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Fillpack has developed and manufactured filling and packaging machines for over twenty years for various well-known manufacturers in the foods, cosmetics, and chemical industries. A key element in the global success of the company is the use of the globally respected, high precision weighing technology from WIPOTEC.
The order bears the name of a well-known international producer of sauces, cream cheese, and semi-prepared meals. The company is planning to use a filling and packaging machine for seasoning sauces and pastes. The system is to be built at the Fillpack factory in Schwarmstedt, located in Lower Saxony. Responding to the need for the most efficient handling of the foods to be packaged, the filling components of the system to be built take on a key role. The challenge is to fill the sauces and pastes into buckets of five, ten, and twelve kilogram content as exactly as possible. The desire to avoid costly product overfills by means of a very accurate weighing process is one of the classic reasons for the use of high precision weighing technology from WIPOTEC.
The Weigh Cells from technology leader WIPOTEC operate on the principle of electro-magnetic force compensation (EMFC). The basic principle can be compared to a simple beam balance. As the weight force is applied to one side of the balance, the coil installed on the other side of the balance is forced out of a magnetic field. An optical positioning system senses the smallest displacement and reports this to a high precision control system that readjusts the compensation current and restores equilibrium to the balance.
This compensation current is measured through a precision resistor and further processed in a micro-processor system for immediate output as a digital weight value. WIPOTEC EMFC Weigh Cells provide the decisive advantage of having a very short settling time. They are extremely fast and supply highly accurate weight values. Furthermore, they provide space and cost savings, and are easily integrated into existing systems.
The system implemented at Fillpack provides two, parallel lanes for filling the buckets. The system has a total of six filling pumps arranged in rows of three rotary pumps per lane that perform the filling of the individual containers. The first two pumps are responsible for the rough dosing and provide each bucket with a majority of the planned content. This step is followed by a weight determination. The WIPOTEC Weigh Cell determines the respective weight very accurately and sends this information to the third rotary pump that adds the remaining missing amount in the final dosing. In a subsequent process, the buckets are given an air-tight seal with foil and closed with a lid, before moving on to the end packaging.
Karsten Neumann is an electrical engineer at Fillpack. He has supported this project from the start and welcomes the technical cooperation between the two high tech firms. "Thanks to the WIPOTEC Weigh Cells," said Neumann, "our machine is able to fill 14 buckets per minute per lane." This result is largely due to the extraordinarily fast processing time of both Weigh Cells. Manfred Nordmeyer, CEO of Fillpack, emphasizes the time savings achieved, especially, for his customers through the use of WIPOTEC weighing technology. "We want no compromises when it comes to weighing," said Nordmeyer. He is convinced that when it comes to speed and precision, there is no alternative to the EMFC Weigh Cells from WIPOTEC. Manfred Nordmeyer continues: "Weighing with wire strain gauges is more time consuming, less accurate, and far more costly. WIPOTEC's weighing technology, on the other hand, makes it much easier to build machines that produce goods much more efficiently." There is also the advantage that, on request, WIPOTEC Weigh Cells can be fitted with AVC Technology (Active Vibration Compensation). AVC provides the foundation for accurate and instantaneous weight measurements even at sites that are subject to external disturbance sources (vibrations from machinery or local conditions).
Meanwhile, Fillpack and WIPOTEC are continuing their successful cooperation in the next joint project: a customer in the cosmetics branch has ordered a four-lane unit to fill and pack lotions in various unit sizes. Manfred Nordmeyer has no doubt about what weighing technology he will rely on: „WIPOTEC Weigh Cells are planned as an integral part of the new system.“
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