While technology has seen great advances over the last sixty or so years, it is only recently that these advances have shifted into the industrial realm of scales. Prior to these advances, industries whose operations required weight measurements had to choose between the two standard types of scale technology — strain gage and magnetic force restoration.
Also, scales in the past offered no connectivity options, meaning that if measurements had to be recorded, they had to be recorded by hand, which had a negative impact on productivity and left records vulnerable to inaccuracies.
Typically constructed out of aluminum or metal alloys, scales, specifically their load cells, were weak and susceptible to shock and overload if a load was dropped onto the scale too quickly or if a load weighed more than the scale’s capacity.
Stainless Steel Load Cells
Traditionally, items were weighed by one large load cell placed in the center of a scale. However, this posed several problems. Loads not placed directly in the center of the scale caused inaccuracies. Platform heights were too tall, usually six inches or taller, which made loading and unloading inconvenient. Longer ramps were required to compensate for the platform height, which took up more floor space.
By placing four load cells in each corner of a scaleÕs platform, we have eliminated inaccuracies, lessened the platform height to only 1.875 inches, making loading and unloading easier, as well as shortening the necessary length ramps, and strengthened the scale overall.
Load cells were typically made out of aluminum because they were cheaper to manufacture. However, aluminum load cells are not the best choice for most industries’ scale requirements because of their low capacity range, susceptibility to the shock and overload that causes elastic deformation when a load is dropped on the scale or exceeds the scale’s maximum capacity, and their vulnerability to corrosion in wet or chemical environments.
Instead, we fabricate our load cells from stainless steel and coat them in silicone to reduce the chances of shock and overload, provide a much higher capacity range that allows for a larger platform, improve water resistance, and to protect the load cells in harsh, corrosive, or otherwise hostile environments. These four stainless steel load cells also provide additional support and stiffness to the platform, stabilizing the load more quickly and lessening the amount of time spent waiting for the measurement display to provide a true reading.
Digital Indicators and Connectivity Options
Typically, scale measurements were read on analog gauges or meters. This posed any number of problems because operators needed to be near the scale to make note of a reading, making records prone to human error. Also, there was no interaction between a scale and the systems it was meant to help control — such as batching or mixing.
State of the art scale technology includes a digital indicator, which is a piece of equipment that interacts with the load cells to numerically display the actual weight measurement. When weight is applied to a scale, an electric current is sent to the digital indicator through a cable, which will then amplify the current and translate it to a digital weight.
Featuring a large LCD display, our digital indicators include check weighing and parts counting functions, automatic zero tracking, stability control, and optional remote connectivity options. State of the art connectivity options include Ethernet and USB options.
Our remote indicator software allows you to control your scale through a connection with your local network. Weight data can be sorted, grouped, recorded, and analyzed from your workstation PC or from anywhere in the world, depending on how you set up your network access. A wireless Ethernet option is also available.
The most common PC interface today, our USB (Universal Serial Bus) option allows weight data to be sent to an Excel spreadsheet or Access database file on your PC using our free USB Remote software. Send weight data from a scale to any Windows application software using our available utility.
Primarily used for filling and mixing operations, our set point provides simple batching and PLC-type functions. Set up to eight target weights at one time and use them to turn on or shut off feeders, mixers, valves, motors, solenoids, or other equipment using solid-state relays. Based on the weight applied to the scale’s platform, the set up menu allows you to input formulas that control how output lines function. Many different formulas can be stored on the scale and recalled as necessary.
Used to transmit data from one computerized piece of equipment to another, RS-232 is a standard communications protocol that allows a scale to communicate with printers, computers, and programmable logic computers. The Arlyn Scales RS-232 option has a bi-directional interface that allows full remote capability. This means that the indicator not only sends data, but also has the capability to receive commands. A print frame definition editor is also included in the scale’s operating software, allowing for complex printed labels and other customized outputs.
A “multidrop” protocol, RS-485 allows several scales to form a network by sharing a single line. RS-485 differs from USB and RS-232 because of the distance over which it can successfully transmit and receive data Ð 4,000 feet! We also offer an RS-485 to USB interface that allows you to log data and directly control up to ten scales from a single PC.
Because many industries need to keep records of weights during their operations, datalogging allows you to record not only weight, but also time, group, data, and item information. This information is saved on a removable SD memory card that can be read on a personal PC using Microsoft Excel.
Analog 4-20mA Output
Used to communicate with programmable logic controllers and chart recorders. Through the setup menu, full configuration is provided allowing you to set start and ending currents or voltages.
Arlyn Scales is a manufacturer and distributor of weighing devices for a variety of industries. Made in our Long Island warehouse, we ship our products factory direct, cutting out the middleman that drives up our competitors’ prices. We never buy foreign and rebrand because we prefer to monitor the quality of our products at home, ensuring that you receive the most accurate, rugged, and efficient tool to manage your operation.
Browse our selection of state of the art scales to find one best suited to your needs. If you cannot find a scale that meets your requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us as we can craft a custom option at an affordable price. We can be reached at (516)593-4465