Tracking an inventory of small parts can be a real hassle if you don’t have a reliable parts counting scale. These devices can convert the weight of a batch of parts into the number of individual pieces in that batch. Yet finding a scale with the features you need isn’t always a straightforward task. How will you know your inventory is being counted accurately? If you want to confidently choose a scale, start by answering these questions:
1. How light are your parts?
2. Do they have a uniform weight?
3. What capacity do you need?
4. How will you track, store and share your data?
5. What will fit your budget?
1. Uniform Weight
If the weight of individual pieces vary too much, it can be difficult to get a truly accurate count—but not impossible.
If this is true for your inventory, you’ll need to use a larger sample size (100 pieces instead of 5). This will allow the scale to account for and average out any variations
2. Maximum Capacity
Many purchasing managers overestimate the maximum capacity they need because they have a couple larger items they’d like to be able to count. This may affect the accuracy of the counts on smaller parts.
Don’t buy a larger capacity scale if a lower capacity scale would better handle the majority of your inventory. For example, if most of your parts are under 10 lbs., you should choose a scale with a maximum capacity of 10 lbs., even if you have some batches that may total 12 or 15 lbs. This will ensure that your weight measurements, and therefore your inventory, are as accurate as possible.
3. What Size Measurements
As you’re looking at different options, keep in mind the weight of your individual parts. A piece weight of 0.0201 lbs. will require a scale with a much finer resolution than a 1 lb. piece weight. This can affect the overall maximum capacity you’ll need.
Resolution is the number of decimal places to which a scale can accurately read. It’s also sometimes referred to as readability. It’s one measure of performance used by scale manufacturers and has implications on accuracy.
For example, a scale with a 50 lb. maximum capacity might have a resolution of 0.001 lb. This means it could show you changes in weight as small as 0.001 lb—or the difference between 48.201 and 48.202 lbs.
Let’s say you’re using any old counting scale with a 100 pound capacity and resolution of 0.02 lb. Your sample weight is 0.02051 and you sample size is 10 pieces. The scale should read 0.2051 lb. However, your scale is only able to read to its best resolution, which means it would actually display a weight of 0.20 lb. That’s a pretty significant error of 2.5%.
Now if you purchased a SAW-C scale from Arlyn Scales, you could have the same 100 lb. capacity, but a much finer resolution of 0.001 lb, which would reduce your error to 0.3%, which is not statistically significant. Using the same sample weight (0.2051 lb.) and sample size (10 pieces), the scale would read 0.201 lb., which is much more accurate.
4. Transmitting Inventory Data
Inventory data is meant to be shared, but how this is best accomplished depends on your current set up. Integrating your Arlyn parts counting scale with your existing communications system is simple since we offer all major—and not a few minor—outputs including Ethernet, WiFi, USB and Cloud
We’ve also worked with customers to develop an entire inventory control system that’s run through a WiFi connection. Multiple shelved bins sit on scales and when a certain weight is reached, it triggers an automatic email message that alerts the appropriate personnel when inventory counts are low. This helps eliminates hiccups in the supply chain and ensures that no product ever completely runs out.
• Ethernet allows you to connect your scale to your local network through a cable. Any computer with access to the network can receive inventory data.
• WiFi is a wireless connection that allows you to access inventory data from any on-site or remote location.
• USB allows you to import data directly to a computer application such as Excel spreadsheet or Access database file.
• Flash drives can be used when no other connection is possible. Weight data will simply be stored on the drive until it is removed and uploaded to a workstation PC.
5. Consider Your Budget
Prices range from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand, which is why it’s so important to have an idea of what you need. Don’t spend more for features you’ll never use. Speak to your supplier and ask about their pricing. Then research the competition and ask about their pricing. Compare the features and prices to determine which scale is best for you. If at all possible, buy directly from the manufacturer—it will almost always be less expensive than using a distributor.
Arlyn Counting Scales
Our developers have worked hard to produce a scale with no confusing menu functions and fast, efficient sampling. The intuitive interface will guide you through the sampling and weighing process step by step.
Our unique Quick Count feature only requires you to sample a particular part the first time you use the scale. After that, the piece weight will be stored in the scale’s large internal memory and can be recalled as often as you need it.
This means fast, efficient and effortless parts counting so you can spend time doing the things that really matter to your business.
Buy Factory Direct
Our industrial parts counting scales are manufactured right here in our Long Island factory. We offer competitive pricing on all our products, which means you get a higher quality product for less.
It also means that we can develop a custom solution that works for you and you won’t have to play telephone with 6 distributors and hope the factory gets it right. We are the factory and we always get it right.
If you’d like help choosing the Arlyn counting scale that best meets your needs or have a question related to pricing, please contact us today.