A&D Weighing helped to solve a problem for Saputo Dairy Australia, who is the largest dairy processor in Australia. You may be familiar with some of their brands which are common sight on Australian supermarket shelves: Cracker Barrel, Devondale, King Island Dairy, Tasmanian Heritage and Liddells, to name a few.
Saputo’s Tasmanian office contacted Precision Scale Company (TAS), one of A&D’s Tasmanian Partners, in search of a robust precision balance that could withstand their wet and salty processing environment.
The customer’s objectives were clear. They needed:
- A precision balance to accurately and efficiently check weigh manufactured product.
- Had to withstand pitting/ingress from chemical cleaning products.
- Had to withstand corrosion from a very saline processing environment.
- Had to bear up to their regular cleaning regime using chemical agents.
- Had to be compact to meet their small bench footprint.
Saputo’s Tasmanian facility produces a variety of cheeses. However their fetta production is one of the most challenging. Being a cheese packed in brine, that process is renowned to have one of the harshest environs for food processing machinery and tools. As part of their sanitation regime, Saputo regularly fogs the production room with a chemical agent, and they also wash down all the equipment in situ with chemicals that would typically attack a lot of lesser scales.
A&D’s FX-i balances have IP65 grade protection as standard, however to further protect the powder-coated cast Aluminium body against pitting and corrosion after prolonged use in this environment, the standard FX-i balances were customised to increase resistance to potentially corrosive situations.
A&D’s technical team in Adelaide investigated a number of coating options, and the chosen material for the custom case modification was Teflon (PTFE). PTFE coatings are resistant to corrosive chemicals, provide good electrical insulation, doesn’t absorb water, can withstand extreme temperature variations, resists UV rays, and creates little friction/static.
The benefits of this custom PTFE case coating:
- Resistant to corrosive chemicals
- Resistant to salt water
- Non absorbent
- Provides good electrical insulation
- Can withstand extremes of heat and cold
- Resists UV rays, and low friction (static)
- Easy to clean balance with water
The first FX-i balance with the custom case upgrade was installed at Saputo (Burnie, Tasmania) in April 2019 and a number of additional balances have since been purchased in 2021 and 2022.
This PTFE case coating has also been applied to some FX-i balances that were sold to happy users at a University in Townsville – Department of Tropical Fisheries. “There is no sign of the usual rust-pitting after contact with seawater. They look like new.”
Together with Precision Scale Company, A&D Australasia are proud to be a key part of this success story with yet another example of reliable Japanese design and local Aussie innovation.