Load cells speed bottle filling

Jan. 1, 2005
Digital load cells with high-speed dynamic weighing capabilities make it possible to fill baby bottles with formula at a rate of 10,000/hr, about three

Digital load cells with high-speed dynamic weighing capabilities make it possible to fill baby bottles with formula at a rate of 10,000/hr, about three per second.

The baby bottler is manufactured by Krones AG, Moline, Ill. It incorporates 16 load cells in a single carousel for weighing. Empty bottles move into the rotating carousel, fill, get check-weighed, and move out. Load cell transducers sample bottle weight during filling at a rate of 100 measurements/sec until the system detects the target weight.

One problem with this setup is vibration during filling. Either electronics must filter or adjust for the vibration, or vibrations must settle out before the weighing operation. Settling times are difficult to accommodate in the high-speed operations needed to hit production goals.

The weighing system is from HBM in Marlboro, Mass. FIT (Fast Intelligent Transducer) electronics let users download settings and adjustments to the weighing processes via an RS-485 serial bus. Up to 32 load cells connect to a single bus system, and all parameters store in EEPROM to guard against power failures.

The bottling machines use a type PW2/H3R4/10kg load cell, which can make up to 100 measurements/sec. Each load cell sits in a stainless steel housing, hermetically encapsulated to handle the harsh environment of food manufacturing plants. The load cells don't need a trigger signal to initiate a measurement. The devices themselves offer a 2 kg tare load, a 300 g to 2 kg life load, and a standard deviation of 0.5 to 0.7 g.

Krones uses a similar weighing system on a soybean oil operation. Each of these filling machines has 72 FIT load cells per carousel. The machine can fill as many as 38,000 bottles/hr. The machine runs for 22 hours daily and needs only two hours for cleaning. This particular operation took advantage of the software program supplied with the load cells. The program was used to analyze the behavior of the filling procedure over time, which helped engineers in optimizing the mechanical system.

Sponsored Recommendations

Can new digital medium voltage circuit breakers help facilities reduce their carbon footprint?

May 7, 2024
Find out how facility managers can easily monitor energy usage to create a sustainable, decarbonized environment using digital MV circuit breakers.

The Digital Thread: End-to-End Data-Driven Manufacturing

May 1, 2024
Creating a Digital Thread by harnessing end-to-end manufacturing data is providing unprecedented opportunities to create efficiencies in the world of manufacturing.

Medical Device Manufacturing and Biocompatible Materials

May 1, 2024
Learn about the critical importance of biocompatible materials in medical device manufacturing, emphasizing the stringent regulations and complex considerations involved in ensuring...

VICIS Case Study

May 1, 2024
The team at VICIS turned to SyBridge and Carbon in order to design and manufacture protective helmet pads, leveraging the digitization and customization expertise of Toolkit3D...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!