Step-by-Step Analytical Balance Calibration Procedure
Maintaining an analytical balance is essential for any laboratory. A calibration procedure should be conducted regularly to ensure accurate measurements and results.
At Arlyn Scales, our analytical scale experts have assisted operations of all sizes in the swift, efficient calibration of their instruments. In this article, we consider the signs that indicate the need for calibration.
Then, we provide six steps to walk you through the process of calibrating your analytical balance. Discover how to boost the accuracy, consistency, and productivity of your operations, below.
How Do You Know When to Calibrate Your Scale?
This first thing you need to determine is whether the scale actually needs to be calibrated. If it does not, attempting to calibrate the scale may change the scale’s calibration for the worse.
In order to determine whether or not you should attempt to calibrate the scale, you should see if any of the following conditions exist:
- Zero Reading
- Fluctuating Reading
- Different Readings on Different Platform Areas
- Scale Corners Correctly but Doesn’t Display Weight
In this condition, you have weight on the scale, but the scale indicator states zero and the weight does not move or fluctuate. Check to see if the shipping screws were removed from the platform. If you have a platform scale, make sure all the legs are level and contacting solidly with the floor. Also, check to see if the level legs are screwed into the proper position, but not too high up. If they are, then a stud from the leg may be contacting the underside of the platform which prevents the load sensor from flexing.
Sometimes you may place weight on the platform and the reading may begin to fluctuate and not settle. If this is the case, check to see if the scale is on a vibrating surface or is exposed to air currents.
Air movements can affect lighter capacity scales. See if the scale is plugged into a clean power line. Devices such as electric motors can create interference. See if cell phones or walkie-talkies are being used around the scale.
RF interference can cause scale fluctuation. Also, check for nicks and plugs on the power cable and see if the cable from the indicator to the platform is plugged in. If it is, unplug the cable and see if any pins are missing.
Different Readings on Different Platform Areas
If you find a weight is reading differently when it’s on different parts of the scale platform, check to see if the level legs are all on the floor. As with a zero reading scenario, check to see if one of the level legs is screwed in too tight and causing the load sensor to be unable to flex. Also check to see if anything is rubbing or interfering with the scale platform.
Scale Corners Correctly but Doesn’t Display Weight
Check to see if the level legs are solidly contacting on the floor. Check to see if anything is rubbing against the platform.
How to Conduct a Scale Calibration Procedure in 6 Steps
If you encounter these situations, yet none of the above suggestions resolve them; then it is time to calibrate your scale. To do that, please observe the following steps.
- Scale Placement
- Enter Calibration Mode
- Enter Test Weight Value
- Clear Scale Platform
- Press Calibrate Button
- Place Test Weight on Platform
1. Scale Placement
Make sure you place the scale in an area where there is a stable temperature. The area must also be vibration free and there should be no detectable air current.
2. Enter Calibration Mode
On your indicator, access the Set Up Menu. Then select Platform Setups. Then select Span Calibration. You will then be prompted for the test weight value.
3. Enter Test Weight Value
When using a test weight for the calibration process, you can use a weight within the scale’s capacity range. We recommend a weight that is 50% of the capacity.
Do not use weights less than 10% of the capacity as this could result in an inaccurate calibration. Enter the test weight value on the scale using the keypad.
4. Clear Scale Platform
Make sure the platform is cleared of all weight. Also, make sure that nothing is rubbing against the platform, the level legs are solidly on the floor, and the level legs are not screwed in so tightly as to inhibit the load sensor. Press Enter.
5. Press Calibrate Button
It can be found on the scale indicator.
6. Place Test Weight on Platform
Place the calibration weight on the center of the platform. Wait for one second for the scale to stabilize. Then press Enter. While the calibration is occurring, a small number may be shown in the upper left hand corner of the indicator.
This is a raw reading from the load cell and is not a calibrated reading. It only confirms that the platform is working. The number will increase with the weight on the platform. Once the scale has finished calibration, the indicator will return you to the platform menu.
Why are Scales from Arlyn Scales a Better Investment?
Arlyn Scales has been a leading innovator in scale manufacturing for the past thirty years. Based in Long Island, New York, we have made it our corporate mission to meet and beat expectations in the weighing industry.
We load our scales with cutting edge technology and craftsmanship creating an unbeatable combination of accuracy and durability. Our scales are used in many industries such as the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, scrap metal, and waste management industries.
All of our scales and their subassemblies are manufactured in our New York based factory. This allows us to ship factory direct to you, cutting out the middleman. By doing so, you get a high quality scale at a low price that can’t be beat by the competition even at their retail prices.
Arlyn Scales Ultra Precision Scales with Custom Auto-Calibration
Regardless of what scale you are using, it’s no good to you if you can’t get accurate weight measurements. At Arlyn Scales, our scales come out of our factory already calibrated and ready to work for you.
Better still, many of our scales include a self-calibration feature built in to it. This allows for compensation for aging electronics and temperature variations.
We have made the process of calibration as foolproof as possible, but we have also designed a calibration process that is very user friendly.
Learn to Calibrate Your Weighing Scales with Arlyn Scales
Despite our best attempts to make calibration a user friendly experience, we understand that this process may be a bit aggravating. Should you need help determining if your scale even needs calibration, or if you are uncertain in how to calibrate your scale, our trained and knowledgeable support staff is standing by.
They have years of experience in the scale industry and can resolve your scale accuracy issues. To learn more about weighing scale calibration procedures, reach out to our team today.