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How Does a Multi-Head Combination Weigher Work?

An important part of any production line—especially in the food packaging industry—is weighing the product before packaging it. Whether you’re packaging produce, poultry, frozen foods, or other hard-to-handle products, weighing equipment that is fast, accurate, reliable, and space-saving is key.

Combination Weighers in the Packaging Industry

Combination weighers are standard for a variety of industries that need a weighing machine. Also known as multi-head weighers or radial scales, these machines are easy to operate and make the packaging process more efficient without sacrificing accuracy or speed.

The name for this equipment comes from how a multi-head weigher calculates combinations—in other words, the machine uses a combination of weigh buckets filled from several head configurations to meet the product’s weight requirements.

These weighers are intended for products that require efficient and highly accurate weight measurements.

How Multi-Head Weighers Work

Multi-head combination weighers calculate and measure bulk products into smaller increments before packaging to ensure each container meets a targeted weight.

Stage 1: Product Is Fed into the Multi-Head Weigher

First, bulk product is fed into the combination weigher. Each head configuration has its own dedicated load scale, so the process starts when the product is funneled through the top of the machine and then into the center of each load scale.

Stage 2: Product Is Transported to Feed Pans

The load scales dispense the product into a series of feed pans. These scales control the flow of the product so that the feed pans are not overwhelmed.

Stage 3: Feed Pans Move Product to Weigh Buckets

The feed pans vibrate, which gently moves the product from the center of the machine toward the weigh buckets around the edge of the scale. The intensity of this vibration can be increased or decreased as needed—sticky products may require stronger vibrations to get the product moving, while free-flowing products need a minimal amount of vibration.

After the feed pans distribute the product into the weigh buckets, they stop vibrating and wait until there are empty weigh buckets to fill (see Stage 7).

Stage 4: Machine Weighs and Measures Product

Each weigh bucket has its own load scale that is constantly weighing the amount of product fed into the bucket. These scales take precise measurements at an extremely high accuracy rate.

Stage 5: Machine Selects a Combination of Weigh Buckets

Once the amount of product in each weigh bucket has been measured, the machine calculates the best combination of buckets to reach the targeted weight.

Stage 6: Selected Weigh Buckets Empty Product into Packaging Machine

The selected weigh buckets simultaneously dispense the precisely measured product into the whatever packaging system is in place—whether that is an automated packaging machine or a person manually packaging the product.

Stage 7: Feed Pans Fill Empty Weigh Buckets

The feed pans automatically open and fill the empty weigh buckets (see Stage 3), and then the cycle continues.

How a Combination Weigher Can Benefit Your Production Line

Multi-head combination weighers provide two critically important benefits to packaging production lines: speed and accuracy.


Standard combination weighers have between 10 and 24 heads. Since each of the heads on the machine are constantly replenishing and measuring the bulk product fed into the multi-head weigher, the machine moves much faster than a production line relying on a manual scale.

Adding additional head configurations means the machine has more options to create combinations that equal the targeted product weight, leading to an even faster system.


The load cells of combination weighers are extremely accurate, down to fractions of a gram. Unlike linear scales that may encounter issues with weighing clumps, multi-head weighers calculate portions of the product, making the weight measurements more accurate.

Buy and Sell Used Combination Weighers at HP Packaging

At HP Packaging, we buy and sell used packaging machinery and equipment for a wide variety of industries and production lines. Our top-notch used packaging products have been repaired, refurbished, or reconditioned by the highly trained experts on our team and are ready to improve the efficiency of your production line.

As a leader in the used packaging equipment industry, we are proud to offer used combination weighers in a variety of styles. Whether you want to replace a multi-head weigher on your production line or expand your current capabilities, HP Packaging can help you find the best used combination weigher for your business.

View our used packaging products or contact us today to learn more about your options for buying used packaging equipment.

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