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Choosing a Weighing Scale for Fruit Picking

Agriculture is one of the largest industries in South Africa, from growing produce on farms and plantations to selling it commercially in supermarkets and produce stalls. Harvest times vary greatly, depending on the different fruits and vegetables. It can be a challenging to supply fresh seasonal produce year-round. To guarantee distribution and delivery of fruits and vegetables year-round, it’s vital to carefully weigh, pack and distribute these products.

Why do I need to weigh fruit?

Whether you are a retail customer or large-scale wholesale buyer, chances are good that your purchases are based on weight. Grocery store shoppers might buy a 1kg bag of potatoes or 300g of strawberries, whilst a buyer for a large retail supermarket chain will order five pallets of avocados that have a standard weight per pallet. In this instance, it’s important to be certain the pallets are weighed on approved trade scales.

Many types of produce scales are available. It’s important to know how much you want to spend and what your produce-weighing needs are before deciding on the type, size and style of scale.

Platform Scales

Platform scales are ideal for industrial environments such as warehouses, loading docks and packing facilities. They’re available with different capacities and various sizes of weighing pans. These scales are versatile and can weigh almost anything … from small boxes and tote bags to pallets and crates.

Use a platform scale for parts counting when stacking and measuring multiple crates. To ensure each crate weighs the same amount, use the checkweighing function for verification. Larger platforms work well in tandem with indicators that provide LED checkweighing lights and an alarm for accurate check counting and stock monitoring.

Price-Computing Scales

Price-computing scales are used to weigh fruit and vegetables in supermarkets and other small commercial retailers. Some varieties of computing scale come with NRCS trade approvals for selling fruit and vegetables by weight commercially.

Washdown Scales

Washdown scales are ideal for weighing fruit, as they include stainless steel weighing pans that can be easily cleaned after weighing juicy or dirty produce. Many washdown scales can perform checkweighing tasks and can be placed on a workbench or tabletop, instead of occupying valuable floor space.

Fruit Scales for Vineyards

South Africa is renowned for its lush grape vineyards and that produce wine commercially for shipping across the world. Accurate fruit scales help vineyard owners verify the weight for each crate or box, allowing them to maintain stock counts.

Reduce waste and increase profit with checkweighers

When produce is weighed on scales rather than being hand-packed, it allows greater control over product waste. This can increase profit margins and help retailers keep accurate stock records throughout the year. Checkweighers that feature LEDs can help determine if a crate is fully packed, or if it needs more product to meet a preset weight.

How does a checkweigher work?

Checkweighers operate by setting an optimum weight value and then weighing objects with reference to this. Some checkweighers rely on LEDs as a guide, whilst other may use audible alarms to alert the operator that the object or container has now reached the preset weight.

  1. Calibrate the scale. If available, internal calibration can be activated on the scale. Scales requiring external calibration require approved calibration weights. 
  2. Make sure to use the correct measuring unit (kilograms, grams, etc.). 
  3. Insert the optimum value for standard weight. 
  4. Place the object or container on the weight machine. 
  5. If the value shown is under or over the desired weight, adjust the weight of the object accordingly. 
  6. Accurately store and label the container, repeating the process for each container. 

Recommended food scales for weighing produce

NETS Price Computing Label/ Retail Scale

The NETS price computing retail scale features accurate label printing capabilities. NRCS approved commercial scales Ideal for markets, shops and grocery stores.

Warrior washdown scale

The Warrior washdown scale from Adam Equipment is a high-performance floor scale that can be used to weigh large sacks of fruit, vegetables or grain. The warrior is constructed from stainless steel and is designed for easy to clean after use.

GK indicator

The GK weighing indicator can be used in alongside other weighing scales to performs check counting and checkweighing features. The indicator features a standard LED interface that can be configured to provide multi-coloured checkweighing lights when weighing crates, boxes and sacks of produce for distribution.

PT platform scale

The PT platform scales is a heavy duty industrial scale that features a large stainless steel pan size and large weighing capacity. Ideal for weighing large crates and boxes of produce, grain and fruit in warehouses and packing facilities.

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