Weighing requirements are ubiquitous throughout industrial settings. Industrial scales are used as stand-alone devices and as subsystems for original equipment manufacturers. They are available in many different formats, including platform scales, bench scales, floor scales, and ultra-precision scales.
A number of distinguished brand names are known in the industry as offering a quality product. They include Avery Weigh-Tronix, Arlyn Scales, and Mettler Toledo, among others. All three manufacture scales, load cells, and industrial weighing systems.
Industrial Weighing Needs Of OEMs And Engineering Companies
When considering weighing equipment, the typical bench-type scale comes to mind. It has a platform on which to place the items being weighed. A digital weight display with a number of pushbuttons for function selection would be included.
Actually, though, weighing functions are required in many other applications. For example, dispensing equipment may need to meter out precise doses of materials, often accomplished by weighing them. Mixers may need to accept measured amounts of a number of different ingredients.
OEM scales can be incorporated directly into the machinery. Or systems integrators may need to use their technical expertise in scale designs to provide custom scales and scale systems. Arlyn Scales harnesses its design and manufacturing experience to accomplish all of these goals.
Typical weight indicators include an LED or LCD display to show the weight readings. A matrix of function buttons is used to control the scale. The advanced UpScale weight indicator utilizes a color touchscreen and advanced operating system to provide smartphone type intuitive user interface. This has the added benefit of only showing those functions which are currently in use or are desired.
Measuring the weight is the first step. Transmitting the weight data to the appropriate system or computer database is required to constructively use that data. Connectivity, as described below, can be a key parameter in determining the best solution.
OEM Scale Standards
Almost by definition, an OEM project does not have any predefined standards. Instead, the manufacturer’s service and the customer need to determine the specific standards for that particular project. But it does follow some more generalized standards.
Getting weighing scales data to the correct destination can take many paths. There are legacy communication protocols such as RS232, which has been a standard for many years. A multi-drop protocol, such as RS485, is more useful if there are multiple weighing devices connecting to a central point.
USB is an excellent choice if there is nearby access to a computer. Remote indicator software may be used both to receive weight data, and also to control the scale. This can often be viewed from a Local Area Network.
Similar connectivity can be obtained with Ethernet and Wifi. Of course, Wifi offers the additional advantage of avoiding costs for running cables to the scale. It also provides greater freedom for devices that may be mobile.
Modbus is an industry-standard communication protocol. It is widely used by measurement devices to communicate with Programmable Logic Controllers. Scales using Modbus are particularly well suited for OEM applications.
Not all industrial applications are created equal. Special needs require special solutions. Compelling instruments can be provided by companies with manufacturers’ services that address a broad spectrum of possible applications.
As safety is paramount, manufacturers must be very aware of any areas which may present dangerous situations. These can involve flammable or explosive materials. These are considered to be classified environments.
Intrinsically safe scales may be used for these purposes. Additional functionality allows data to be sent from the hazardous area to outside systems. There are even ultra-precision intrinsically safe scales for the most accurate types of weighing requirements.
Only those firms who have designed and produced weighing equipment will be useful for designing this range of OEM equipment. They must know how to manage parameters. Without a previous history in these fields, there will be significant time and resources required to acquire that expertise.
Every requirement is different. Some equipment is only used in a laboratory environment where it will not be exposed to the elements. Other systems may need to tolerate high levels of exposure to water or corrosive chemicals.
Where these difficult conditions exist, stainless steel is often used due to its corrosion resistance qualities. Load sensors, scale platforms and weight indicator displays may all be constructed from this material. For extremely corrosive environments, corrosion-resistant scales receive a special glass filled epoxy coating.
Optimize Your Cost-Effective OEM Weighing Application At Arlyn Scales
It is often easiest to use off the shelf scales when they are suitable. But when special designs, performance and OEM situations arise, Arlyn Scales can provide help that will result in a successful project. Our business model incorporates these types of innovative solutions. Contact us at the earliest stages of design to utilize their expertise.