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?
What should you be paying attention to?
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 generally utilize 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. At Arlyn Scales, we’re happy to provide you with the warning signs that you need to replace your scale.
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. Calibration is something you should do every year, or even every few months.
However, if you calibrate the scale and the 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.
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 was placed on the scale that was 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 reading vacillates slightly 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.
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.
How to Make your Scales Last:
As you see, your scales can become unusable for a variety of reasons. The most common questions that follow are:
- “How do I prevent these issues?” and
- “How can I avoid having to replace my scale?”
1. Arlyn Scales Load Cells:
Inaccurate readings typically occur due to load cell damage. This is because many manufacturers use inexpensive materials when manufacturing their strain gauge load cells.
However, with a superior design and manufacturing process, our digital load cells provide highly accurate results while being less prone to damage. Because we manufacture them ourselves, we are able to match signal outputs before installing the load cell(s) into our scales, which eliminates the need for a summation board.
A summation board allows the scale operator to manually match the load cell signal outputs for the greatest possible accuracy. Unfortunately, the summation board is one of the largest points of failure on a scale. By eliminating this, we eliminate another source of the potential malfunction, and eliminating the need to constantly replace your scales.
Additionally, we manufacture SAW load cells for our Ultra Precision Scales. These boast increased accuracy because they sample displacement rather than stress or strain. Because less displacement is needed, the SAW load cells can produce extremely precise weight readings.
2. High-Quality Displays:
A high-quality, digital display can solve a lot of scale indicator issues. We offer digital indicators that are accurate, durable, and easy to read. With their customizable features and casings, our digital scale display indicators can withstand any operating environment.
3. High-Quality Scale Construction and Protective Coatings:
Mechanical issues can really creep up on a scale. Rust and corrosion are nearly impossible to stop once they’ve started to spread. When this happens, you’ll need to replace your scales.
Unfortunately, most scale manufacturers bolt sheet metal onto the scale frame and simply coat it with enamel or powder coat paint. This does nothing to prevent rust, especially once the layer of paint has been scratched. Many times the corrosion will have spread to parts of the scale that still have paint on them, which only hides the damage taking place.
The metal used to construct our products depends on the type of scale itself. However, we manufacture corrosion resistant scales specifically to withstand corrosive environments.
Our steel scales feature a zinc-rich, triple epoxy coating, which helps prevent the platform from being scratched. Of course, because scratches are inevitable, we infuse the epoxy with zinc particles, which help inhibit rust formation at the source.
Our stainless steel models can be purchased with an optional triple epoxy that has also been infused with garnet particles. The garnet provides added scuff and scratch resistance while further protecting the scale from damage due to corrosive agents.
Arlyn Scales: A Sign of Great Customer Support
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.
It May be 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.