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Food & Beverage Industry Newsletter – June 2024

The Essentials of Integrating a Robot into your Process

The reasons for automating manual processes are well known at this point. For tasks that are the 4D’s – dull, dirty, dangerous or difficult to fill – a robot or other automation solution makes sense from a financial, quality and efficiency standpoint. You could almost say that robots are commonplace these days! However, choosing the right robot and integrating it into your process is anything but easy.

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There are many different types of robots on the market – industrial, collaborative, SCARA, mobile and more – each suited for different tasks. In addition, there are many different brands of robots out there, each with their own specialties, their own software and their own quirks. It’s important to work with a company which looks at your automation project based on the task needed, rather than shoe-horning a particular robot into it.

And don’t forget, automation is much more than a robot. Sometimes a custom precision motion control solution will work better for your application than a robot or will have a better ROI.

But choosing the right motion component is only the first step.

Unless you have a large team of automation engineers on staff (and sometimes when you do), integrating your new automation project into your existing process requires specialist knowledge. From the hardware to the software to the safety systems and peripherals, each component must be tied together and communicating seamlessly to achieve the desired result.

Is your equipment list growing through plant consolidation but not your manpower?

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It’s a common refrain that we hear with many of our customers. Due to shifting demand in certain areas or industries, plants are being closed, with their equipment being shipped to areas where it’s needed. What never seems to shift is the manpower to keep all that equipment in calibration!

Luckily, Cross Precision Measurement can help with a range of calibration services to suit your particular need:

  • Just need us to help out with a few pieces of equipment or something specialized which you don’t have the standards for? One of our twenty ISO 17025 certified labs can help with per piece calibration.
  • Want us to come onsite to supplement your team? All of our labs offer onsite calibration services to save time and reduce the amount of back-up equipment needed.
  • Need someone (or several people) full time? Cross also offers full-time embedded calibration and QA/QC services, where our associates work on your site exclusively for you. We have decades of experience over hundreds of different sites, so we can work with you to design an embedded solution tailored to your specific needs.

With world-class technical expertise and unbeatable customer service, Cross Precision Measurement delivers the best in calibration with a smile. And don’t take our word for it. See what our customers have to say about one of our branches or look here for the branch nearest you.

What's New at Cross

New partner for water testing: LaMotte Company

Cross Process Solutions is excited to announce our new partnership with LaMotte Company, experts in water quality analysis. For over 100 years, LaMotte has been making water testing products for a range of applications.

LaMotte Company manufactures analytical reagents, laboratory apparatus, electronic instrumentation, and complete portable test kits for chemical analysis in hundreds of applications. They pride themselves on their technical expertise and customer service, much like the team at Cross!

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Get Ready for Lightning Season!

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Warmer weather signals the run up to lightning season, so now is the time to make sure your rail and truck scales are prepared. A single lightning strike, or one nearby, can short out the load cells, wires, junction boxes and accessories on your heavy capacity scale. And, let’s face it, with today’s increasingly unpredictable weather, it’s not IF there’s a lightning strike, it’s when.

Since your scale is likely the heart of your operation, either inbound or outbound, it’s important to make sure you’re ready for the worst weather or you may face downtime or lost revenue if something happens. Remember, it only takes one strike to take down your entire scale system.

Ammonia Detection for Cold Storage

Ammonia (NH3) is a cost effective and environmentally friendly gas used in cooling systems throughout the food and beverage industry. While it is an efficient coolant and a great alternative to fluorocarbons, it’s also toxic, causing corrosion to the skin and mucous membranes. Cross partner Dräger manufactures market leading gas detection systems to ensure safety wherever refrigeration systems are used.

Cross Provides Tangible Value for You

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Improve Efficiency

Sometimes a little thing can be a huge time saver! Take this wireless button from Cross partner Omron. Instead of wires dictating where you need to put a push button, what if you could put it where it was ergonomically efficient? Or time efficient?

With a range of 100 feet, the wireless A2W button can even be mounted on mobile machinery, as it will reacquire the signal when it gets in range. For example, the forklift driver can have an A2W button in their truck to open the roll door, instead of getting out. There’s also no need to worry about changing batteries, as the wireless buttons have self-generating power. Use up to 8 buttons with one receiver.

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Improve Efficiency

Are you looking for a reliable and efficient solution for handling food items or flexible packaging? Coval’s range of packaging suction cups has been specially designed to meet the needs of different food industries.

Made of silicone, they are FDA 21 CFR 177.2600 and EC 1935/2004 compliant, and come in a variety of shapes, features, and shores (hardness) to perfectly fit your food or packaging handling needs.

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Raise Quality

In the world of winemaking, every step needs careful attention to ensure the highest, most consistent quality. Sparging, the process of bubbling gas through a liquid to remove impurities, is crucial.

Cross partner Brooks Instrument worked with a winemaker to integrate digital mass flow controllers in their manual sparging process. This gave them precise control over gas flow rates, creating optimum conditions for wine production. The winery enhanced efficiency and quality control, resulting in a more consistent, high quality wine.

See how our team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk

Latest Cross Company Updates

Alltrista Plastics significantly improved their quality control process by implementing LK Metrology’s advanced Altera S CMMs, replacing outdated machines.
July 15, 2024
This white paper from Universal Robots highlights the benefits of using collaborative robots (cobots) in the metals and machining industry. Cobots address challenges like labor shortages and high-mix/low-volume production with flexible, cost-effective automation.
July 2, 2024
This case study from OGP highlights how Technimark utilizes measurement systems like the OGP Fusion 400 to perform measurements in their quality lab.
July 1, 2024

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In the meantime, enjoy these fun facts…

Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are 100% employee-owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet of paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.