High Precision Balances: 3 Use Cases

High Precision Balances: 3 Use CasesAt Arlyn Scales, one of our latest innovations is our Ultra Precision Scales, which offer our customers the precision weight readings they’ve been looking for at a price that’s comparable to a strain gage scale. In this article, we’ll introduce you to our Ultra Precision Scales and discuss a few use cases for these scales that will hopefully show their versatility.

Limitations of Strain Gage Technology

If you’ve been involved in the scale industry for any length of time you likely are aware of strain gage scales, which are the most popular scales currently on the market. These scales work by measuring the stress or strain of a spring element, which is located under the scale platform. When an object is placed on the scale platform, the spring element bends in direct proportion to the total weight of the item.

A key disadvantage of strain gage scales is that they’re not able to provide precision measurements. While these scales are a good fit for many industries, any company that requires precision measurements will have to look elsewhere.

Are Force Motor Scales Any Better?

In the past, if you were looking for precision readings, you were forced to purchase a force motor scale. While these scales do offer precision measurements, there are several disadvantages that can be a hindrance to certain customers.

Force motor scales use a fulcrum and lever to provide weight measurements. The lever is attached to the scale platform on one end, and a force coil on the other, which is suspended in a magnetic field. A displacement detector and amplifier are used in force motor scales to ensure adequate current is produced to keep the lever balanced in the null position while an item is placed on the scale platform. The amount of power necessary is proportional to the weight on the platform. A microprocessor is then used to monitor the current and send the information to the scale’s display indicator.

One of the key disadvantages of force motor scales is their sheer cost. Force motor scales are much more expensive than strain gage scales, and once they are purchased, there is quite a bit of maintenance that must be performed to ensure they’re operating optimally.

In addition, force motor scales can only provide precision measurements at relatively low weights. So, if you have an item that weighs more than 25-50 lbs., and you’re in need of precision measurements, then you’ll likely have to look elsewhere for a weighing instrument.

Finally, force motor scales are incredibly susceptible to inaccuracies especially with vibration, air currents or any change in temperature. To combat this problem these scales are often fitted with an internal calibration mass, which must be adjusted often to ensure accuracy.

Have the Best of Both Worlds With Ultra Precision Scales

Our Ultra Precision Scales utilize a patented Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology that allows us to provide precision readings at an affordable price. This revolutionary technology utilizes a spring element load cell, but avoids many of the disadvantages of strain gage scales.

While strain gage load cells utilize stress or strain to provide accurate measurements, SAW load cells use two transducers, each attached to either side of the spring element. This design change allows these load cells to not be dependent on the strain or stress that’s applied to the spring element and as a result allows us to reduce the amount of load cell movement by as much as 90%. This allows for a much more accurate load cell that’s much less susceptible to distortion.

Load cell errors are reduced significantly with our SAW technology and are much less susceptible to errors caused by air currents or changes in temperature.

While you may think that Ultra Precision Scales would be much more expensive than both force motor or strain gage scales, this is actually not the case. In fact, our Ultra Precision Scales are typically about 1/3 the cost of a force motor scale and roughly in line with a high-quality strain gage scale.

Resolution & Capacity Options for Ultra Precision Scales

Another huge benefit of our SAW technology is that it allows our scales to maintain precision weight readings even at higher capacities. Below are our available capacity and resolution specifications:

  • 25 lbs. x 0.0002 lbs.
  • 50 lbs. x 0.0005 lbs.
  • 100 lbs. x 0.001 lbs.
  • 200 lbs. x 0.002 lbs.
  • 300 lbs. x 0.002 lbs.
  • 500 lbs. x 0.005 lbs.
  • 1,000 lbs. x 0.01 lbs.

As you can see these scales offer much more accuracy and flexibility compared to both strain gage or force motor scales.

Industries Where High Precision Scales Are Present

Because of the flexibility and affordability of Ultra Precision Scales, there really is no limit to where they can be used. While we’ve sold these scales to customers in a wide array of different industries, the following are a few that come to mind in terms of those are reaping the benefits of our SAW technology.

  • Semiconductor Manufacturers – In the semiconductor manufacturing industry, companies much handle extremely small parts on a regular basis. It’s critical that the weight of these items is consistent, which is why Ultra Precision Scales are a great fit.
  • Paint Mixing Companies – Paint formulations can be quite complex, and if they’re mixed incorrectly, the finished color can be much different than your customer may have desired. Thanks to our SAW technology customers can ensure the accuracy of the paint color they’re purchasing.
  • Pharmaceutical companies – In the pharmaceutical world, accuracy is paramount. When mixing various compounds for drug formulations, a small mistake can be deadly. With our Ultra Precision Scales, pharmaceutical companies can ensure our precision weight readings will translate into proper drug formulations.

Reach Out to Learn More About Our Ultra Precision Scales

If you’re in need of an affordable and highly accurate precision scale, don’t overlook our versatile Ultra Precision Scales. To learn more about any of our industrial scales, don’t hesitate to contact us by phone at 800-645-4301 or through our online contact form.