Semi-Automatic and Automated Ingredient Batching Systems
Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. can provide Automatic and Semi-Automatic Batching Systems that will improve the efficiency of your powder and bulk, or liquid, material handling process. We specialize in custom designing, engineering, and manufacturing batching systems to increase your process performance, improve product consistency, eliminate product waste, and provide robust production data collection and reporting. Batching systems can also include blending/mixing operations, and other process equipment and controls.
The batching systems utilize non-proprietary hardware as the foundation of the systems: typically PC or intelligent HMI’s and PLC’s. The systems are developed using industry standards, such as Microsoft Windows, SQL Server, Rockwell Automation FactoryTalk View ME, and Microsoft .NET. This means that the design approach is robust and dependable. Batching systems manage formulation, raw material lot tracking, inventory & usage, alarms for abnormal conditions, hand add additions (semi-automatic), move tickets to insure the batch is being properly sequenced, and system parameters customized for each application and complete batch validation.
Sterling Systems & Controls batching systems are modular in design. They are easily expanded — many customers focus first on the most frequently used raw materials and later expand the batching systems to incorporate more raw materials over time. The material weighing systems consist of supply bins, scale hoppers, and work platforms that are customized for each application. The capacity of the supply bins range from 1 to 125 cubic-feet, and scale hoppers range from 0.25 to 75 cubic-feet in capacity size. Typical batching systems include supply bins, feeders, scales & support structures. Supplied batching systems to date have included from one to eight scales, with up to 48 supply bins and feeding devices. A variety of raw material feeding devices are offered. Most commonly used feeders are vibratory and screw feeders (auger type). Auger sizes for screw feeders range from 2” to 6” with a variety of auger flight configurations. Vibratory feeders can be provided in a wide variety of sizes, feed rates, and styles to fit almost any application.
The Micro, Minor and Bulk ingredient batching and weighing systems include many features that cannot be found elsewhere. These features ensure consistent weighments and batch integrity. These robust system designs include multiple pitch feeders, bearings at each end of the feeder, seals and air gaps to ensure the material is not contaminated by bearing lubricants, and feeding / scale solutions (single and multiple scales) including gain-In-weight & loss-in-weight (Continuous or Batch).
Data collection and reporting for each batch produced, as well as for the equipment being controlled and monitored, is the foundation of each Sterling Systems & Controls batching system. Typical batching systems will interface with most of the least cost formulation software packages, as well as commonly used ERP systems to allow for seamless interface with existing systems.
In addition to fully automatic batching systems, Sterling Systems & Controls can provide customized semi-automatic (hand add) batch weighing systems. These are sometimes known as Kitchen Batching Systems. Semi-automatic systems can also be incorporated together with an automatic batching system to provide a hybrid batching system. Semi-automatic systems are based on the same automation technology as the automatic systems, with the same capabilities that ensure a hand add process is being monitored, processed, controlled and documented for optimal performance and reliability. This creates a validation system for the semi-automatic batching process. All semi-automatic systems include tolerance control and lot tracking/validation to eliminate missed ingredients due to operator interruption, ensuring that all of the correct materials are being weighed to the specification of the programmable formula.
Features of most batching systems
- Batching of dry & liquid materials; micro, minor and bulk ingredients, hand add’s
- Inventories unlimited number of raw materials
- Batching system automation screen
- Tolerance control for accurate weights and batch integrity
- RFID and/or barcode scanning
- Lot tracking & validation features
- Multiple levels of security, password protection
- Automation of material conveying/feeding devises (dry & liquid)
- Prompting of hand add additions (systems with semi-automatic batching)
- Automation of mixers
- Automation of upstream and downstream equipment
- Pneumatic & Mechanical conveyor automation
- Multiple operating platforms (Software & Hardware)
- Operator interface devises throughout process with ergonomically designs
- Enclosures available in stainless steel, mild steel or composite materials (NEMA rated)
- Work stations/tables for platform scales, shelf to support other equipment such as printer, bar code readers and displays
- Equipment monitoring for abnormal conditions & run times
- Automatic routing of finished product
If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Batching systems and weighing systems are oftentimes known by various terms, and we will gladly provide information on anything you may be looking for, such as: Batch/Bulk Weighing Systems, Continuous Weighing Systems, Bulk Weigh Scale Systems, Micro-Systems/Micro-Ingredient Systems, Gain-In-Weight or Loss-In-Weight Batching Systems, Weigh Hopper and Batching Systems, Batching Control Systems, Minor Ingredient Systems, and Liquid Weighing/Metering Systems.
Typical Batching Applications
- Bakery Batching Applications
- Bread Batching Applications
- Feed Mill Batching Applications
- Food Batching Applications
- Kitchen Batching Applications
- Industrial Batching Applications
- Recycling Tires Applications
- Rubber Batching Applications