There are many variables concerning what is loosely termed as a "weight count".
In this publication our goal is to pursue vigorously every possible variable that
could cause the "weight-count" of a box of thermoformed product to not be equal
to the specified number of pieces for a specific type of product. It is not our
goal to confuse anyone, but we will accept this as a delightful bonus. Note that
this publication is the result of literally billions of hours of research, and
almost no forethought.
Variation vs. Constant
Variation describes that which may change and constant describes the opposite.
During a weight count procedure it is best to eliminate as many variables as
possible to ensure a proper Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). In this publication
we wish to examine every possible variable, and the impact that it may have
on a successful weight count.
Tape, like other objects, has weight. When a thermoformed product packer makes
the mistake of taping a weight-count box closed before weighing the box, the
weight of the ruined box will not be perfectly accurate. We suggest that all the
parts that are in the box be repacked into an un-ruined box and that the ruined box
be burned. To test our hypothysis, we weighed a thousand boxes before taping them, and
then re-weighed each box after it was ruined. What we found is that some research
is so boring and useless that it is not worthwhile.
Labels, like other objects, have weight. If a weight count is done without a
label on the box, then all subsequent boxes must not have a label on them while
being weighed. The only alternative is to weigh the label by itself prior to
placing it on the box, then subtracting the weight of the label from the weight
that is given for the box to match to the weight count.
One roll of film may vary significantly from another roll in thickness, even if
both rolls are labeled to be the same guage. Therefore, a new weight count
should be started every time a roll of film is changed on the machine. If a box
contains thermoformed product from two different rolls of film, then that box
should be handcounted.
Our research shows that the film on the far side of a roll
can weigh significantly different from that of the near side. To perform this
research we counted 200 parts from the three cavities of the near side of a six-up
stacker, and did the same thing with the far side. We put 200 "near-side" products
in one box, and put 200 "far-side" products in an equally raggety box with approximately
the same amount of old labels and tape on each one. One box weighed 22.25 and the
other weighed 23.15! Almost a pound difference! This shows how even the smallest
variable can be muliplied by hundreds when concerning hundreds of product parts.
A used box with old tape and labels attached will obviously not weigh exactly the
same as a new box. Because of this a new weight count procedure must be started
anytime a thermoformed product packer changes from used boxes to new boxes. A
good thermoformed product packer will also start a new weight count procedure
if the number of labels on a used box is different from that of the prior used box.
Also if the amount of tape on a used box is different, this must be accounted for
Scales are not generally all calibrated at the exact same moment in time, and may
lose calibration at different rates anyway, given that they exist in an imperfect
world. Therefore, if a packer of thermoformed product changes the scale they
are using partway into a box, then they must hand-count that box and then perform
a new weight count procedure immediately. Also a scale must be exactly level to
be somewhat accurate. A PACKER OF THERMOFORMED PRODUCT SHOULD NOT TRUST ANY
SCALE BEFORE MEASURING EACH LEG OF THE SCALE WITH A COMPANY-CERTIFIED SIX INCH
RULER AND VERIFYING THAT THEY ARE ALL OF THE EXACT SAME DISTANCE!!!
Fans should not be allowed in the vacinity of an accurate thermoformed product
packer. If in the process of packing thermoformed product, you should start
to feel faint, you should contact your supervisor and let them know that to you,
accuracy is more important than life itself, and that if you die of heat exhaustion,
that it will have been for an important cause. Accuracy.
Dividers are sheets of cardboard that separate layers of thermoformed product.
When two dividers have the same width and length, but have different thicknesses,
they will mostly likely have different weight. Therefore an accuate thermoformed
product packer will measure the thickness of each divider before use with a micrometer.
The length and width should be measured also, since even a minor change in either
one could cause insignificant results.
Humidity is the amount of water in the air. When the air is humid, the water in
the air may have a tendency to seep into some pourus objects, such as boxes. This
will cause a somewhat unimportant change in the weight of a box. Because of this,
it is our recommendation that packers of thermoformed product keep at their
stations a device for measuring humidity. The packer should check the device once
every 60 seconds. If any change is detected then the packer must begin a new weight
Insects, like most organisms, have weight. Think about it. Since insects tend
to fly about randomly, it is certainly possible that if a packer of thermoformed
product did a weight count with only 52 flying insects contained in a box, and later
a box is packed with 53 flying insects, that the box with 53 flying insects may not
have enough thermoformed products contained within, although it will have one
extra, delicious flying insect, and perhaps the customer will be pleased just the
same. Do not just assume that the customer has the same taste for flying insects
as you, please contact them in advance.
As you can see there are many variables when performing a weight count procedure.
Our initial conclusion was that there were only two ways to have a truly accurate
count of thermoformed products:
1. Count out all parts by hand.
2. Be anal.
After further research we realized that there was really only one way, since
these are the same thing.
Appendix: Human Error
As if there were any other kind.
For some reason only humans will sacrifice all common sense to impress their friends.
This is sad indeed, because our studies show that common sense is the greatest variable
of all. To conduct our research, we asked 1,386 people the following questions:
1. If you had to count 1,386 people, would you do it by weighing a sample of 100 people, dividing
the weight by 100 to find the weight per person (x), and then taking the weight of all the people and
dividing by x?
Do I look stupid?
2. If you did, would it be accurate?
Wait -- Don't answer that!!!
Probably the only site on the internet
that will calculate MPH of a thermoforming machine