Safeguarding Products and Packaging Integrity Using Load Cells

The final stages of packaging are critical for ensuring products reach their destination safely. While carefully selecting boxes and cushioning materials is important, the real-world testing conducted by product and test engineers is not just a step but a cornerstone in verifying their effectiveness. This is where load cells and force measurement solutions come in.

Interface load cells, mini load cells, torque transducers, and instrumentation products are not just tools but significant contributors to packaging accuracy. Their use can lead to substantial cost savings, enhanced production efficiency, faster time to market, and improved product safety, as detailed in the case study Force Measurement is Reducing Waste and Automating the Consumer Packaging Industry.

By incorporating sensor technologies, including load cells, into packaging processes, product manufacturers can gain valuable insights into testing the stresses and strains a package encounters. This enhances the understanding of package integrity and improves product safety and cost-effectiveness.

Packaging Applications

Delivery Drop Tests: Simulating the jostling and impacts during shipping is crucial for identifying weak points. By integrating load cells into the drop test set-up, product and test engineers can measure the exact force a package experiences upon impact. This precise data allows them to refine the packaging design for optimal protection, demonstrating the practical application of load cells.

Material Strength Measurement: Load cells are vital in material strength measurement. Knowing the exact force required to puncture or tear packaging materials is crucial. Load cells can be used in tensile tests to determine a material’s resistance to breaking or elongation under stress. This allows manufacturers to select the most appropriate material for their products’ weight and fragility.

Optimizing Conveyor Belt Tension: On packaging lines, conveyor belts play a vital role in product movement. However, excessive tension can damage packages, while insufficient tension can lead to product slippage and falls. Load cells can measure belt tension to ensure products are conveyed safely and efficiently. Check out Conveyor Belts Use Load Cells to Keep Things Moving

Additional use cases and Interface load cell applications in various stages of packaging include:

  • Weighing Systems and Checkweighers: Load cells ensure precise product weight for accurate filling, reducing giveaway and product inconsistency.
  • Container and Waste Control Systems: Monitor incoming and outgoing materials to optimize container usage and minimize packaging waste.
  • Material Handling Systems and Belt Weighers: Continuously track material usage for efficient production planning and inventory control.
  • Packing Material Strength Tests: Test the integrity of packaging materials to prevent product damage during transportation.
  • Pallet Weighing: Ensure the accurate weight of outgoing pallets for proper shipping and documentation.
  • Batching Systems: Precisely meter and weigh ingredients for consistent product formulation.
  • Form-Fill-Seal Machines: Integrate with load cells for accurately filling pouches, bags, and other flexible packaging.
  • Tension Control Tests for Wrapping: Maintain consistent wrapping tension to secure products effectively and prevent damage.
  • Labeling Machine Force Monitoring: Monitor label application pressure for optimal adhesion and prevent product damage.
  • Durability Compression and Force Testing: Simulate real-world stress on packages to ensure they can withstand transportation and handling.
  • End-of-Line Packaging: Verify final package weight and integrity before shipment.
  • Robotic Packaging Machines: Interface with load cells to precisely control robotic arms during product handling and palletizing.
  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) Design and Monitoring: Integrate load cells for weight-based navigation and control of AGVs for efficient material movement.

 Beyond Final Packaging

Load cells aren’t limited to the final packaging stages. They can also be employed in:

  • Quality Control: Throughout production, load cells can be used in various testing procedures to ensure components meet specifications and identify potential weaknesses before packaging.
  • Assembly Line Monitoring: Monitoring the forces involved in product assembly helps identify inconsistencies and potential damage caused by over-tightening or other assembly processes.

We work with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), machine builders, test labs, packaging suppliers, and engineers to provide solutions that reduce waste, automate packaging processes, and provide accurate and consistent results.

Incorporating load cells and force measurement solutions into your packaging operations gives you valuable insights that can significantly improve the entire process. From ensuring package integrity during transport to optimizing production efficiency, load cells must deliver products safely in optimal condition.

Contact our application engineers if you’d like to learn more about how Interface’s products can help with your test and measurement challenges.


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