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Testing the firmness of fruit with a Shimpo Force Gauge

In order to produce the most successful yield possible for their crops, fruit harvesters have created scientific measurement standards their fruit must pass before harvesting and bringing to market. Gala apples, for example, are considered ready for harvest if their firmness reads at a level at or above 15 lbs. (6.8 kg).

A widely utilized method to measure fruit firmness is with the motorized Guss Fruit Texture Analyzer. While this industry standard instrument provides accurate results, their testing operation is slow. This can cause delays with harvesters who are testing hundreds of pieces of fruit a day. This unit is better utilized for research based tests with small batches.

To decrease the testing time, one Shimpo customer, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative, utilizes the Shimpo FGV-50XY Digital Force Gauge with 50lb (22kg) capacity to measure the firmness of their apples and other fruits. To perform the firmness test, they first peel a bit of skin off the apple. The apple is then placed on the machined cradle which holds the apple in place. (See photo above) Utilizing an industry standard tip connected to the force gauge, they pull the lever of the test stand and log the peak force recorded by the gauge required to puncture the apple. Last, they repeat the test at various locations on the apple to confirm the firmness readings. During harvest, they will test over 1000 apples each day. To organize and record the thousands of data points they receive, BC Tree Fruits Cooperative also uses Shimpo's free Toriemon software. This Excel add-in allows for large data storage, statistics and graphing. They trust the accuracy and dependability of the Shimpo FGV-50XY Force Gauge and software for testing throughout their entire orchard. But most importantly, the speed of the system allows them to test all 1000 samples each day without issue which is not possible with other test equipment available.

 

Equipment Used:

Puncture Testing With Shimpo Force Gauge

A large variety of materials need to be able to withstand a specific threshold of puncture force in order to pass certain quality standards. Specifically Gypsum board, or drywall, must be tested in order to determine the ASTM Standard classification level of the product. ASTM C1629 provides details for classifying Abuse Resistance Non-decorated Interior Gypsum Panel Products and Fiber-Reinforced Cement Panels. The Nidec-SHIMPO FG-M6PUNCTURE-ST adapter can be attached to one of Shimpo's digital or mechanical force gauges to create an ideal testing kit for determining the indentation resistance.

 

Puncture Adapter Operation

The outer shell of the FG-M6PUNCTURE-ST retracts as a load is applied to the test material. As the retraction of the outer shell occurs, the pin becomes exposed. The puncture test continues until the outer shell comes to a stop from contact with the base of the force gauge. The maximum force reading displayed on the gauge is the resultant puncture resistance of the test material.

Applications

The FG-M6PUNCTURE-ST combined with the Shimpo force gauge can be used to test puncture resistance on a multitude of materials such as: foam, cardboard, cork, tubing, membranes, baked goods, and even the ripeness of fruits or vegetables.

What do you need for Puncture Test

 

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New SHIMPO FG-7000 Digital Force Gauges with Data Logging and Auto-Rotatable Display

A Tradition of Excellence SHIMPO INSTRUMENTS, a division of NIDEC-SHIMPO AMERICA CORPORATION, is a leading manufacturer of digital force gauges, mechanical force gauges, torque and speed evaluation instruments and accessories. By combining years of experience with latest technology and materials, SHIMPO INSTRUMENTS has released FG-7000 digital force gauge to meet the highest user’s expectations.

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