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Using Bench Scales for Compliance with The Weights and Measures (Packaged Goods) Regulations 2006 – A Short Guide

Updated on November 21, 2012
e mark for used on UK Average Weight Packaged Goods
e mark for used on UK Average Weight Packaged Goods
Ohaus Valor 2000W HACCP Compliant Scale
Ohaus Valor 2000W HACCP Compliant Scale

A wide variety of bench scales to aid complianc

The UK average weight legislation or e marking for short, is a complex issue, however if your business complies by performing regular offline sample tests than you should be using a high quality set of bench scales to ensure that you never give away more product than you need to whilst staying within the three packers rules. The three packers rules simply put, state that;

- The average weight of all the packs in a batch must be equal to or greater than the declared nominal weight

- Typically no more than 2.5% or 1 in 40 of the packs shall weigh less than the T1 Tolerable Negative Error (which generally varies between 1% and 9% of the nominal quantity dependent upon the nominal quantity itself)

- No packs shall weigh less than T2

With such strict rules it is imperative to ensure that, as a packer you stay on the right side of the law but equally protect yourself against giveaway. The emark itself is a very complex logo with very strict guidelines on its usage and its design on packaging.

The hazards of inaccurate weighing results

Inaccurate, poor quality or uncalibrated scales that are used for average weight sampling are prone to error. If your sampling weigh results are too high then you risk supplying under filled packs, swiftly followed by consumer complaints and the unwanted attention of a Trading Standards Inspector. Of course the opposite is true that if your readings are too low then corrective measures are usually taken within the factory and the fill level is increased to ensure that the packer’s rules are maintained. This will mean that unbeknown to you, the packer or manufacturer, that you are giving product away for free.

How should I specify a good set of bench scales for average weight sampling?

This is quite a simple question to answer and the first part is to stick with one of the widely known global manufacturers such as Ohaus; they have a deserved reputation for good quality, high accuracy, repeatable scales that are serviceable with spare parts availability and backup when required. It is also an advantage to look for scales that are hygienically suited for your environment. Ohaus, for example produces bench scales that are HACCP Compliant, with no flat surfaces for debris to build up on and easily washable components with a high degree of internal protection against ingress of dust and water.


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