Company: Fortress Technology


Equipment Snapshot: At PACK EXPO Connects (virtual showroom S70) metal detector expert, Fortress Technology, will unveil its expansion into checkweighing with the launch of its inaugural ‘smart’ weigher series: Raptor.

Designed for new-generation manufacturers embracing the digital revolution, Raptor checkweighers include an intelligent conveyor removal system and intuitive digital process monitoring technology to advance inspection efficiency, target operational inefficiencies and slash product giveaway.

The Raptor launch range comprises three systems - a single frame standalone checkweigher, a combination metal detector and checkweigher, and XL caseweighing system for ingredient and big bag applications. All three address North America’s calls for robust, accurate, hygienic and compact food weight control systems incorporating the very latest digital ‘Smart’ processing technology. Innovative common features across the range include no-tool maintenance, leading digital software processing and a totally unique conveyor motor release. 

Commenting on the addition of Raptor checkweighing to Fortress Technology’s innovative metal detection portfolio, President Steve Gidman adds: “This is a breakthrough advancement for the North American food inspection market that applies unseen technology to improve process efficiency. Raptor is a premium weight control solution that can be integrated with or without a metal detector, at the best price point. All delivered in a flexible, hygienic package.”

Guaranteeing absolute traceability, the Raptor introduces high-end weight control technology. By instantaneously capturing sample readings of individual packs by the millisecond, the Raptor control system provides highly accurate and consistent weighing results. Only possible by using the most advanced ARM processors, this data capture and analytics is a game changer for food factories concerned about product waste and giveaway, explains Raptor Sales Engineer Matthew Gidman. “Using Raptor’s digital data capture feature, manufacturers can pinpoint upstream operational deficiencies, including overfilling of packs, processing and packaging waste,” notes Gidman.

Delivering premium inspection and weight checks at a highly competitive price, Fortress Raptor protects consumers and brand reputation, as well as meeting legislative weight requirements. Engineered to be both hygienic and extremely robust, the Raptor also targets operational inefficiencies, including upstream product giveaway and packaging waste.

In another hygienic first, the Raptor introduces a new tight fitting conveyor concept with a quick release and disassembly of the deck, belt, motor and rollers, Overcoming the longstanding industry challenge of loosening belt tension during machine sanitation, operators simply unclip and disconnect the conveyor motor and lift out the entire conveyor assembly. In just seconds, the conveyor belt is removed, along with its individual components, such as rollers and bearings, for maintenance and cleaning. The belt tension and alignment are  instantly restored when clipped back into place.

“The Raptor conveyor is super fast to disassemble, reassemble and slot back into place. No tools are needed. Which means there are no hidden contaminants or loose screws to worry about. Additionally, the tight fitting, smooth surface conveyor eliminates belt noise which can affect a checkweighers’ accuracy,” explains Matthew.

Rather than hiding valuable statistical information away, the Raptor presents a new giant 19-inch ‘smart’ touchscreen. Bigger than most digital tablets, machine operators can customize and bring to the foreground the most relevant parameters to their operation. Ranging from net weight, to average weight to product giveaway, operators simply pick their preference for the home screen. Graphs and visual prompts help to flag and respond to critical trends.

For failsafe, auditable test routines, Quality Assurance managers can program reminders and test schedules into the HMI. Applying smart technology, visual alerts remind operatives when a test is due. The test process, which includes pre-programmed test parameters is clearly explained, giving no room for human error.

Specifically designed for high care confectionery, chocolate, bakery, nutritional bars, packaged meats and cheeses, the Raptor Combination system measures just 1.7 meters. This is virtually half the length of a comparable combination system on the market. Despite the compact size, the metal detector has a full sized inspection head to ensure sensitivity is not compromised.

Using compatible collective parts, Raptor’s universal design also gives manufacturers the option to purchase a standalone Raptor checkweigher. Built to a standard 30-32 inch height, the Raptor checkweigher can be easily adapted to weigh different products, pack sizes and formats, ranging from flexible to rigid packs, and can be moved to other production lines when needed.

All the same principles have been applied to the Raptor XL. Designed to suit any case or large bag application weighing up to approx. 50kg, the heavy duty reject station can be customized to remove non-conforming products from the line.

Fortress Technology engineers will walk viewers around the key features of all three Raptor checkweighing systems at Pack Expo Connects, showroom S70. Tune in at 12:15pm CET on 9 November 2020 for the live launch and demo. Register here.