Catch weigh vs check weigh? What needs to be NMI certified?


What’s the difference between “catch weigh” and “check weigh” systems? And do they need to be certified by the National Measurement Institute?

“Catch weigh” or weigh price label systems are used with product that’s bought in terms of “price per weight unit” to calculate the price of that specific product. The item crosses over the conveyor scale to determine its weight, and a label is printed specific to that package, so each product is labelled with its own unique weight and price. The aim of catch weighing is  to ensure the consumer only pays for the amount of product that they actually receive.  

On the other hand, “checkweigh” systems check the weight of products to ensure they are within the manufacturer’s specified limits. Any packs outside specified tolerances are pushed off the line, which helps keep product quality and costs in check. Checkweighers can be used to classify and sort goods according to weight classes.

Both catch weigh and checkweigh systems reduce loss of profit and materials in pre-packed articles.

Under Australia’s trade measurement laws, manufacturers, packers, importers and sellers of pre-packed articles must make sure packages are correctly labelled, including measurement marking – and this is where the National Measurement Institute (NMI) comes in.

The NMI is Australia’s peak measurement body, responsible for measurement in trade as well as across biological, chemical, legal and physical sectors. NMI is responsible for maintaining Australia's units and standards of measurement, and for developing and maintaining standards of measurement, reference materials and reference techniques.

NMI also administers trade-measurement laws regarding the use of measuring instruments for trade, testing and verifying measuring instruments for trade, and transactions by measurement. Only catch weigh systems need to be NMI certified annually. Check weigh systems do not need to be NMI certified in Australia. It is recommended that both catch weigh and check weigh systems are calibrated. Calibration is checking to ensure the machine is accurate. This is recommended to be done at least annually by an external party – so is typically done by your machinery supplier.

While catch weigh and checkweigh mean the consumer knows what they’re getting, they also mean the manufacturer knows what they’re sending out. Even if using either system results in a saving of just 1% of raw materials a day, it’s protecting the business’s bottom line from product giveaway, which can end up costing a lot, as well as eliminating complaints due to under-fills and the consequent potential loss of future purchases.

To find out how checkweighing systems can help your business, please get in touch with the iQVision team. You can contact us via email or call 1300 IQVISION (1300 478 474). We have years of experience customising applications from the simple to the complex.

iQVision also has a host of information in the resource library, including videos, case studies, whitepapers, brochures, FAQ’s and our blog. They’re all free to download.

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