“Green” Manufacturing of Industrial Scales
There are a wide range of standard industrial weighing scales that serve many requirements. Large loads are accurately weighed on floor scales. Often, forklifts are used to place pallets or totes of material on the scales. Platform sizes may range from a standard pallet size of 4’ x 4’ up to as large as 12’ x 8’ for very large loads. The weight information may be used to determine the shipping weight. Or for incoming purposes, it can verify that the proper quantity of material has been received. Communication options allow this weight data to be directed to a printer, if necessary, to provide a hard copy. Or the data may be entered into a company’s computer system for database or billing purposes. Platform scales are similar to floor scales, but are usually designed for smaller loads of up to 1000 lb. The platforms are also smaller, ranging from 20” x 27” up to 36” x 36”. These scales are used for similar purposes as floor scales, and share many common features.
Drum scales are special versions of floor scales and platform scales. They are meant to weigh drums of liquids or liquefied gases. They may also be used for similar containers, such as tanks, dewars, hoppers and pails. Often, the container will stay placed on the scale, and various contents will be added for mixing or formulating purposes. Also, the liquids may be dispensed from the container while it remains on the scale. This allows the remaining weight to be monitored.
Another standard type of digital scale is a parts counting scale. This scale is used to count large quantities of parts such as bolts, nuts and washers, electronic components, injection molded items, printed materials, fittings, or similar items. Usually, this type of scale will sit on a bench or cart. But for larger volumes, a larger capacity scale platform can be connected to the smaller scale.
Some other common electronic scales include bench scales, crane scales, cylinder scales, wheelchair scales, and veterinary scales. Each type has some special features making them useful for their intended purpose.
Often, though, there is no “off the shelf” industrial scale to suit a specific purpose. In this case, custom weighing equipment is required to meet a particular use. Custom built scales have the major advantage of providing the exact solution to a weighing requirement. Sometimes, a custom made scale only needs to have a specific platform size, shape or capacity. Some scale manufacturers, such as Arlyn Scales, will fabricate the platform to the exact user specification. This may be critical, such as those situations where the scale must fit into another piece of equipment. Equipment fabricators, such as for pallet wrappers, blending equipment, mixing equipment, and dispensing equipment, may find this to be the best method of adding weighing capability into their own devices.
Different types of control systems may also benefit from custom designed scales. For example, in raising animals, it is important to make sure that weight gain is at the proper rate, and is the same for each animal within a batch. Arlyn Scales has designed a special scale device that weighs each animal as they walk towards their feed lot. Depending on the weight of that animal, a series of gates and doors will move to direct that animal to a desired feed area. This feed may have extra nutritional value, so that the animal will gain weight at a faster weight. Or the opposite may be the case, where that specific animal is gaining weight faster than is desired.
Another situation that required custom weighing equipment is for distributors of industrial parts. The distributor has the responsibility to assure that there is sufficient inventory of all required parts at their customers’ locations. In this case, Arlyn Scales designed a set of bin scales. Each part bin sits on its own scale. Each of these scales communicates with a central scale indicator. The number of pieces in each bin can be displayed. The indicator also incorporates an Ethernet port and has Internet capability. The number of parts in each bin is transmitted, via the Internet, to a central computer system. This allows the distributor to monitor, from their own location, the inventory of each part at their customer’s site. Whenever the inventory falls below a pre-set value, the distributor can arrange to make a new delivery of that part. Furthermore, the distributor can install these systems at each customer’s location. They can then keep track of required delivery in a much more efficient manner.