A ‘typical target’ weight per pack might be 100 grams of a product. The product is fed to the top of the multihead weigher where it is dispersed to the pool hoppers. Each pool hopper drops the product into a weigh hopper beneath it as soon as the weigh hopper becomes empty.
The Multihead scale weigher’s computer determines the weight of product in each individual weigh hopper and identifies which combination contains the weight closest to the target weight of 100g. The multihead scale weigher opens all the hoppers of this combination and the product falls, via a discharge chute, into a tray or, alternatively, into a distribution system which places the product, for example, into cups, Tubs or bags.
Dispersion is normally by gravity, vibration or centrifugal force, while feeding can be driven by vibration, gravity, belts, or screw systems.
An extra layer of hoppers (‘booster hoppers’) can be added to store product which has been weighed in the weigh hoppers but not used in a weighment, thus increasing the number of suitable combinations available to the computer and so increasing speed and accuracy.
Products containing up to eight components can be mixed on a multihead weigher, very accurately at high speeds. The weigher is divided into sections, each with its own infeed. For example, a breakfast cereal containing hazelnuts and dried fruit plus two relatively cheap ingredients, could be weighed on a multihead with say eight heads devoted to each of the more expensive components and four heads to each of the other two. This would ensure high weighing speed while ensuring that overfilling of the expensive ingredients was negligible.
Placing into trays:
A well-engineered distribution system enables you to combine the speed and accuracy of multihead weighing with precise, splash-free delivery of product into trays.
Multihead weighers were used initially for weighing certain vegetables. Their use expanded exponentially in the 1970s and 1980s when they were applied to the rapid weighing of snacks and confectionery into bags. What cherry tomatoes and crisps had in common was that they flowed easily through the machine and into the pack, with no more encouragement than gravity and a moderate level of vibration of the feeders. Since then, the accuracy and relative speed have been extended to many products which would in the early days of the technology have been seen as difficult to handle.