Table grape punnet packaging : the influence of check-weighing

Smit, R. ; Treurnicht, N. F. ; Blanckenberg, M. M. (2012-11)

CITATION: Smit, R., Treurnicht, N. F. & Blanckenberg, M. M. 2012. Table grape punnet packaging: the influence of check-weighing. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 23 (3):196-208, doi:10.7166/23-3-521.

The original publication is available at http://sajie.journals.ac.za

Article

Most of South Africas table grapes are exported to the EU and the UK. In recent years, pre-packaged table grapes are now preferred in many European supermarkets. This increased demand has resulted in stringent quality standards, including the specification of punnet mass. Locally, table grapes are packed manually using seasonal labour, who often have limited formal education. Punnets must conform to upper and lower mass limits, but many deviations occur due to human and machine error. Check-weighing proved effective in reducing out-of-specification punnets, but human and machine errors were still problem factors.

Die meeste Suid-Afrikaanse tafeldruiwe word uitgevoer na die Europese Unie en die Verenigde Koninkryk. Die voor-verpakking van tafeldruiwe in ‘punnets’ begin al meer voorkeur geniet by Europese supermarkte. Hierdie verhoging in aanvraag het gelei tot strenger gehaltestandaarde, insluitend ‘punnet’ massa. In Suid-Afrika word meestal gebruik gemaak van seisoenale werkers met beperkte formele onderrig om tafeldruiwe te verpak. ‘Punnets’ moet voldoen aan boonste en onderste massagrense, maar baie deviasies kom voor as gevolg van menslike- en masjienfoute. Geoutomatiseerde eksterne toetsweging lewer positiewe resultate ten opsigte van vermindering van oor- en ondergewig ‘punnets’, maar menslike- en masjienfoute bly steeds probleemfaktore.

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