When a scale is properly maintained and protected, it can last for a very long time. It can deliver accurate measurements and resolution, and the indicator will consistently show a stable weight reading, even after heavy use. Eventually, however, you’ll need to replace your scales.
You can get years of productivity and reliability out of your scale, but how would you know if your scale isn’t working correctly? In this article, we will uncover the five critical warning signs that indicate your scale might be due for a replacement. Understanding these signs can save your operations from costly inaccuracies and inefficiencies.
The Lifespan of Industrial Scales
The longevity of an industrial weighing scale, whether it is a sophisticated digital scale or a traditional mechanical scale, varies significantly based on several factors. Regular usage, the environment in which it operates, and maintenance practices all play a role in determining a scale’s lifespan.
Digital scales, known for their precise readings, can show signs of aging differently than their mechanical counterparts. While a digital scale may not exhibit physical wear as obviously, its internal components may degrade over time, impacting its accuracy. Mechanical scales, on the other hand, might show their age more visibly.
What To Look For in a Broken Scale
Specific signs depend on whether you’re working with mechanical or digital scales. Mechanical and digital scales differ; not only in how they display weight but also in how they measure it – electronically or with machine components. So, while not all mechanical scales use springs, all mechanical scales do measure weight using mechanical components.
Digital scales like your typical digital bathroom scales generally utilize strain gauge or other types of load cells, and an analog-to-digital converter. This translates the continuous electronic readout data from the scale’s load cells into simple digital information. This process is similar to that of MP3 files being digitized into waveforms of music from a CD. Generally speaking, digital scales require less expertise to use than those with mechanical readouts and are capable of higher precision and faster processing.
If you’re concerned that your scale needs to be replaced, you should monitor its performance for signs that your scale is no longer working properly.
Is Your Scale Broken: 5 Warning Signs
1. Inconsistent Scale Readings
If your scale gives inconsistent readings between items of the same weight, this is one of the more obvious signs that it may need to be replaced. If you are unsure, take one item (such as a 10-pound free weight) and place it on the scale platform multiple times.
You should see the scale register the same weight each time, then return to the “000” display when the object is removed. If the scale registers anything other than 10 pounds or doesn’t return to zero, this may mean it’s having mechanical problems or load cell problems.
In this case, your scale needs to be calibrated or replaced. Many digital scales have a calibration mechanism that may need to be reset, so check for that as well.
2. Inaccurate Readings Between Scales
This problem occurs when you take the same object and weigh it on another scale that is known to be accurate and well-calibrated. Typically, the problem lies within the load cells of the inaccurate scale.
Depending on the scale you have, it may just need to be calibrated. You should do calibration every year, or even every few months. If you’re unsure how to do it, this article will show how to calibrate your scale the correct way.
However, if you calibrate it and the scale reading is still off, it may be that some of the cells have been shock-loaded. This occurs when an object is dropped onto its platform from a significant height or significant force.
Another possibility may be that your digital scale keeps changing weight because it has been overloaded. Just as the name implies, overloading occurs If a weight is placed on the scale that is far beyond its capacity.
3. Unstable Readings
This refers to a condition where the weight reading does not hold steady on one number. In some scales, this is also referred to as ‘drifting.’ This means that the scale display shows fluctuating weights while the object is firmly on the scale.
This is not dependable when precision is required. It may indicate that there is an electronic malfunction within the digital indicator.
Another common reason for drifting appears when low humidity causes static buildup on your load cells and/or weight controller. When the humidity changes, the static charge in the air does so as well. Your weight controller is looking for very small changes in input voltage, and static discharges can cause the weight reading to drift.
In addition, changes of ambient temperature can also cause drift of the weight readings.
4. Display Readability
Sometimes, the scale display readout can become difficult to see. This can occur when sections of the display are burned out, or when connected to an unreliable power source.
If you can, change the batteries or power source cable. This will rule out a simple malfunction and help you better determine if the display is broken. If so, you may need to replace the display.
Large displays with bright screens will increase legibility, usability, and, ultimately, effectiveness. The Arlyn UpScale Touchscreen Indicator, for example, features a 7-inch, color touchscreen with a resolution of 1024×600 pixels, a Quad Core processor, and 8GB of storage. If you can’t read your scale’s native display, or quickly recall stored information, it can impact your performance.
5. Rust or Other Corrosive Damage:
Typically, this is a mechanical issue that is seen in environments where moisture or other corrosive elements are abundant. A scale’s moving parts or load cells may come into contact with water or other chemicals that cause the components to degrade and malfunction.
Moving scales between environments with extreme variations in temperature can also result in temporary inaccuracy. Just as other devices are manufactured to be more resistant to specific, harsh conditions, your scale should be suitable for your intended uses. Replace your scales with rust and corrosion-resistant alternatives.
The Process of Replacing Your Industrial Scales
When the time comes to replace your scales, it’s crucial to approach the process systematically to ensure you select the best equipment for your needs. Here are the steps and considerations for replacing your industrial scales:
- Assess Your Current Needs: Evaluate the specific requirements of your operation. Consider the maximum weight your scale needs to measure, the level of accuracy required, and how the scale will integrate into your existing systems.
- Research the Latest Scale Technologies: Stay informed about the latest advancements in scale technology. Modern digital scales offer features like enhanced data collection, wireless connectivity, and improved weighing mechanisms, which might benefit your operations.
- Compare Types and Features: Weigh the pros and cons of different types of scales. Whether it’s a more rugged design for industrial environments or a scale with sophisticated software for data analysis, choose the features that align with your operational goals.
- Consider Space and Environment: Ensure the new scale fits in the allocated space and is suitable for the environmental conditions of your operation. Factors like the presence of moisture, dust, or chemicals can influence the type of scale you choose.
- Budgeting and Return on Investment (ROI): Determine your budget for the new scale and consider the ROI. A more expensive scale might offer longer durability or lower maintenance costs, providing better value over time.
- Vendor Selection: Choose a reputable vendor known for quality products and strong customer support. A good vendor will not only provide a reliable scale but also assist with installation, calibration, and post-purchase support.
By following these steps, you can make a well-informed decision when replacing your industrial scales, ensuring that your new equipment enhances the efficiency and accuracy of your operations.
Arlyn Scales: A Leader in Industrial Weighing Scales
Arlyn Scales is a leader in the weighing industry and has been for the last thirty years. We constantly strive to make the best scales possible at the lowest cost possible. If it’s time for you to replace your scales, we offer every variety you may need.
We achieve this by working to improve our scale manufacturing process on a daily basis. We also research new ways of scale construction and application. We don’t just build a scale for today’s business needs; we build them to adapt to a company’s evolving and emerging concerns and practices.
Our factory is located right next to our office on Long Island in New York. Thanks to this arrangement, we can ship to our customers factory-direct, ensuring that they get the best price possible.
Time to Replace Your Scales
Since we don’t pay middlemen to distribute our scales, we’re able to take the money we save and invest it into scale design and research. This gives our customers a cutting-edge scale that our competition couldn’t beat, even at normal retail prices.
Additionally, because we’re a factory-direct manufacturer, we can simply design and build a scale that meets your unique needs. So, should you find that our standard scales don’t quite meet your needs, ask us about our custom solutions.
We have a courteous and expert customer support staff that will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You can reach out to our team today, and we’ll get to work equipping you with the high-quality scaling options you need.