Sprout Weighing Equipment
Automated Weighing and Filling
Unless a sprout producer is automated, the mostexpensive step in producing bean sprouts is the weighing and packaging. This step is also a critical control point where a sick or infected employee,breathing and handling the sprouts, can contaminate your product.
Our own sprout company, SungardenSprouts, controls labor and the spread of communicable diseases bynever touching the sprouts from start to finish.
Each bin ofsprouts that is ready for harvest is removed from the growing room andautomatically lifted and tilted so thesprouts gradually fall into the wash tank. The wash tank removes the hulls and the sprouts are lifted out of the tank by aconveyor and onto an air-knife table fordewatering. The dewatered sprouts move to an incline conveyor and into ascale system where they are automatically weighed into either 12 oz (340g) or 5lb (2.25 kg) portions and dropped into a bag.
The package (bag, box, pint container, etc.) can eitherbe placed by hand under the scales or an automatic packaging machine can beplaced below the scales.
Bean sprouts are not an easy product to weigh correctly because they attach themselves to each other as they come up the incline conveyor and move through the scales. ISS has perfected a method to make bean sprouts easily flowthrough the system and weigh accurately.
ISS offers several sizes of scales to match grower’sneeds. The scales portion the sprouts from 3 oz to 10 pounds (100g – 4.5 kg)and drop them into your bag or container. More than one drop can be made to filllarger bags.
Cycle times range from 5 to 24 bags per minute. That’s a range of 900 – 7,000 lb (400 – 3,265 kg) per hour; depending onthe size container you are filling and the number of heads on the weighingmachine.
As the sprouts come off the incline conveyor and intothe scale system, they fall into the first of a series of vibrating pans. The sprouts travel from one pan to the next and into a weighing hopper. When the weighing hopper reaches the desired weight, the pans above stopvibrating until the weighing hopper opens to drops the sprouts. When theweighing hopper closes, the process begins again.
Either an electric eye or foot/hand switch control opensand closes the weighing hopper; or, you can set the scales to drop as soonas the weighing hopper is ready to drop the sprouts. A person holding eachbag under the scale can do roughly 15 five-pound bags per minute. If thesame person seals the bag it is roughly 10 per minute. If the scales dropthe bean sprouts into an automatic packaging machine, the scales can run tocapacity without interruption.
Menu driven controls give you jobmemory storage, easy-to-read graphics and help menus on each screen.
The scales can be designed to interface with theconveyor and bagger of your choice, or this equipment can be purchased from ISS.
Ourscales reduce labor, reduce the risk of contamination from handling, and reducethe waste and inaccuracies that come with over and under weighing. Theyare a great investment for medium and large growers.