For 97 years, Table Talk Pies has never wavered in their commitment to producing the highest quality pies. That promise has helped them grow from a two-man bakery to a leading producer of pies with over 300 employees across three automated facilities. In 2019, Table Talk installed a Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed C33 PlusLine checkweigher on a new packaging line. By detecting and rejecting over- and under-weight packages, Table Talk maintains their product quality standards and maximizes yield.
“When you’re as committed to quality as we are, checkweighing is an absolutely essential step,” said Brian Clough, automation engineer at Table Talk. “The primary purpose is to ensure we always give our customers the amount of pie we state on the box, while also minimizing our product give-away. Plus, checkweighers can recognize upward and downward trends in weight, which might indicate an incorrect adjustment or equipment failure upstream that needs to be addressed. The bottom line: our C33 checkweigher helps keep things running smoothly.
“We’ve relied on Mettler-Toledo product inspection systems for years, so we went directly to them when we needed a new checkweigher. They build accurate, low-maintenance workhorses that can keep up with our long hours,” explained Clough. “The C33 is one of Mettler-Toledo’s latest models and a newer version of our older checkweighers. Our sales rep, Mark Stewart of Flo-Dynamics, recommended this technology, and we’re very happy with it. Not every checkweigher can keep up with our 250 pies per minute line speed, but the C33 doesn’t even break a sweat.
Capable of running at speeds up to 300 packages per minute, the C33 PlusLine checkweigher can inspect products from 7g to 7.5 kg in size while maintaining an accuracy of up to +/- 0.05 g. Table Talk’s C33 inspects 4-inch pies that have been flash frozen for transport and packed in cardboard clamshells. Packages that don’t pass inspection are automatically removed from the line with a pneumatic reject device, also from Mettler-Toledo.
“The C33 is simple to use with an intuitive user interface. All our Mettler-Toledo checkweighers have similar software, so our operators can switch between the different machines with no additional training,” said Peter Bailey, Production Lead Supervisor at Table Talk. “When we installed our new checkweigher, we were able to download the product settings from one of our older Hi-Speed checkweighers and upload them onto the C33, even though it is a different model.
“It’s also easy to clean and maintain,” added Michael O’Connell, maintenance manager at Table Talk. “We do a light spray washdown daily and check a few parts like the bearings and belt tension, then we’re good to go.
“Our C33 is equipped with an optional TCP/IP communication capability, so we can connect it to our plant-wide network and send weight data directly to our central PC. We haven’t had the chance to set up this feature yet, but we’re excited about its potential,” said Erica Alfaro, QA supervisor at Table Talk. “Monitoring and documenting real-time weight data facilitates our continuous improvement program, since it helps optimize our processes and ensure we’re always putting out a high-quality product.
“All our Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed checkweighers, including our new C33, operate consistently day in and day out. Even six days a week at 20 hours a day, it has no problem keeping up with our demanding production schedule,” concluded Clough. “The C33 is a great little system all around. We definitely plan to go to Mettler-Toledo again the next time we need a checkweigher."