Ergonomic Manual Portioning & Checkweighing to Increase Profits

Whether someone is a student, construction worker, office manager or employee along a food production line, his or hers health and efficiency is affected by the conditions
of their primary work environment. The degree to which a food producer should be concerned about the environment’s affect on production employees will vary from situation to situation. However, the repeated actions of workers during manual portioning and checkweighing may deserve consideration.

If checkweighing scales are being used only a few minutes a day, ergonomic workstation design may not be of primary importance. But if employees are check- weighing several hours a day, factors such as fast and reliable weighing results, optimized process speed and ergonomics should be a critical part of scale purchase, beside other important quality factors such as hygienic design, robustness or data traceability.

Why are ergonomics critical? Ergonomics reduce unnecessary employee exposure to repetitive stress disorders by improving comfort and reducing strain. As a result, manufacturers benefit through:

• Reduced employee downtime
• Higher throughput rates
• Less product giveaway

This paper considers the manual portioning/check- weighing task and offers suggestions for installing bench scales in an ergonomically appropriate way, considering issues such as task management, scale placement, dedicated software, reading screens, and employee posture. Overall, a manufacturer gains more satisfied employees and enhances profits.

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