Thinking about automating your purely manual batching? Tired of ruined batches because your operator missed an ingredient or added the wrong weight of a couple of the ingredients? Maybe your operator was interrupted and forgot where they were at in the batching process? All of these things and more can happen and ruin your day because of ruined batches and scrap costs. So what to do? Automatic or Semi-Automatic Batching system. But what is the difference and what should you use?
Let’s first define Automatic Batching and Semi-Automatic Batching. From our website Terminology page:
“Automatic: This terminology section will define the term Automatic in regards to a Batching System. A batching system has two functions which can be done as either manual or automatic. In a Manual manner an operator performs the function. In Automatic the system automation performs the task in some manner. In batching systems the function of feeding each ingredient into the batch container/transport and then delivering each completed batch to the next step in the process.”
Semi-Automatic: A semi-automatic batching system differs from both the automatic and manual systems. It is a combination of the two. The semi-automatic batching system will automatically provide step-by-step instructions to an operator for creating a batch. The system automatically controls the process of proceeding from one step to the next by weighing and comparing to the required amount and ensuring that the correct material has been used/added. The operator will feed each ingredient from it respective bin/box/container to the batch container for weighing on a scale controlled by the system. Once a batch is completed and verified by the system an operator manually moves or transports the batch container to the next step, typically to the mixer.
From a cost perspective, the semi-automatic batching system is typically less expensive, often far less expensive, than the automatic system. There is a significant difference in mechanical and electronic hardware and controls and automation. In the semi-automatic category there are two type, the Hand Prompt Batching Station or System, and the Kitchen System.
To eliminate the problems you experience with manual batching, move to an automatic ingredient batching system. If cost is critical and you want to start small, begin with a semi-automatic hand prompt batching system and move up to a kitchen or automatic micro or minor batching system when the investment can be made.