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7 Tips to get More out of Your CheckMate 3



Dansensor’s CheckMate 3 gives you rapid and accurate measurements of headspace gas. However, to help you get even more out of your CheckMate 3 we asked three of our experts to pass on their top snippets of advice: Area Sales Manager Nick Simon Markussen, Support Manager Morten Friis and Service Technician Alexander Münch. Here are their easy-to-follow hints and tips.


 Nick from Dansensor       Alexander from Dansensor         

Nick S. Markussen

Area Sales Manager
MOCON Europe A/S
     
Alexander Münch
Technical Service
Dansensor GmbH
     
Morten Friis Sørensen
Support Manager
MOCON Europe A/S

1. Save time by cloning your CheckMate 3

  

It is very straightforward to make a clone or ‘identical twin’ of your existing CheckMate 3. This can be useful if you are sending the machine for repair or recalibration and you have been given a replacement CheckMate 3 on loan, or if you acquire additional machines to carry out the same tests on a number of lines. “There is no need to reinput all the settings into the second instrument and go through the entire installation procedure,” says Nick. “You simply have to insert a USB stick and follow the menu directions to download the settings and data, and then transfer the stick to the second machine and upload the information.” You can do this either for a particular function, for example data and settings relating to a given packaging line, or for the entire data set as a whole.

2. Don’t forget to back up!

 

We all know how important it is to back up our holiday snaps from our phone or camera to make sure they remain safe and do not get lost. The same applies to the information recorded by the CheckMate 3. Morten recommends that you regularly transfer the internal memory to an external drive. “People often rely on the internal memory bank of the unit but they do not empty it regularly. The memory in the CheckMate 3 is large, but it will eventually fill up so it is a good idea to empty it from time to time to a USB drive or a PC.” It is, of course, always sensible to back up the data when the machine is being sent for service or recalibration.

3. Enrich your information by using the database facility in the PC software

 

For any quality assurance process, information is king. The CheckMate 3 software allows you to record a rich set of information for your internal and external quality assurance audits. “You can get much more out of the unit by loading key measurements into a database,” suggests Alexander. “For example you can configure the system to show how many packages of each product have been tested, where the test results are ok and where they are not, when the tests were carried out and by whom, and so on. It is highly versatile.” This kind of information can be extremely useful for quality auditing, for example. In addition, you can add notes to test results directly to the CheckMate 3 via the touchscreen. “For example if you are doing a test and you accidentally push the needle all the way through the sample by accident, this will record a bad result. You can add a note to this effect and this result can then be ignored in the statistical analysis. This means that these ‘rogue’ results will not give a false picture of the test run.” Read a case study about quality assurance.

4. Keep tabs on test history for you and your clients

 

Nick points out that it is often useful – and very straightforward – to go back through the history of test results. “If you have an incident on the packaging line or a recall from a customer, for example, it is simple to back trace the readings either through USB extraction or via the PC software.” This allows you to pinpoint the source of a problem quickly and efficiently.

5. Don’t forget to set up ‘user fields’ as a memory jogger!

 

Different lines or products often require their own particular measurements to be recorded in addition to the headspace gas analysis. These other measures could be, for example, the weight of the package or the particular flavour of the product. Nick points out that CheckMate 3 can help you to remember what additional measurements need to be made on a particular line by using the five programmable ‘user fields’ on the instrument. This tells the machine to remind you to make the other relevant quality checks to ensure that all the key data is captured. Watch our CheckMate 3 video.

6. The barcode scanner option can make your life easier

 

Barcode scanners have made things easier in the supermarket for decades, and they can make your life easier as a CheckMate 3 operator, suggests Alexander. By scanning the product code you automatically load details of the product into the CheckMate 3, so the unit will know which parameters to set for that particular product. This will save you a lot of time. Read a blogpost about the differences between manual and automatically testing.

7. Did you know that the CheckMate 3 tests headspace gas change over time?

 

Nick points out that the CheckMate 3 is a versatile instrument and that you can use it for more than just headspace testing of packages coming off the line. For example you can use the CheckMate 3 for monitoring changes to the gas composition within a package over a period of time, information that can be important during trials. “If you want to know what is going on in a package that contains fresh vegetables that ‘breathe’, for example, you can insert the needle into the package and program the CheckMate 3 to take a reading at given intervals – every hour, say – over a period of perhaps several days.”
  • CheckMate 3 for headspace analysis

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