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Quality Packaging Specialists, a custom contract packing company, is using Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed’s XS1 checkweigher to identify and remove underweight and overweight packages.

The XS1 checkweigher is designed for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, handling products weighing less than 200g.

Featuring Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed’s electromagnetic force restoration (EMFR) weigh cell, the XS1 achieves an accuracy of +/-20mg at two sigma while handling up to 400 packages per minute.

Quality Packaging produces a range of packaging formats for a variety of products, from hardware to pharmaceuticals; however, over the years, dietary supplement multipacks have grown to comprise more than 75 per cent of the business.

Currently, eight packaging lines produce these multipacks, seven of which use clear films that enable the contents to be visually inspected.

Installed on the eighth line, which multipacks supplements in opaque foil or paper/poly pouches, the XS1 checkweigher is sensitive enough to detect and reject a multipack with a missing supplement, even if that supplement is only half the size of baby aspirin.

Chuck Stoudt, president of Quality Packaging, said: ‘As the size of tablets and capsules becomes smaller, checkweighing becomes more challenging because it requires greater accuracy.

‘We need to know if one small tablet is missing or broken,’ he added.

This one packaging line produces more than 50 unique products, typically changing over once each day.

Stoudt continued: ‘If we’ve run the product before, the machine parameters are already stored in the XS1 checkweigher’s memory and it takes only 30 seconds to make that change on the touch-screen control panel.

‘No hardware changes are required.

‘If we haven’t run a particular product in six months or more, the checkweigher’s graphic display is very helpful because it’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to change its products and forget to tell us.

‘This graphic output displays the mean, the high point and the low point and plots each package on the graph.

‘This allows us to quickly see if the package is following the average and if it’s not we can quickly make necessary adjustments,’ he said.

The XS1 checkweigher features a 15in (38cm) colour touch screen and a user interface.

It also features an open, cantilevered design and plug-and-play modules that can be swapped out quickly to maximise production uptime.

Stoudt said: ‘Since we installed the XS1, we’ve had no routine maintenance, other than routine cleaning, and no unplanned maintenance.

‘We keep it clean and it keeps running.

‘We wipe it down at the end of every production run and during the run if it gets dusty.

‘The open design makes it easy to clean and easy to visually inspect,’ he added.

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