Tillamook Creamery weighs cheese with Avery Weigh-Tronix

  • March 09, 2010
  • Avery Weigh-Tronix
  • Avery Weigh-Tronix
  • Case Study
March 9, 2010 - For nearly a century, Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), based out of Tillamook, Oregon, has delivered farmer-fresh dairy products with all-natural ingredients—a combination that, along with the company’s operations and community service, has resulted in numerous awards from industry publications and organizations. For customers, flavor is key, and it’s all about TCCA’s hands-on approach.“We age all our cheese in-house,” said Tim Tomlinson, packaging manager for TCCA. That includes Tillamook Cheese Medium Cheddar, aged over 60 days to ensure optimum flavor. “That ensures it’s very high-quality,” Tomlinson added.TCCA, maker of Tillamook Cheese, is a farmer-owned cooperative that includes approximately 120 dairy families throughout the country. The company offers a variety of cheeses offered in a broad range of sizes—from 5 lb. blocks to 3/4 oz. portions for on-the-go treats. Affirming that each of these products weighs the correct amount, in order to confirm correct product quantity and pricing, is an important part of the process.“We have an automated system that weighs packages as they are transferred down the conveyor and directs the packages as needed, but we have to confirm that these weighments are correct on a regular basis,” Tomlinson said. After a large block of cheese has been properly aged, a series of wires cuts it into smaller loaves. An in-line checkweigher then verifies that each loaf weighs the correct amount, within a defined tolerance, before packaging. If a loaf is above or below this tolerance, a static checkweigher is used to determine how far off the loaf is from the desired weight. “To meet weight standards and regulations, we use this static checkweigher to verify package weights about every 15 seconds,” Tomlinson said. “For this, we needed to replace our previous standalone checkweigher with an upgraded selection.”TCCA chose the E1310 programmable weight indicator with a customized software package for checkweighing from Avery Weigh-Tronix, which offers stainless steel construction and a NEMA 6/4X rating to withstand harsh washdown environments. “Stainless steel is necessary, since the equipment we use needs to be food grade,” Tomlinson said. “And we’ve been happy with its accuracy.”The E1310 checkweigher provides NTEP Class III legal-for-trade weighing with sealed, stainless steel load cells and 500 percent overload protection. Its highly visible display includes a customized display for simple, efficient visual weight confirmation and/or corrections needed. If the E1310 checkweigher finds that a loaf is under or overweight, it displays how much cheese must be added or removed to meet weight requirements. “The Avery Weigh-Tronix checkweigher sits on the side of our packaging line so that we can manually check the calibration of our high-speed weighing operations,” Tomlinson said. “And we can communicate recorded weights to our computers—allowing us to download all the collected data, which is really nice,” he added.Along with accurate weighing, the E1310 checkweigher offers fully customizable serial output—including three outputs for controlling external devices. It additionally provides three inputs for remote print, PB tare and other functions, offering TCCA the flexibility to upgrade their current processes if desired for future applications.“Right now we’re basically using it for visual confirmation of our package weights, but hopefully in the future we’ll be using the checkweigher to its full capacity, if we automate our backup weighing as planned,” Tomlinson said.The rugged construction and reliable operation has made this E1310 checkweigher package an effective solution for TCCA, helping them produce and distribute premium-quality cheeses with local flavor—efficiently and accurately. “We were looking for a good replacement, and the E1310 checkweigher is living up to it,” Tomlinson said. Learn More

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