Reducing fruit over-pack by utilising an improved weighing process in a strawberry pack-house
An evaluation of filled punnet weight accuracy was undertaken on a strawberry packing line to determine the extent of over-packing and its associated costs. In investigating the current packing process, a statistical analysis was undertaken in July 2013 which showed that the process was not capable of meeting its specification limits. A similar study was undertaken in August 2013 (with different berry sizes) and again the results showed the current process to be lacking in capability. It was noted that verbal reinforcement to operators to check the weights of punnets they filled did not have an impact on accuracy, nor did an in-line quality inspection stage. An improved process to eliminate packing errors was designed, utilising Hi, Lo, OK scales. The results showed an elimination of up to 5.5% of total crop weight caused by over-packing. The associated cost savings may be determined by utilising the weight % saved, the total weight of fruit packed and the market price.
Harkness, G.J. (2016). Reducing fruit over-pack by utilising an improved weighing process in a strawberry pack-house. Acta Hortic. 1120, 323-328
cost reduction, give-aways, efficiency, process capability, Hi-Lo scales