Computers are everywhere. They not only help us communicate ideas and information to each other, but they can also help us analyze various complicated pieces of data, enabling us to see patterns and make various predictions and adjustments. This can be especially helpful in the workplace. By using sophisticated applications and programs to review data, processes, and procedures, an owner can quickly troubleshoot issues that are just barely beginning to rise to the surface.
Arlyn Scales has been a leader in the weighing industry for the past thirty years. We are committed to building scales that are dependable, accurate, and technologically innovative. We do this by refining previously successful craftsmanship while experimenting with various computers and other technological advancements to see how they may be applied to current industry practices and future ones, as well.
We manufacture our scales in our factory in Long Island, New York, which means we are able to ship factory direct to our customers, who don’t pay for middle-tier markups. We are also able to invest some of those savings into our scales, which means our clients are purchasing a scale that our competition is not able to match, both in terms of quality and cost.
First Step: Purchase a Scale with Connectivity Abilities
With all of the advancements in computer and scale technology, there is still not a one-size-fits-all solution for storing weight information received by an industrial scale on the computer. The connectivity option you choose, if you choose one at all, will depend on the location of your scale, how you plan on using your scale, and how you prefer to access the information communicated between the scale and the computer.
- Ultra Precision Scales
- Intrinsically Safe Scales
- Veterinary and Livestock Scales
- Platform, Drum, and Floor Scales
- Corrosion Resistant Scales
- Bench and High Precision Scales
- Crane Scales
- Industrial Scales
- Laboratory Scales
Second Step: Utilize Arlyn Scale’s Free USB Remote Software Package
Arlyn Scales provides all of our customers with a free USB Remote Software Package. By downloading this software, customers are able to import weight data onto an Excel spreadsheet or Access database. The software allows users to access, monitor, and control their scales from the connected computer. USB Remote Software can connect up to 10 USB scale indicators to one computer.
By downloading the USB Remote Software Package, a faceplate similar to the scale’s faceplate will appear on the computer screen. The keys that appear on the computer screen are the same as the keys normally present on the scale’s indicator. Users can control the scale from the computer by clicking the keys on the computer screen. A separate screen allows operators to view readings collected by the scale. Users can export the data to a CSV text file that can be imported into various software packages.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to sharing and storing data, which is why we offer a variety of different solutions to monitor, control and analyze data from your scale with minimal setup. We offer the following options:
Short for Universal Serial Bus, this is a communication protocol that is found in almost all computers and devices that interface with computers. USB is the go-to common denominator when people are looking to connect computers to outboard devices. Our scale indicators can be designed with a USB port, and with our USB Remote Software and a standard USB cable, you can connect your Windows-based PC or laptop to your scale.
This will enable you to view, on your computer’s screen, the scale indicator. You will also be able to issue commands to the scale via the computer interface software. Most importantly, you will be able to extract the weight data from the scale and move it onto your computer. Once the data is on your computer, you can analyze the data using MS Excel or MS Access.
These combined options are very exciting. Whereas with the above USB option, you will either need to be in the same room with the scale or have a very long USB cable, the Ethernet/Wi-Fi options allow you to keep your workstation where it is and let you work with the scale either on your company’s local wired network or via a Wi-Fi network.
Clearly, the advantages of our connectivity options are tremendous. If you are connected to your company’s network, you could conceivably have collaborative presentations where you will be able to show scale performance and change commands without ever having to move down into the industrial environment. Data crunching can be shown and shared with colleagues to begin project performance and productivity analysis.
By using the Wi-Fi option, you will be able to access the scale 24 hours, 7 days a week from just about anywhere in the globe. Should you need to work from a remote location yet need to get weight data, you will be able to do this with our scales. This option can also help you mitigate risk should an issue develop outside of working hours. You will be able to troubleshoot from the privacy of your own home.
USB Flash Drive
This is a great option while using the scale in the field or other remote locations. In the event that the scale is not able to connect to a computer, you can simply insert a USB flash drive into the USB thumb drive port and begin downloading the weight data via the scale indicator controls. Once the data is safely on the flash drive, you’ll be able to remove the flash drive from the scale and connect it to a Windows-based PC or laptop whenever it’s convenient for you.
Make sure that when you extract the data to the computer that you open it with an application that can read Comma Separated Value (CSV) files. Additionally, there are other logic control devices that may help you use your scale including 4 20 ma, RS-232, and RS-485. Our optional setpoint controller can help you automate your process and increase productivity.
The RS-232 serial port has been used for the communication between scales, computers, and printers for a long time; however, in 2002, computer manufacturers agreed to limit the installation of RS-232 ports and install USB ports into computers instead. While you may still encounter RS-232 ports, USB ports are more common in 2019.
Weight Value Triggers
The optional setpoint controller allows you to program up to eight weight values. Using this and optional solid-state relays, you can quickly begin to automate your batching, filling, and dispensing operations.
For example, you could be mixing yellow and blue dyes into a white base to make green paint. By programming the controller to shut the filling pump off once the targeted weight of the yellow dye has been achieved, and then dispensing blue dye into the same container until another weight value has been reached, you can automate your paint color creation process.
This will allow you to refine your paint recipe and begin to consistently ship out barrels of the exact same shade of paint, time after time. With your scale connected to your computer, you will be able to archive all the data to ensure that there is no variation in weight during productivity. Not having personnel around to make human errors will allow you to use your staff for more complicated tasks that require oversight and supervision.
Recognizable Signs Your Scale Is Inaccurate
Once your scale is connected to a computer and you become accustomed to reading measurements on a separate screen, you might forget to check on your scale’s accuracy once in a while. As the owner of an industrial scale, you should test the accuracy of your scale regularly, even if you don’t notice any obvious issues.
However, over time it is inevitable that every industrial scale will begin to show signs of inaccuracy. This can be because of wear and tear, environmental changes, or malfunctions caused by shock loading or overloading. Train yourself and your staff to pay attention to a few ways you can quickly notice if your scale is producing inaccurate weight readings:
- Creep—if an object is left on a scale platform for an extended period of time and the weight reading slowly increases or decreases, then this can be a sign of load cell failure or that something needs to be readjusted.
- Non-repeatability—when the same object is measured recurrently and the weight reading is not the same every time.
Our Customer Service is Not Computerized
Rest assured, we believe that the human touch is important and that customer relationship should never be handled by machines. We employ a highly knowledgeable and well-trained customer support staff to help you determine what scale and computer options are right for you and that you get them at a price that works with your budget.
Should you be uncertain as to what you are looking for, or require some more tailor-made modifications to our pre-existing designs, we’ll be happy to help. At Arlyn, our customers are the biggest priority. To learn more about our scales and the different connectivity options we provide, contact us today!