Hand Prompt Batching Station

Sterling Systems & Controls, Inc. designs and manufactures semi-automatic hand prompt stations (picture shown with optional bag dump) to meet the specific requirements of each customer as needed. The semi-automatic hand prompt batching station serves a wide range of industrial applications where the negative effects of time-consuming and problematic manual batching need to be eliminated. The hand prompt batching station is a semi-automatic batching system providing automated operator instructions or prompting, ingredient validation and lot tracking, automatic weighing with over/under tolerance control, etc. This system uses operator involvement to assist in the batch creation and will eliminate bad batches that result from operator error and interruption that occurs in the manual batching process. The operator no longer needs to have a written or printed recipe/formula or keep track of where he is in the batching process as the semi-automatic hand prompt batching station does that for him automatically. No missed ingredients! No bad batches!

A brief demonstration video is shown here:

The semi-automatic hand prompt batching station PC will instruct the operator to weigh ingredients. The Sterling Systems & Controls semi-automatic hand prompt controller will sequence an operator through a recipe/formula one ingredient at time.  The primary advantage of the system is to ensure that each ingredient is added to the container, is within a programmed weight tolerance, and from the correct ingredient lot before the controller will index to the next ingredient to be added.  This will ensure the validity of all batches created by the operator.

The Sterling Systems & Controls semi-automatic hand prompt batching station provides real time records for each batch produced.  This enables the highest standards to be maintained by ensuring a consistent batched product.  As batches are produced, the batching controller records the batch data and can print batch reports to a ticket printer (optional).  Additional reports and data can be printed on a standard network printer (batching station will need to be connected to your network) if one is available. The printout provides a hard copy of each ingredient by identification along with the required and actual formula weights.  A time and date is also stamped on each report at the start and end of the batch.

If an alarm condition occurs during batch processing, the batching controller can print an alarm message enabling a supervisor to review the performance of the operator and track problems that may occur later.   Batching reports can be printed automatically at the end of a batch, or can be recalled and printed on demand through either the semi-automatic hand prompt station software or WebCentral (optional Supervisory Control software application). The semi-automatic hand prompt controller maintains its database by automatically performing routine maintenance and backup procedures.

A barcode scanner (optional) can be attached to the semi-automatic hand prompt batching station control panel using a NEMA4X quick disconnect bulkhead connector mounted on the control panel. A wireless version of the barcode scanner is also available.  Prior to any wash down of the batching station control panel the barcode scanner must be removed. Other options are available.

Ingredient lot numbers are assigned and printed at a remote PC and Printer (by customer or optional) using a custom software package included with the semi-automatic hand prompt batching station.  Lot numbers will be 30 characters (or less) long, allowing room for an 11 digit Julian Date/time, 5 digit Vendor Code, and 5 digit Item Code, plus extra characters for future expansion if necessary.

The semi-automatic hand prompt controller will need to be placed on a local customer supplied Ethernet Network in order for any existing customer PC to communicate with the database residing on the semi-automatic hand prompt station.  Any customer PC’s which might be using the optional WebCentral software to communicate with the semi-automatic hand prompt batching station will also need to be on the same network as the hand prompt controller.  If an Ethernet network infrastructure is not already in place in place, Sterling Systems & Controls can assist with specifying networking hardware and cabling if needed.  The hand prompt controller will include an integrated Ethernet Network Adapter, but no other networking hardware is included with the semi-automatic hand prompt batching station.



Working With Us

Give us a call today to talk about your business and process objectives and see how Sterling Systems & Controls can provide a custom engineered solution.  You can reach us by phone at 1-815-625-0852, toll-free in the USA 1-800-257-7214, or by email at sci@sterlingcontrols.com.