Top

Inspection of berries standardized using OHAUS Trooper Compact Bench Scale

To most people, picking berries is simply a fun way to spend an afternoon outdoors with family.  To the world's agricultural industry, however, it is much more than that - it is very big business.

Growing, harvesting and selling berries - especially in California, the leading producer of strawberries in the US - is a billion dollar a year industry.
So to Driscoll Strawberry Associates Incorporated - the world's leading berry company - picking berries is quite obviously more than just a day outdoors.  Founded in 1944, this family-owned company produces, grows, and distributes premium strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries to locations across the globe. In fact, more than half of all the raspberries consumed worldwide are grown and distributed by Driscoll's finest growers.
Partnering with independent farmers all around the world, Driscoll's premium berry varieties are grown under strict quality guidelines to ensure each tray meets Driscoll's premium product standards.  Growers are also required to meet tough food safety standards established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Driscoll's also requires all of its independent berry farmers to become Eurepgap Certified, ensuring care for the land and berry harvesters.

indworld_applicationstories_berriesinspection_picture01

To the world's agricultural industry, berries are very big business.

Until recently, Driscoll's, like many in the agricultural industry, relied on lesser-quality scales to handle the essential task of manually weighing crates of berries during product quality inspections.  These inspections determine how growers get paid - the higher the quality of the product, the more the growers are compensated.  These quality checks are imperative to the entire Driscoll's process.  Driscoll's, known to be "sticklers" for quality, will often turn away baskets of berries from growers if they are continually underweight or less-than-perfect quality.  However, with the limited weighing technology they used previously, Driscoll's was only able to collect inspection weights on a small percentage of their total berry crop.  They also faced the possibility of human error, with all weight information being input into Driscoll's system manually by inspectors operating the scales.

But all that changed when Driscoll's Quality Assurance department introduced the Trooper® TR6 RS Economical Compact Industrial Bench Scale into the process in their Watsonville, California receiving facility. The design of the Trooper is optimized for economical weighing applications, making it the perfect choice for Driscoll's.  With a concave stainless-steel weighing pan, simple menu operation and an easy-to-read backlit LCD display, the Trooper has proven to be a profitable weighing solution for Driscoll's and their growers alike.
Driscoll's implemented the Trooper in early 2005 and customized it to best serve their needs. Using Microsoft Windows for Weights, Driscoll's inspectors were able to completely automate the process, both weighing product and entering quality data seamlessly using touch screen computers, further eliminating the possibility of human error. Since replacing their manual weighing technology with state of-the-art electronic bench scales from OHAUS, Driscoll's is now able to inspect and weigh 85 percent of their total product, creating a trustworthy process for assessing product quality and overall value for both the company and the growers.  
Driscoll's consistently puts quality first.  Therefore, this new quality check system - enabled by the implementation of the OHAUS Trooper scale - is now an extremely important part of the process.

indworld_applicationstories_berriesinspection_picture02
OHAUS Trooper Series

In fact, Driscoll's has had such phenomenal success and satisfaction with the OHAUS industrial bench scales, that they have decided to convert five additional production areas in the United States to the Trooper computerized system within 2006, with the hopes of increasing quality assurance in every aspect of the production process.  Given the tremendous success of the project, Driscoll's continues to evaluate new opportunities to create new efficiencies through the implementation of new technology.  Whatever new solutions they develop, it is likely that the OHAUS Trooper industrial bench scale will be a major part of Driscoll's operations for many years to come.

For more information on Driscoll, please go to www.driscolls.com

Related Application stories:

  • Trooper Bench Scale Key in Incoming Produce Testing
  • Defender Bench Scale Used to Compare Weights of Combat Armor for Government Hearing

To most people, picking berries is simply a fun way to spend an afternoon outdoors with family.  To the world's agricultural industry, however, it is much more than that - it is very big business.