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Optimal portion control using variable cutter-blade spacing in can-filling

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In the present context, optimal portion control refers to the process of preparing can-filling portions so that the deviation of the portion weight from a specified target weight is minimized. An approach has been developed for achieving this where a batch of objects is placed in a linearly overlapped optimal arrangement and then cut into portions using a series of parallel blades. The parameters of optimization are the arrangement order, orientation and degree of overlap of the objects. The approach has been demonstrated to produce impressive improvements in the application of fish canning. For this application, two approaches of optimal cutting are compared in the present paper. In one approach, the blade spacing is kept fixed and constant at a predetermined value. In the second approach, the blade spacing is varied for each portion after the objects are placed according to the optimal arrangement, where the target weight distribution is allowed to vary within a tolerance interval. The results presented in this paper indicate that the second approach produces a significantly higher percentage of acceptable portions than the first approach. What is presented are results from computer simulations, utilizing true data as measured from actual batches of fish. The paper demonstrates the potential benefit of the optimal portion control approach when applied in an industrial fish-canning process. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Keywords: fish can-filling; fish processing; optimal packaging; portion control

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: 2001-07-01

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