When a scale is properly maintained and protected for the job for which it was designed, it can last a very long time. It can deliver accurate measurements and resolution and the indicator will consistently show a stable weight reading time and time again. You will 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? Arlyn Scales can provide you with the signs you need to look out for when your scale is no longer working correctly and needs to be replaced. Check this live birds
Be aware that not all mechanical scales use springs, but all mechanical scales do measure weight using mechanical components. Therefore, mechanical and digital scales differ not only in how they display weight, but also how they measure it — mechanically or electronically. For digital scales, the scale generally utilizes an analog-to-digital converter that translates the continuous electronic readout data from the scale’s load cells into simple digital information, 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 about your scale and whether or not it needs to be replaced, it may be in your best interest to monitor the scale’s performance and see if it demonstrates any of the following behaviors.
1. Inconsistent Scale Readings:
This is one of the more obvious signs that your scale may need to be replaced. Typically, this is first noticed when items that may be the same weight on a normal basis begin to show significant changes in their weight readings. If you are unsure at this point, take one item, place it on the scale platform a number of times and see if you get the same reading. If you don’t, this may mean you are having either mechanical problems or load cell problems. You should see the scale register weight and then return to the “000” display when the object is removed. Test if your scale is accurate by finding an item with an exact weight, for example, a 10-pound free weight. If the scale registers anything other than 10 pounds, it 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 currently have, the scale may just need to be calibrated, 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 one (or more) of the cells may have been shock loaded (had an object dropped on its platform from a significant height). Another possibility may be that your digital scale changes weight because it has been overloaded (had a weight placed on the scale that was far beyond its capacity).
3. Unstable Readings:
This refers to the condition where the weight reading does not hold steady. This may mean that there is an electronic malfunction within the digital indicator. In some scales, this is also referred to as ‘drifting’ meaning that the reading slightly while the object is on the scale. This is not dependable when precision is required.
One of the most common reasons for drifting appears at times of the year when low humidity causes static buildup on your load cells and/or weight controller. As the humidity changes, so do the static charge in the air. 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:
This refers to when the scale display readout becomes difficult to see. This condition can occur when sections of the display are burned out or it could be the power source. If you are able to change the batteries or power source cable, do so in order to rule out that it is not a simple malfunction and not that your scale is broken.
At Arlyn Scales, we provide large displays with bright screens that are made with usability and legibility in mind. We designed the Arlyn UpScale Display Indicator as a complete redesign of the scale display. This digital weighing indicator is much different from the standard one that has been used for the past several decades on most industrial scales. At Arlyn Scales, we are never satisfied with the status quo. Instead, we’re committed to providing scale features that make your job easier.
5. Rust or Other Corrosive Damage:
Typically this is a mechanical issue that is seen in moisture or other corrosive-intense environments. A scale’s moving parts or load cells may come into contact with various chemicals or water that cause the components to begin to degrade and malfunction.
Also, moving scales to and from environments with extreme temperatures can result in temporary inaccuracy due to the reliability of the internal mechanisms. Just as other devices are manufactured to be more resistant to harsh conditions, check that your scale is meant suitable for your intended uses.
How to Make your Scales Last:
So, we’ve talked about how your scales can become unusable. The obvious question becomes, “How do I prevent this from happening and not have to replace my scale?” Let’s talk about that now.
1. Arlyn Scales Load Cells:
Typically, inaccurate readings occur because of load cell damage. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that most manufacturers use inexpensive materials when manufacturing their strain gauge load cells. Arlyn Scales, however, has implemented a superior design and manufacturing process that provides highly accurate results while leaving the load cell less prone to damage. Because we manufacture these load cells ourselves, we are able to match signal outputs before installing the load cell(s) in 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. Additionally, we manufacture SAW load cells for our Ultra Precision Scales. These are even more accurate load cells because they sample displacement rather than stress or strain like strain gauge load cells. Because less displacement is needed, the SAW load cells can produce extremely precise weight readings.
2. High-Quality Displays:
A high-quality digital indicator can solve a lot of scale indicator issues. We make a display that is large and can be mounted on a swivel bracket on the wall near the scale. It is moisture resistant and can come in an optional stainless steel enclosure. It has a large graphic display that is easy to read from a distance.
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 spreading. Unfortunately, most of our competitors use sheet metal bolted 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.
While the metal used to construct our scale depends on the type of scale itself, we do offer better corrosion resistance and even manufacture scales just for these environments. Our steel scales feature a zinc-rich triple epoxy coating, which helps prevent the platform from being scratched. However, 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
Located in Long Island, New York, Arlyn Scales is a leader in the weighing industry and has been for the last thirty years. This is because we constantly strive to make the best scales possible at the lowest cost possible. 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. Thanks to this arrangement, we can ship to our customers factory direct, ensuring that they get the best price possible. 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 our competition couldn’t beat even at normal retail prices.
We have a courteous and expert customer support staff that will be happy to answer any additional questions. Should you find that our standard scales don’t quite meet your needs, please ask us about our custom solutions. Because we’re a factory direct manufacturer, we can simply design and build a scale that meets your unique needs. Get in touch today by using the form on the Contact Us page of our site.