A weigh conveyor is a type of conveyor, usually a belt conveyor, that incorporates a scale, so that items passing over the conveyor may be weighed. Most weigh conveyors are very short and are often placed at the end of a longer system of conveyors or are a segment of a longer conveyor. These kinds of conveyors are found in many areas of industry, including food processing and other industries where packages are filled by weight.
Technology for conveyors has evolved beyond the basic function of moving objects or bulk material. Many other functions are often incorporated into conveyor systems, including sorting mechanisms, packaging, and weighing functions. A weigh conveyor is capable of weighing a package that passes along it, or of functioning as one component of a system by which packages are filled to a specific weight.
Belt conveyors often have scales in them and are often used in the food industry, particularly meat packing or other industries in which product weights are inconsistent. As the product moves along the conveyor, a scale mounted under the belt weighs the product, which is labeled accordingly. This type of system can also incorporate quality standards, removing products that fall outside an ideal weight range. Other industries, such as small package shipping for example, also utilize this technology. This type of conveyor is also found in everyday consumer settings and is used in many supermarkets.
A second type of weigh conveyor can be used with belt or roller conveyors, although roller conveyors are more common. In this type of conveyor, the scale is mounted differently and is attached to one of the weight bearing columns or legs that support the conveyor. As an object moves across the conveyor, the maximum weight is registered by the scale as it passes directly over it. Another type of weigh conveyor uses a computer to calculate the weight of a continuous flow of product, such as ore or metal scraps, as an average amount per time period.
Industries that produce goods that are measured by weight often employ weigh conveyors as well. A weigh conveyor used in this way has its scale connected to the machinery that fills packages. As the package fills, the scales track the weight, and when the correct weight is reached, the weigh conveyor signals the filling mechanism to stop filling that container. The conveyor then moves the package down the line to the next step in the packaging process while accepting the next package for weighing.