The Crucible-Circular Weighing

A First in Weighing Technology:

Rotating containers on weighing kits, 

with data transfer using slip ring,

under extreme conditions!


The Crucible-Circular Weighing

The filling of transportation crucibles in a so-called circular (or filling circular) was previously performed manually by operators (see Figures 1 and 2). Here, a relatively optimal pot filling can only be achieved through extensive experience of the bottler, as the filling level in the crucible during the filling is only performed by visual inspection. The main problems of this are described briefly below. Each crucible must be optimally used, i.e. it should not contain too little product while overfilling is to be avoided. Overfilling represents a considerable potential hazard. Moreover, during transportation by lorry, the total weight of the crucibles (three crucibles per trailer) and the vehicle must not exceed 40 tonnes according to road traffic regulations. Too little content possibly means that more transports/shipments are required than actually necessary. Also, too little content might cause significant problems in the client's production. All the problems described above are nearly eliminated by the innovative solution of fiwa)group.


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Container for collecting
in the rotary tower

Removal of
filled container

Positioning of the container
in the rotary tower


Crucible-circular weighing by fiwa (see Figures 1 and 2):
For the determination of the weight on each of the three crucible reception positions on the circular, load cells are installed. The signals of such load cells and the crucible positions can be transmitted to the weighing terminal due to a special technical solution, even during the rotary motion. This allows a simultaneous actual detection of weight on all 3 crucible locations at any time, regardless of the current position of the circular.

Before each weighing process with 3 crucibles, the bottler submits the required data at the weighing terminal, e.g.: Crucible number and the corresponding batch number, - License plate number of the lorry and its trailer.

A maximum filling weight is stored for each crucible in an external database. Also, all lorry and trailer data are stored here. The database can easily be adapted and/or amended by an administrator.


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Aerial view
of “rotary tower” in container pit

Side view -
Container pit with weighing kit

After entering the required data, a light tower then signals clearance for the filling. Using a remote display, the operator then receives the maximum individual filling weight per selected crucible. The inaccuracy of the weighing amounts to less than one kilogramme per ten tonnes of net weight. Conventional load cells would be significantly damaged or completely destroyed under these harsh conditions after a short time.

It is also possible to establish a communication link with the lorry weighbridge, automatically transferring the vehicle weights to the fiwa weighing terminal. In addition, instead of manual input of the operational data, establishing communication with a process database (for example fiwa-iMesCC) can be realised. With this non-contact, user-friendly solution, the crucibles are equipped with RFID's radio chips. With this technology, considerable cost reductions can be realised from the production to the transfer of goods. fiwa)group has developed the know-how for all applications described above. The described projects have already been realised by fiwa)group.

At a glance

Through the use over several months we are able to state to this day that both the mechanical construction as well as the operating concept have fulfilled all expectations. The optimal filling of the transportation crucible is a gain for our customers - both in terms of safety as well as economically. More circulars will be automated soon.