Platform scales are probably the most common measurement devices found throughout the industry. Every company that ships parts and materials will use a scale so that they can determine the weight of the package, and therefore the cost of transportation. Goods that are received by the company may be weighed on the scale to confirm … Continued
Manufacturing and Automation Control Scales
Automated Weighing Solutions for Manufacturing Facilities
At Arlyn Scales, we’ve been a leader in the scale industry for more than 30 years. In this time, we have seen quite a few innovations and have worked hard to ensure our high-quality scales continue to meet, and indeed, surpass the needs of our customers.
One of the areas where our customers are most often looking for additional features surround scale automation in manufacturing. To meet the needs of our customers, we’ve added a number of automation features that should be welcomed by any organization looking to streamline the functions and the capabilities of industrial scales within their facilities.
Integrating Industrial Scales in Automation Control Systems
While automation is an extremely broad term, in our line of work it revolves around ensuring our industrial scales are able to help businesses of all varieties perform certain functions in an automated fashion. This, in turn, helps to reduce labor costs and ultimately boost profits.
Industrial Bench, Cylinder, Platform, and Floor Scales
All of our industrial bench, cylinder, platform, and floor scales feature stainless steel load cells for added durability and accuracy. If you work in an environment with corrosive materials, be sure to ask us about our corrosion resistant scales, which include full stainless steel construction and an optional triple epoxy coating for added abrasion and corrosion resistance.
Ultra Precision Scales
Perfect for manufacturing plants that produce paint, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, or chemical products where minuscule amounts of an ingredient can affect the consistency and final outcome of a product. Accurate up to .0001 pound at a 10-pound capacity and .005 pound at a 500-pound capacity, these scales are sensitive enough to measure small amounts of material but hearty enough to withstand tough industrial conditions. They’re an excellent, cost-effective alternative to much more expensive MFR scales.
Explosion Proof Scales
If you manufacture in a classified hazardous location, our ArlynGuard B, C, F, and P explosion proof scales have one or more components that have been tested and approved to be Intrinsically Safe for use in an impressive range of hazardous locations including:
- Intrinsically safe for use in Class I, II, III; Division I; Groups A through G
- Non-incendive for use in Class I; Division II; Groups A through D
- Suitable for use in Class II; Division II; Groups F & G
- Suitable for use in Class III; Division II
Each ArlynGuard scale is equipped with one or more of:
- Model MKE-5-IS(-C) Digital Weight Indicator System
- Load Cell Models 620-300-IS, 620-100-IS, 620-50-IS, 620-25-IS, 620-10-IS, 520-10000L-IS, 520-5000L-IS, 520-5000IS, 520-2500-IS, 520-1250-IS, 320-500-IS, and 320-250-IS
which are FM Approved components as per Approval Standard 3600, 3610, 3611 and 3810.
Custom Built Scales
While most of our scales will integrate flawlessly with your existing manufacturing system, there are cases where unique dimensions are called for. As a factory direct manufacturer, we have the ability to custom design and build a scale that will fit into your existing system. We always invite OEM interest and are happy to make our expert design and production services for those who need a weighing component for a proprietary system. Read more about custom solutions here.
Automation Control Systems from Arlyn Scales
It’s important to realize that even automated scales can do much more than just weigh items; they can help you and your team automate all sorts of functions within your facility that can be triggered based entirely off of weight values. Blending, mixing, packaging, and dispensing operations, among others, are called on to automate during the manufacturing process.
Therefore this requires the scale to automatically communicate with other parts of the system, store recorded weights, prevent overfilling, and much more. Below are just a few of the ways that you can leverage one of our industrial scales to make your entire business more efficient and profitable.
Arlyn Scales provides a wide range of communication options and control methods so that our scales can seamlessly integrate with your automated system. This includes old industry standards like RS-232 as well as more modern methods such as USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi.
USB is the most popular PC interface and is compatible with almost any computer system or device. It’s a wired connection that will allow you to connect your scale to other equipment or computerized systems.
Ethernet allows you to connect your scale to your local network. A wired internet connection that connects directly to your router, our Remote Indicator software makes it possible for you to monitor control and export data from your scale to other computerized systems.
A wireless connection similar to Ethernet, Wi-Fi allows you to connect your scale with devices that can access your network but may not be within the scale’s immediate vicinity.
This option allows your scale to communicate directly with printers, programmable logic controllers, and computers. Our RS-232 option is a bi-directional interface that allows your scale to export data as well as receive commands from computers or other equipment, which means that you can have the full remote capability with this option. Our scales’ operating software also includes a print frame definition editor that allows customized outputs such as complex printed labels, which is perfect for packaging and shipping operations.
RS-232 Add On
If you’d like to add time (12 or 24 hours), the day of the week, and/or the date to any of your print frames, our Time and Date add on allows you to do just that. You can set the clock through the indicator’s menu. An internal lithium battery will keep time for up to ten years even if power is removed from the scale.
Similar to RS-232 and USB in that it’s a wired connection, RS-485 is different in the distance allowed between your scale and other equipment over 4,000 feet! This robust, long distance “multidrop” protocol can connect several scales and a personal computer on a single line to form a network.
The Set Point Controller
A setpoint controller helps your organization automate a variety of functions that can control the filling, dispensing and batching that takes place within your facility. If you think about the massive amounts of time that your employees are currently spending performing these functions, you’ll quickly realize the savings that can be achieved by using a setpoint controller. Regardless of the type of scale you purchase from Arlyn Scales, it should have the ability to add a setpoint controller.
The setpoint controller is capable of storing up to 8 weight values and can be triggered to perform programmable logic (PLC) functions, mix and dispense materials, and perform automatic filling as well. When a certain stored weight value is reached, an alarm can go off, or an email can be sent to let you know the process has been completed.
The most common use for the set point controller is an automated filling and mixing operations. Input formulas through the setup menu to control how the output lines behave based on the weight applied to the platform. You can input numerous formulas into the scale’s memory and recall them later as necessary.
As an example, let’s say you need to fill a drum with 432 pounds of liquid material. A pump will feed the liquid into a drum that has been set on your cylinder scale. When the scale’s indicator reaches the target weight (432 lbs) the pump will shut off.
You could also use it the opposite way. Let’s say you have a drum that needs to be monitored so it never goes empty. You could automate this process by setting a target weight and, when the scale indicator reaches that number, the controller will send an electrical signal to your alert system, informing an employee that the drum is close to empty.
The set point controller can also be used for more sophisticated operations. Let’s use the same drum with 432 pounds of material in it. When you turn the pump off at the target weight, there is still some residual liquid in the pump, pipes, or elsewhere. To completely empty the supply line, you could set two target weights; one at 420 pounds, which will slow the flow down to a trickle, and another at 432 pounds, which will turn the pump off completely, without leaving liquid behind.
Below are just a few use cases for the setpoint controller that are currently being used by a number of our customers:
- Mixing Materials – Use the setpoint controller to mix a variety of materials such as paint or other chemical compounds. Automate the entire process by setting a weight value for each component, which should allow the setpoint controller to create a highly accurate mixing formula.
- Filling Drums With Liquid – With the setpoint controller, you can automate the filling of drums. The key is to set two different setpoints – one that is near the target weight and another that is at the target weight. These two different setpoints allow you to slow down the flow of liquid material by slowing the motor controlling the flow and eventually stopping it completely. In addition, you can use the reverse process to remove liquids from a drum.
Automated Record Keeping
For years, the process of accurately recording scale data required significant human intervention. Individuals would have to sit by a scale and manually record weight readings over and over again. This process caused all sorts of errors when weight data was transcribed.
Thankfully by purchasing an industrial scale from Arlyn Scales, you can do away with the pen and paper you’ve used to record weight data for so long. Instead, you can utilize our scales to automatically generate weight data that can be imported into all sorts of database and spreadsheet tools such as Microsoft Excel, Access, and Google Sheets. Weight data can be easily stored in CSV files, which are instantly accessible through all types of computer programs.
Ready to Utilize the Power of Manufacturing and Automation Control?
We hope that the automation and manufacturing examples outlined above will give you a good idea of the wide array of features available to you as a scale owner. If you’re unclear about any of the topics covered here, feel free to reach out to our team by phone today through our online contact form and explore our inventory below.
Learn more about Manufacturing and Automation Control Scales
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