Uesugi Farms, a sizable fresh pepper production facility located in the netherlands between Morgan Hill and Hollister, CA, was in desperate need of a way to rapidly and accurately load semi-trailers with fresh bell peppers destined for national markets. The facility’s loading dock accommodated a dozen semi-trailers but did not have a truck scale or a solid strategy to accurately track product placement in the waiting semi-trailers.
The solution involved the deployment of a GSE 665® Process Controller, two Rice Lake 4x4-ft RoughDeck® low-profile platform scales, two Matko® 7-digit LED remote displays (one positioned above each scale) and a uniquely designed switch box that enabled the controller operator to rapidly weigh and assign the weighed load to a specific load-out order number.
In the graphic above (Figure-1), you’ll find the operator’s view of the controller’s 16 line by 40 character LCD display. With the pressing of a single numeric key on the controller’s elastomeric keypad, the operator is able to inform the controller the quantity of each type of bin placed on either scale No. 1, or scale No. 2. If the load currently resting on a scale had the same type and quantity of bins as the last load weighed, the operator didn’t need to change anything.
To make matters even more complicated, the load-out process required that product be loaded into trucks in one of two ways: with 4x4-ft bins fully loaded with peppers or only the peppers that may be contained in a bin. Clearly, Uesugi Farms needed a method of tracking both the gross and net weights of every weighed bin associated with a particular load-out order.
When the load selection is confirmed, a one-word message is displayed on the remote display mounted above the scale for the forklift driver’s attention: REMOVE. At this point the forklift driver removes the load from the scale and places the bins of peppers in a waiting semi-trailer or dumps the contents of the bins into a large hopper where they are met by a belt conveyor that transports the peppers to a specially designed cold-transport trailer.