Protecting your weighing machine from ingress
If you use automation in your packaging or weighing lines, then naturally you will benefit from a number of advantages, however some operations are risking damage and impaired performance through not applying best practice cleaning and maintenance processes.
Investing in valuable machinery that expands your manufacturing and production ability boosts your business’s output, and as a result, your business’s profitability. This is a straightforward premise that many businesses happily subscribe to, and invest in.
However, there are several activities that you need to carry out to maximise your investment and to ensure you properly safeguard your equipment as a result.
Examples of inappropriate application of these activities include: improper or infrequent maintenance to haphazard cleaning, often borne of impatience, or lack of understanding about what the machines can withstand.
Weighing machines are susceptible to liquid splashing in the catering industry, or solid particle ingression in a busy warehouse, therefore it is important to ensure that your weighing scale is adequately protected against its working environment. A simple way to do this is by checking its Ingress Protection rating.
While all Yamato weighing machines are classified under the IEC 60529 International Standard of Ingress Protection (IP rating), this doesn’t mean they’re impregnable. This standard describes a system of classifying the degree of protection electrical equipment enclosures grant against solid objects and liquid ingression.
While most weighing machinery is maintained and repaired frequently it is often not cleaned correctly – due to the common misunderstanding that machinery rated IP65 and above can be cleaned using high pressure jet washers. Unfortunately, the high pressure streams of jet washers can cause severe damage to electronic components of weighing machinery, and parts most vulnerable to damage are:
- Operation screens
- Seals/Bellows (e.g. underneath vibratory feeders)
Regular cleaning is an integral part of modern manufacturing equipment maintenance, and should be performed at least once a day, if not more often, depending on the product. The cleaning routine should be determined by the IP rating of your machine as well as within the instruction manual for your machine as well as the nature of the product being weighed.
Our recommendations for cleaning ‘wash-down’ models, with an IP65 rating or above, are:
- Confirm that all doors and actuator units are installed properly and that there are no loose bolts.
- Remove all detachable parts (including the top cone) and clean individually using a cloth to wipe-down. Please note: extra care should be taken when cleaning buckets which include ‘sealed-for-life’ bearings so that extensive water infiltration does not occur.
- Once removed from the machine, a cloth should be used to wipe the inner surfaces of the top cone and all pans, buckets and chutes. Parts should be thoroughly dried before reassembly.
- High powered jet washers should not be used under any circumstances. These can severely compromise the integrity of the machine and result in water damage to the electronic components. A hose can only be used in the case of a ‘washdown’ model, and if used, water pressure should be less than 4.3 PSI or 30 kPa at a distance of 3 metres and for a maximum duration of 3 minutes.
- Detergent can be used if necessary; this should however be neutral (pH6 – pH8) and should not contain chlorine, such as sodium hypochlorite.
- If air is used to clean the machine, operators must take extra care so as not to cause fragments of product to become lodged between the bucket hanger and actuator unit.
Commercial and Marketing Manager,
Yamato Scale (UK) Dataweigh.
Tel. 0113 322 1546
About Yamato Scale Dataweigh (UK) Limited
Yamato is one of the leading global manufacturers of commercial weighing equipment and with over 90 years' manufacturing experience, we know what our customers need and expect.
Originally founded in 1922 as The Weighing Machine Division of Kawanishi Kikai K.K and later rebranded as Yamato Scale Ltd, Yamato is proud of its Japanese heritage; our passion to provide quality multihead weighers and deliver superior customer support is what drives us.
As a result Yamato’s multihead weighers and checkweighers have gained an unrivalled reputation worldwide, and our weighing machines are trusted by manufacturers in a range of industries across the globe; from granulated products and confectionery to meat and IQF frozen produce.
Yamato’s multihead weighers and checkweighers are energy efficient, accurate, hygienic, and easy to operate. The Dataweigh Omega multihead weigher, for instance, boasts a 60% reduction in power consumption without compromising on speed or effectiveness.