption/forecasts can be adjusted where required.
These mobile trolley mounted waste reduction weighing systems are waterproof and can be used for days on end before a rapid four hour re-charge is be needed.
This project has typified the vision that A&D Australasia has been moving towards - utilising their proven weighing and measurement technology and local automation engineering expertise to create valuable customised weighing system solutions for local and overseas manufacturers.