A recent project gave Grand Rapids Metrology the opportunity to automate a customer’s manual process. We’re breaking down the project and explaining simple steps you can take towards automating your own weighing process.
An international analytical instrument manufacturer had a slow, manual weighing process that was costing them unnecessary time and money. The customer used an outdated scale and, to make matters worse, the scale was not the appropriate resolution for their specific application.
Cue Grand Rapids Metrology.
STEP #1: Look at your own weighing process. Is it performed manually? Do you have the appropriate equipment for your application? If you’ve identified issues within your process, let us know and we’ll be happy to solve them. If you haven’t, consider using GRM’s Process Improvement Service – we’ll find the problem and the optimal solution for you!
INITIAL NEEDS & CHALLENGES
Before Grand Rapids Metrology’s intervention, the company’s process of weighing product and recording data was performed manually. An employee would place the product on a scale, hand-write the information onto a label, and finally place the label on the product.
It was tedious and inefficient to say the least.
What they needed was to be able to store equipment part information in the scale so the operator did not have to continuously write in the data. Similarly, the outdated scale needed to be replaced and it’s replacement needed to have a suitable capacity and resolution.
The manufacturer also required a custom programmed label to be printed after the weight was taken. The label would provide traceability for their products.
A challenge we faced was determining the customer’s desired sequence of operations.
STEP #2: Know your process. Think of your ideal sequence of operations — once you’ve envisioned it, we’ll figure out the rest.
GRM knew the most efficient use of the customer’s resources would be to automate the weighing/printing process. This would aim to save time, increase accuracy and alleviate man-power.
The solution would use an Avery Weigh-Tronix ZM405 digital indicator with a high-resolution base. The indicator would communicate with both the base and the printer.
Our Solution Team was able to program the indicator to follow the exact sequence of operation the customer needed. The high-resolution base allowed GRM to provide the customer with the accuracy they required. Likewise, our team’s design of the printed label included all of the necessary part information.
Now, the only thing the operator has to do is enter the product’s part numbers into the indicator and place the label on the product.
STEP #3: Consider using equipment that is able to communicate with one another. This can help eliminate any transitional steps that may have been done manually.
The instruments manufacturer was very happy with GRM’s solution. After a few minutes of training, their team was operating the scale and indicator with ease.
The proper sequence of operations the customer initially desired occurred with the use of the ZM405 and GRM’s innovative solution. The products were now traceable because of the use of custom printed labels.
Could a new printing process or an equipment update improve your operation?
STEP #4: Let’s talk about it.