Providing seed samples for trial fields is challenging because many samples must be prepared with different numbers of seeds. The risk of confusion or filling with an incorrect number can be reduced if the current number is printed immediately after the counting operation. With a simple receipt printer, the error rate can be reduced and […]
In addition to the proven particle counting devices, elmor now also offers a weight dosing unit. With it, fine seeds, free-flowing granules or powders can be dosed very precisely in the gram range. The device of a specialized manufacturer can be combined for example with the elmor 800 packaging machine or the elmor filling carousel, or it can also be used as an independent dosing unit.
The patented process uses an ingeniously simple, maintenance-free and reliable dosing mechanism. With it, small portions can be staggered in a timely manner on a precision balance. For the variant used by elmor, this is a Mettler Toledo WMF industrial balance with a resolution of 1mg or 0.1mg (100 micrograms). An intelligent dosing algorithm promotes decreasing subsets at short intervals. As a result, the target weight is reached within a few seconds. The dosing tolerance is in the lower % range.
The special design of the dosing unit and the absence of vibrating feeder units prevent even inhomogeneous products from being dosed with virtually no measurable segregation or grain size selection.
The field of application of this dosing scale is found in the filling and packaging of fine seeds, granulates of all kinds such as micronutrients, pharmaceuticals, granular reagents, powdered cannabis products, ground hemp leaves and many more.
elmor C1 PHARMA: a new parts counter for the pharma and the food industry
The elmor C1 seed counter is now also available in a special version for the pharma industry and the food industry, the new elmor C1 PHARMA. Based on the well known, precise and reliable elmor C1 seed counter, all parts that come into contact with the product are made of materials or have coatings that meet the requirements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Title 21 CFR 21. This includes the conveyor bowl, the sorting element and the outlet for the counted products.
In contrast to the normal C1 seed counter, the housing cover of the elmor C1 PHARMA has a white colour. On request, however, the cover can also be made of bare stainless steel so that the entire counter can be cleaned and disinfected with liquid agents.
The new elmor C1 PHARMA is also equipped with an internal self-test device. In connection with GMP regulations (operational qualification OQ), it is now possible to prove the correct function of the counter at any time. The test module checks the correct function of the entire optical path, the sensor system and pulse processing unit as well as the pulse counter itself and the display.
The new parts counter elmor C1 PHARMA is used in many areas. This is the case, for example, in the random testing of automatic filling lines for tablets, or when filling small quantities of pharmaceutical products such as pills, tablets, capsules or globules. Furthermore, implantable parts are counted with the C1 PHARMA parts counter, for example radioactive seeds, small titanium markers, parts for bone screws and others.
The increasing legalization of cannabis has led to a growing demand for our accurate seed counters and filling devices. As a rule, small piece numbers are usually to be counted, e.g. single grains or small amounts of a few seeds only. The elmor C1 seed counter is extremely suitable for this counting task, as it has been optimized for processing small to medium batches.
After counting the seeds need to be packaged. All possible packing materials are used, from simple PE Zip bags to custom-made paper, cardboard, plastic or metal boxes. The packaging operation is in most cases a time-consuming manual work, which is why many customers combine the seed counter with a filling carousel.
Thanks to the modular construction of the elmor carousel filling machine, practically all containers can be processed. By saving working time with the elmor carousel and thanks to the precise dosage with the elmor C1 seed counter, the investments can be amortized within a short time.
The elmor 800 packaging machine is a popular choice for seed packing companies. It is specialized in the processing of sealable flat bags. If many different products but mostly small lot sizes have to be packed, the seed packaging machine elmor 800 is best suited together with an elmor seed counter or with any other suited dosing device.
In the case of the elmor 800 packaging machine, the empty bags are removed from a magazine, opened, filled and then closed by hot sealing. The bags are held with several vacuum suckers. The required vacuum is generated by means of compressed air operated venturi nozzles. These vacuum generators have no wear and function troublefree for years. Their disadvantage, however, is the high air consumption. This is why a compressor with a high air throughput is required. The overall energy consumption of the packaging machine is thus mainly determined by the air consumption of the venturi nozzles.
Improved version eliminates the venturi nozzles
With the latest version of the elmor 800 packaging machine, the elmor 800 ECO, motor-driven vacuum generators are used. The pumps used are quiet, wear-free and have a long service life. The entire energy consumption of the packaging machine drops by around 90%, since only a very small amount of compressed air is required for the remaining pneumatic elements. Depending on the tariff of the electricity costs this saving can make a substantial amount per year.
The picture shows an elmor 800 ECO packaging machine. It also shows how easy the machine can be adapted to different tasks. In the present case the dosage of the product – two different pharmaceuticals – is carried out by using two C1 PHARMA counting devices. Each counting device is equipped with a storage bin and feeding conveyor elmor 610 for automatically refilling the conveyor bowl of the counters. In addition, a printer module is used with which each bag is printed with a lot number and the packaging date.
The elmor counters are normally used as batch counters. This means that a certain amount of a product must be counted, and then the machine is used for a next task. In the present application elmor multichannel counters were installed firmly in two production lines. The products – safety-related mechanical precision parts for the automotive industry – are fed continuously via a belt conveyor. Then they are counted, portioned and fed into a packaging machine. The system operates up to 7 x 24 hours. Thus, the elmor multichannel counting machines can be in continuous, unsupervised use for several months. This is only possible thanks to the unique sensor technology of the elmor counters. Whether in harsh and dusty industrial environments or in the laboratory with the finest products, the sensors retain their high precision and can be operated during months without cleaning and maintenance.
As a member within a worldwide just-in-time supply chain uninterrupted supply of products must be guaranteed. The entire system, including the counting and packaging part is therefore built redundant. The elmor 650 counting devices in turn are ideally suited for this task thanks to the robust sensor modules. At each machine 2 sensor modules are incorporated, each with 5 channels. In case of failure a module could be replaced within a very short time.
Successful partipication at the Swiss Medtech Expo, 15 to 16 September 2015, Lucerne / Switzerland
elmor showed the devices which are most commonly used in the field of medical technology: the standard counting machine elmor C1, the PC-controlled counting machine elmor C3, which ensures the required capability of traceability thanks to the storage of all relevant data. Further a filling carousel for Eppendorff tubes and the new weight sorter elmor SWS have been shown. In addition to talks with many interested customers also valuable discussions took place with plant manufacturers and special machine builders.
The elmor seed counters are characterized by an extremely high sensitivity. Therefore the models elmor C3 are used to count dust fine seeds of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana at many universities worldwide. The C3 can detect parts as small as 0.1mm. Increasingly the number of other small parts are determined quantitatively with the elmor seed counters. For these tasks also the elmor C1 shows amazing abilities. Here are some fascinating examples: cut gemstones or green rough diamonds in the sub-mm range and precious metal balls with a diameter of 0.2mm only.
In all these cases, the conventional quantification which is usually applied by determining the weight gives results with insufficient accuracy, despite a high and costly instrumental effort (balances in the microgram range) and an enormous investment of time. Moreover, this process can hardly be automated.
In the examples shown, the particles are counted with a standard elmor C1 seed counter piece by piece fast and accurately. Vibrations of the workplace do not distort the results – this is in contrast to the weighing process. The default sorting elements FS0 or the adjustable sorting element FS3 are used for the singularisation of the parts. The counted parts are then filled into small containers on an elmor carousel filling device. The whole process runs unattended.
The customers save time and money and do not “donate” costly parts as a result of an erroneous quantification. Thanks to these savings, the devices used are amortized in the shortest time.
The very popular Rhinestones experience a boom as jewellery and fashion accessories. In addition, many textiles are decorated with stick-on stones (hotfix or hot glue rhinestones).
For the retailer, the exact dosage of these stones is quite difficult. The smallest stones may have dimensions of a few 1/10 mm and a weight of only a few milligrams. The weight of Hotfix stones varies due to tolerances in the amount of adhesive. The commonly practiced determination of a number of pieces based on the weight therefore leads – especially for small and hotfix stones – inevitably to incorrect values. Complaints from customers, inventory discrepancies or missing sales margins for the dealer are the result.
In an actual case, a customer has decided to count its stones with a PC controlled elmor C3 counting system. The elmor counters were originally developed to count plant seeds. Increasingly, the seed counters are also used for counting smallest mechanical parts – as well as rhinestones.
The elmor C3 can exactly detect small parts in the range of 1/10mm to more than 10mm. The control software allows to count total amounts or a predetermined number of pieces accurately and repetitively, for example 50 times 100 parts.
The small parts are an important sector of the customer’s product range. They can be processed with the standard conveyor bowl. Since very flat stones are present among these parts (thickness only a few 1/10 mm) the feeder bowl was equipped with the sorting element FS3. The FS3 is continuously adjustable in height and width. Thus stones next to each other as well as superposed stones can be eliminated from escaping so that only one stone after another leaves the vibrating bowl and is precisely detected by the highly sensitive sensor.
Caused by the vibrations of the conveyor bowl stones with small dimensions tend to charge electrostatically, which could lead to errors. With an ionizer the charges can be neutralized.
For large stones there is a risk that the cut edges being damaged during the conveying process. For this reason a conveyor bowl with polyurethane coating is used for stones larger than about 5 mm in diameter.
The data of all counting operations can be stored and exported for further use.
The result of each completed count is printed automatically. The printing is done in plain text and bar code.
During sample preparation or inventory counts many customers have expressed a wish to be able to print the determined number immediately. This can be done with this new accessories for the C1 counter. Faulty manual recordings are obsolete.