Just-in-time systems have enabled companies of all sizes to become much more efficient at both reducing waste and reducing the necessity to house large stockpiles of excess inventory. JIT systems are widely known to have originated in Japan in the 1970’s when Toyota was looking to streamline their manufacturing efforts.
One way that organizations can help to improve their JIT systems is through the effective use of counting scales. These scales work especially well for companies that must keep track of inventory involving lots of small parts or pieces. Counting scales are easily able to convert the full weight of a batch of parts into the total number of pieces relatively easily. This level of inventory control helps companies to be able to fine-tune their JIT systems for increased efficiency.
When choosing an inventory management scale for your organization, you must ask yourself several questions to ensure you’re purchasing a scale that will give you the most accurate results possible.
What weight capacity is needed? How accurate does the scale need to be? These, along with a series of other questions, will help you to choose a counting scale that will best meet the needs of your company.
IS THERE ANY WEIGHT VARIANCE ACROSS YOUR VARIOUS PARTS?
For inventory management scales to be effective, the parts that you process must have a uniform weight. If there is a large variance in the weight, your counting scale may not give you the accuracy that you desire. One way to resolve this issue is by using a larger sample size (100 pieces as opposed to 5), which will allow the scale to average out any variations in the weights of the pieces.
HOW HEAVY ARE YOUR ITEMS?
Before determining which counting scale to choose, it’s important to know how heavy the pieces you weigh will be. Inventory that weighs .321lbs will require a scale with a much finer resolution than pieces than weight 5lbs for example. The weight of your items will also affect the maximum capacity of your counting scale due to the fact that resolution depends on the capacity.
WHAT IS THE LOWEST MAXIMUM CAPACITY NECESSARY FOR YOUR APPLICATION?
Many people will choose to purchase a scale with a much larger maximum capacity than they truly need. Don’t fall into this trap because the higher maximum capacity you choose forces you to sacrifice your resolution.
Resolution and readability are two factors that many scale manufacturers use to describe the performance of their products. Readability is essentially the number of decimal points shown on a scale display. For example a scale with a 10lb capacity and a 0.001 resolution would be able to display a reading of 9.056 lb.
A counting scale with a 10lb capacity and a 0.001 resolution is usually considered a superior scale, compared to one with a 5lb capacity and the same resolution. Even though the smallest weight increment is the same for both scales, the 10lb scale has a total of 10,000 different increments whereas the 5lb scale only has 5,000.
If you’re not sure about the capacity and resolution combination that will work best for your application, we encourage you to reach out to one of our scale experts to ensure you choose a scale that meets your needs.
HOW WILL YOU STORE OR TRANSMIT WEIGHT DATA?
Depending on how you plan to use your weight data, you may need an easy way to transmit it to other departments or to save it on a computer or a number of other connectivity possibilities. Does the scale supplier that you’re working with provide the data transfer option you need? A few of the connectivity options to consider include:
• Ethernet – allows you to connect your scale to a local network and share data with individuals or departments within your organization.
• WiFi – offers the ability to transmit data to other computers as well as other computer applications completely wirelessly.
• USB – is the most commonly used interface method for technology equipment. With a USB, you can easily connect your scale to a computer and access weight data through applications such as Microsoft Access or Excel.
• Flash Drive – If you don’t have access to a wired or wireless network, or you’re offsite where network connectivity is not possible, you can use a USB flash drive to download weight data to be analyzed later from a computer or laptop.
DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN BUDGET IN MIND?
Counting scales can range in price from a few hundred dollars up to well over a thousand dollars. It’s important to make sure you find a scale that has the features you need, but is well within your budget.
Research a few different companies and ask about their prices. You may find that working directly with a manufacturer will allow you to find a cheaper scale with more features than if you were to use a distributor.
COUNTING SCALES FROM ARLYN SCALES
At Arlyn Scales, we’ve been manufacturing inventory-counting scales for decades from our Long Island, New York factory directly to our customers.
Our counting scales feature a unique “Quick Count” mode that creates a one-step process for parts counting. We’ve been able to eliminate many of the complicated menu functions our competitors use.
Using our easy-to-use interface, as well as our large internal memory capacity, allows you to complete the sample weighing of your pieces once, and store the weight of hundreds of items. This will allow you to bypass the sample weighing process in the future.
Our scales feature stainless steel platforms and machined aluminum frames to ensure that they can withstand even the toughest industrial conditions for many years to come. Our scales can be used right out of the box with no need for any dealer setup or calibration.
Our brand of scales can be easily equipped with Ethernet, WiFi, USB, Cloud, Flash Drive and many other communication options.
CONTACT ARLYN SCALES FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you have any questions about our inventory counting scales or our pricing, feel free to contact us today. We’re ready to answer any questions that you may have about improving your JIT system through inventory management scales.