By Bryan Carlton, Light Manufacturing and Electronics Product Manager, B-TEK Scales
Scales must be looked at closely to meet the food industry’s strict hygienic standards. Not all food-grade scales are the same, which is why you need to carefully evaluate the options to make sure the scale you select meets the requirements for day-to-day safety.
For example, the washdown process on a floor scale can be tedious and time-consuming for technicians, but it’s something that can’t be avoided. The scales must be washed many times a day to avoid contamination. Therefore, you need to make sure the scale is easy to clean to ensure efficiencies while also meeting those strict standards.
Two key areas to review when evaluating a scale:
Find the IP rating
Your scale must be able to withstand frequent washdowns. The scale’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating will help you to make this determination. The rating tells you exactly what it will protect against. An IP rating defines the levels of sealing effectiveness against moisture, dirt, and other foreign bodies on electrical enclosures. The rating will tell you how much resistance there is to water and water pressure. Scales with a higher IP rating are ideal for frequent washdowns. For effective water sealing, scales with a minimum IP68 are best.
Review the design
Servicing and cleaning floor scales the traditional way no longer works for creating an efficient and safe environment for technicians. The traditional method consisted of a thick piece of tread plate welded to a structural channel that needed to be lifted so it could be cleaned underneath, which was not an easy task. A technician had to lift the scale every time to get a thorough cleaning. Often, the technician would need a crane to lift the entire scale out of the pit.
Safer scales are now available. The Lift Deck Scale leverages a new design to eliminate the tedious part of a washdown. With this revolutionary design, technicians can pressure wash without lifting the scale out of the pit.
- Unplugging the indicator and checking the cables
- Setting safety rods and pins
- Pressure washing the scale and pit.
It’s important that the technician makes sure everything is in working order prior to washing down the scale.
Quality scales are important for a variety of applications in the food and beverage industry. You can still get accurate readings while using a product that will ensure safety and improve efficiency. By embracing the new design, you can help your scale technicians be safe and more productive. Every type of scale needs to be maintained, and the weighing industry is taking strides to revolutionize itself.
Bryan Carlton, light manufacturing and electronics product manager for B-TEK Scales, is responsible for the development of products and manuals. He provides technical support and assists in training and installations. Prior to B-TEK, Carlton was in the chemical industry for numerous manufacturing facilities. He graduated from Stark State College in electronics engineering and business management.