When it comes to saving time and reducing labor costs in regard to inventory, nothing is as helpful as a scale that will count small parts for you. Counting by hand is tedious, inefficient and exceptionally prone to human error.
A counting scale can effectively determine the number of parts in a large sample of identical pieces by weighing the sample and dividing it by the number of individual parts.
Yet not all counting scales are created equal. The most common cause for inaccuracies is a complicated sample weighing process. A lot of manufacturers get this wrong. And if you’re using one of their scales, your inventory counts can be wrong too.
Two Ways to Weigh Small Parts
In order to accurately count the number of parts in your inventory, a particular sample size must be weighed precisely. The scale will then use the sample weight and size to determine the total number of parts.
Our Series 820 Parts Counting Scales are equipped with two simple and reliable ways to calculate sample weights:
1. Quick Count
Simply choose your sample size—either 10, 25, 50 or 100 pieces—from the digital indicator and place that number of items on the platform. The scale will create the sample and automatically switch to counting mode where you can continue to count the same part.
Just keep in mind that the more pieces you use in the sample, the more accurate your sample (and entire inventory count) will be. This is especially important if the individual weight of identical parts has a tendency to differ. The more parts you use in the sample, the better your scale will be able to account for these slight differences.
This feature has the advantage of being extremely fast when you need an immediate count. The only downside is that you won’t be able to save the part data and sample weight in the scale’s memory. If you need to count this part again in the future, you’ll have to go through the sampling process again.
2. Sample Definition
The sampling process can be a bit time consuming, since you have to hand-count the pieces included in the sample. To bypass this process in the future, you’ll want to name and save the sample weight according to the part through the PARTS COUNTING menu on the digital indicator.
Through this menu, you can:
• Add a new sample. Navigate to NEW on the menu and press enter. The default sample name will be a 4-digit number determined by the number of samples already in the scale’s memory.
• Edit a sample. Edit the description and/or weight value of a sample. Weight values can be entered manually by the operator or automatically using the scale platform.
• Delete a sample. If you’ll no longer stock a part or feel you made an error, removing the entry is simple.
• Activate a sample. Use this feature when a sample weight has already been stored for the part you’re counting. Simply choose the sample you want, click the ACTV function, press enter and place the parts on the platform.
The Accumulate Function
If you have identical parts in different containers or their total weight exceeds your scale’s capacity, this function will allow you to keep a running count that can be completed in one sitting.
Simply choose the sample weight you want to use and press the ACCUM key. The scale will then aggregate the weight of each batch until you press and hold the ACCUM key, which will exit the accumulate function and give you the total number of pieces.
Counting Extremely Lightweight Parts Is More Difficult
Let’s say you have a regular scale with a 100 lb. capacity and a resolution of 0.02 lb. You use a sample size of 10 pieces and the weight of an individual piece is 0.08071 lb.
Your sample weight should be 0.8071 lb. However, your scale will only read to its best resolution, which is 0.02 lb. So your scale would actually display 0.81 lb.
That’s an error of 2.5%, which is pretty significant. An error that high can actually affect the accuracy of your entire inventory for this part.
Reduce Error With an Arlyn Ultra Precision Counting Scale
If you had a SAW-C scale from Arlyn, you would have the same 100 lb. capacity, but you’d also have a much finer resolution of 0.001 lb.
If we use the same piece weight (0.08071 lb. and 10 pieces), your sample weight would still be 0.8071 lb. Yet your scale would be able to read to 0.807 lb., which reduces the error from 2.5% to 0.03%, which is so small that it will not affect your inventory count in any way.
No Other Scale Offers Arlyn’s Ultra Precision Technology
Arlyn Ultra Precision Scales are driven by our internationally patented Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology , which offers the same or better accuracy than a force motor scale at a cost more comparable to a quality strain gage scale.
Data Storage and Transfer
Inventory data is meant to be shared. Choose from a variety of communication options including USB, flash drive, WiFi, Cloud, Ethernet, RS-232 and more.
Custom Inventory Solutions
A counting scale may not be able to keep up if you house an inventory with hundreds and thousands of small parts. Our custom inventory solutions can create a system for tracking your inventory in real time.
For example, we had a customer who stored all of their parts in shelved bins. We integrated multiple counting scales into this design and connected them to the company’s data management system using their WiFi network.
An automated alert system runs based on the weight of bins. When stock of a particular part is running low, the scale sends an automatic email message to the purchasing manager who can order more parts.
Factory Direct Pricing
We’ve eliminated the middlemen who increase the price of the scale simply because they’re part of the chain between you and the factory. When you work with Arlyn Scales, you work directly with the factory. You get competitive prices on higher quality products. When you opt for a custom system, you work with the team that will design and fabricate it for you. You get real answers and solutions.
Contact us today for help selecting a small parts counting scale that will give you the most accurate results or to discuss the specs for your custom system.