Industrial electronic weighing scales are an essential tool in the agricultural industry, allowing farmers to accurately measure and weigh their crops. They can be used for a variety of applications, such as weighing livestock feed, measuring soil moisture content, and calculating fertilizer application rates.
There are also many different types available on the market today. This makes it important for you to understand how these scales work and which are best suited for your specific needs
In this article, the metrology experts at Arlyn Scales discuss the purpose of industrial electronic weighing scales in agriculture and farming. Then, we explore some of the features that make them an invaluable tool for modern farming operations.
How are Scales Used in the Agricultural Industry?
Industrial electronic weighing scales make a huge difference in the lives of those who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. For example, scales are used to accurately measure the weight of commodities that are grown, harvested, and sold.
Farmers must be able to accurately assess the amount of grain or other crops being produced in order to maximize their profits. Digital industrial scales provide accurate measurements so that farmers know exactly how much product they are generating from each harvest.
In addition to measuring crop output, industrial weighing scales can also be used to measure the weight of livestock such as horses or cows. Accurate weight information helps farmers to determine the value of their livestock when buying, selling, or trading animals.
Important Scales in the Agricultural & Farming Industries
Industrial digital weighing scales are also used in grain storage and transporting. These scales help farmers determine the weight of the grain they are storing or moving, so that they can accurately calculate shipping costs.
They also help farmers keep track of their inventory, so they know when it is time to order more grain or feed.
What Types of Scales are Used?
- Bench scales are used to weigh out seed, chemical additives, and other small items.
- Platform scales weigh out small amounts of feed, monitor feed usage, weigh 55-gallon drums of fluids, and can even be used to track the weight of animals.
- Large floor scales can be used to weigh cattle or larger quantities of contents.
- Drum scales may be used to keep track of the amount of feed used.
Additionally, we design custom scales for a wide range of specialty weighing requirements. One specialty application is pig sorters.
Custom Pig Sorters
There is a specific requirement within the hog industry that the animals must meet market weight. If the pig is too heavy or too light, there is a penalty in the amount that processors will pay for the animal.
Also, because of very tight margins in this industry, it’s important to properly feed the pigs so that they reach this target weight.
Pigs are typically raised in batches
Of course, individual animals have their own characteristics, but the goal of the farmer is to have a predictable, targeted weight gain for the entire batch of pigs. Those animals that are gaining weight too slowly must be fed in a manner that maximizes their weight gain.
Alternatively, those that are gaining weight too fast must be placed on a lower calorie feeding pattern. This minimizes their weight gain to reach the same range as the rest of their batch.
Custom Pig Sorters facilitate this process
A Pig Sorter consists of a cage to hold the animal, load cells to determine the weight of the animal, and a specialized digital controller. The digital controller processes weight data and determines feed choices based on a number of parameters.
The controller operates a number of pneumatic gates on the sorter that allows an animal to enter the cage. Then, after weighing, it opens the gates to direct the pig to the proper feed bin that matches their weight plan.
The pigs must be trained to willingly enter the weighing cage
You can achieve this by placing the cage in the penned path that the animals must use to get to their feed. Just make sure that you leave the entry and exit gates in the open position!
The young pigs will then walk through the device a number of times each day. Once they are acclimated to the Pig Sorter, you can turn it on so that it will open and close the various gates according to each pig’s weight.
This only takes a few seconds, so that many animals may move through the sorter rapidly.
Pig Sorters must be built to endure the environment
Animal waste products can be quite corrosive. This means that standard digital weighing equipment can be inadequate in the barn environment in which your sorters operate.
The sorters themselves should be constructed of a material which won’t corrode. At Arlyn Scales, we use welded stainless steel tubing for the construction of all major components of the Arlyn Scales Smart Sort Innovations Pig Sorter, including both the inside and outside cages, and the gates.
Sorters must be built to endure — inside & out
Most importantly, the load cells should be made from stainless steel. As the animals grow closer to their market weights, they can apply tremendous forces to the weighing devices.
Stainless steel load cells are much less prone to shock and overload abuse as compared to load sensors that are made from aluminum or other metals. Furthermore, the highly corrosive environment can very quickly ruin load cells that are not made from stainless steel.
A protective coating should be applied over the electronics on the stainless load cell as further protection. As yet another step, the load cells should have stainless guards around them to prevent rodents (or the pigs themselves) from attempting to chew on the load cells or the attached wires.
The digital controller must be easy for you to set up
Your digital controller must have the functionality to sort different weight groups. Additionally, the digital display must be large enough to see in a barn environment with less-than-ideal visibility.
You must have a number of options for saving the weight data and forwarding it to a computer for further storage purposes or analysis. An ideal method is to plug a USB memory stick into the controller with enough capacity to collect weeks, or even months, of weight data.
Whenever required, you can remove the memory stick from the controller and plug it into a PC to download the data. Appropriate software is then used to load this data into an Excel spreadsheet or an Access database table.
The Arlyn Scales UpScale 9: Farm & Agricultural Weighing Equipment
The most advanced controllers can actually send the data, in real-time, through either a wired or wireless Ethernet connection. You can monitor and collect the data by any computer that’s connected to the Internet.
In this manner, a central office can monitor and collect data from a large number of Pig Sorters in a wide variety of locations. Advanced data analysis software provides you with an excellent tool to determine appropriate actions for current market conditions.
The Arlyn UpScale 9 Touchscreen Indicator has a number of other advanced features, such as:
- A large, color touchscreen
- Automatic menus prompt your operators to enter setup parameters
- Very little training is required to obtain sophisticated results
- The bright, color screen presents the data in a clear and concise presentation
- Only the necessary buttons appear on the screen within any given operation
Upgrade Your Agriculture & Farming Operations with Arlyn Scales
To find the best weighing solutions for your agricultural or farming business, reach out to our team today.