Many different kinds of industrial fluids are packaged in a variety of different size drums. This can include food grade ingredients, such as oils, extracts, juices and flavorings. Bulk quantities of food products, such as prepared syrups, soups, condiments and many others are also filled into drums. Chemical products, such as solvents, detergents, acids, surfactants, reagents and others are also packed, stored and shipped in drums. There are other industrial liquids also packed in drums, including paints, inks, lubricants, cleansers and a wide range of other products. The amounts of all of these different types of materials that are packaged in drums must be measured. One way to do this is to determine the volume of liquid in the drum. This may be done with different types of liquid level detectors. The simplest units use a floating device to measure the level within the tank. There are also tubes that sit in the liquid for level determination. These types must be matched to the type of liquid in the drum, for good chemical compatibility. They may not be suitable for corrosive liquids. There are also non-contact methods of level detection, including sonic and optical. But all of these methods suffer from poor accuracy and reliability. The most effective method of measuring the drums is to use an industrial drum scale. As long as the weight of the empty drum is known, the scale will precisely measure the weight of the contents in the drum. If it is necessary to know the volume of material, calculations using density will convert weight into volume. For the scale to be easy to use, the platform should be as low as possible. This makes it easy to manually roll a drum onto the scale, or to use a drum cart to roll it up. Ideally, such as with the Arlyn Scale models, the platform will be less than two inches high. This had the added advantage of only requiring short ramps up to the scale platform, and minimizing the overall footprint of the scale and ramp. The platform should also be large enough to accommodate a drum, and also the drum cart when one is used. Typical platform sizes are 20 x 27, but larger platforms, such as 30 x 30 or 36 x 36 are also used. 48 x 48 drum scales may be used for larger totes. The device within any industrial scale that actually senses the weight on the platform is a load cell. Because of the larger sizes of this type of scale, there should be a load cell built into each corner. They must be very rugged to withstand the general industrial environment. It is not unusual for a loaded drum cart to be pushed into the side of the scale. This type of horizontal shock load is the most damaging kind for load cells. Most load cells are made from steel, and are subject to failure under these conditions. But some higher quality drum scales, such as the Arlyn brand, use a special, heat treated alloy of stainless steel. These provide much better protection from shock load. As an added advantage, they are also suitable for use in harsh industrial environments where there may be moisture, or chemical exposure. The digital indicator is another important component of an electronic scale. One common feature is units conversion. This allows weight values to be shown in either pounds or kilograms. Some drum scales also allow the density of the material to be input, so the drum contents may be shown in liquid units such as gallons or liters. A large, graphics display screen is also important. This permits the scale operator to quickly and accurately read the weight. Another common requirement is to electronically report the drum weight to a computer system, or to print the weight on a printer device. A serial RS-232 communication port is standard in the industry. Some of the better scales offer the more common Universal Serial Bus (USB). Even more advanced is an Ethernet interface. In this case, the data may be sent directly to a computer. Or, with the proper software system, it may be directed onto the Internet, so that the weight can be read with the appropriate Internet access.
Home Drum Scales with Platforms and How Industrial Fluids are Weighed and Packaged