7 Things to Consider Before Buying a Scale

ultra-precision-scale-2TBuying a scale online can be a little tricky. There are some criteria you’ll need to know beforehand so you can be sure you’re selecting the right product for your needs. A lot of people think price is the most important factor in this decision, but we can’t begin to tell you how often this is false. You need to consider the total value that the scale will provide, not just its sticker price. If your business relies on the scale for efficiency and profitability, you’ll want to invest in the best option you can find. A lower price often means more expenses in the long run for repairs, replacements, and all the downtime they cause.

  1. Your Application

What will you be using the scale for? Is it part of a manufacturing process that runs on a continuous basis or will you need to store it somewhere when it’s not in use? Are the objects you weigh so large that you’ll need a specially mounted display or off-site access and control through a computer? Is the object mobile? Maybe you weigh living animals in a veterinarian’s office. Or maybe you’re sending packages over a conveyor belt. Understanding what you’re weighing is an important, but surprisingly overlooked factor when purchasing a scale. It can affect almost every other decision you make.

  1. Your Location

Another thing you’ll want to consider is where you’re using the scale. Is it a rough industrial environment? Do you work outdoors or in a cleanroom? If you work in a wet or washdown environment you’ll want to find a scale with additional corrosion resistance. If you work in a classified hazardous location, you’re going to need to find scales that have been tested and approved for your specific classification. Are there unique size requirements you’ll have due to limited space or unusually shaped products? The setting where your scale will be used will also influence what style you choose.

  1. Capacity

A lot of people shopping for a scale will simply choose the scale with a maximum capacity that matches the weight of the items they usually weigh. You may think this is the right choice, and it may even help you lower your expenses, but there are several other things you need to consider when it comes to capacity. A scale may be rated to 500 lbs., but how much extra weight can you add before it’s damaged?

Arlyn Scales will generally display a warning message at 102% capacity and mechanical stops will prevent damage up to 150% of the maximum capacity. Aside from overload capacity, you must also consider shock loading and dynamic loading, where items are routinely dropped onto the platform. This action increases the force the scale must handle, so while a 500 lb. scale can handle a 450 lb. load, it may not to be able to do so if it’s dropped 5 feet onto the platform. 

  1. Readability

The readability of a scale determines how many decimal places it has to read and shouldn’t be confused with accuracy, which actually has more to do with set up, usage, and maintenance. Large capacity scales, like a 500 lb. capacity platform scale, have a smaller readability than a lower capacity scale, like a 50 lb. capacity bench scale. For example, the 500 lb. platform scale has a readability of 0.1 lbs. while the 50 lb. bench scale has a readability of 0.01.

And while standard scales suit the majority of industry-related weighing needs very well, there are some operations that require an extremely high readability – as much as .0001 lb. This often requires the purchase of a special scale, usually an electromagnetic force restoration model, which are extremely expensive and usually too sensitive for industrial environments.

Arlyn Scales actually offers an industrial-grade equivalent of these scales that uses a special technology, called surface acoustic wave (SAW) to digitally measure weight and provide this extremely high readability at much higher capacities than what’s available with MFR scales – as much as 500 lbs.!

  1. Special Modes and Software 

Will your scale have more than one application or be used for one specific one? Many scales are manufactured for straightforward weighing, so if you’re going to need one for parts counting, checkweighing, dynamic weighing, or some other special process, you’re going to need to find a scale that has the necessary features and software. You’ll also have to determine whether display hold, data accumulation, and other functions are necessary to your operation. For example, if your scales are going to be used for keeping an inventory of small parts, you’ll need both the parts counting and data accumulation functions. It’s important to consider how the scale actually works before you can decide whether it suits your operation.

  1. Connectivity

Scales are rarely used in isolation. They often need to connect with other computer systems, printers, and devices to enhance quality control, inventory, and process tracking and documentation. Scales may also be connected to other equipment to control how their output lines behave when they’re used to automate certain processes such as batching, filling, and mixing.

Arlyn Scales offers a variety of options including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Cloud, USB, RS-232 and RS-485, and analog outputs like 4 – 20ma, among others, and can help you choose the one that best meets your needs. 

  1. Support

What happens if the scale malfunctions, an important part gets misplaced, or something is damaged? Is there a warranty that will cover this? Is there a person you can speak with to help you troubleshoot? What if you need a custom scale or weighing component; can they provide it?

Why You Should Consider Arlyn Scales

First and foremost, you’ll be dealing directly with the manufacturer and won’t have to go through dealers and middlemen for help. We can walk you through the selection process and help you determine which scale will best meet your needs. It also means that we have the ability to provide custom solutions. And if pricing is still a factor for you, you can’t do better than factory direct! By eliminating middlemen, we offer some of the most competitive pricing in the industry and stand behind the quality of our products. We’re a U.S. based company located right on Long Island, New York. If you’re in the area, you’re always welcome to stop by for a demonstration.

So if you’re still struggling to find the scale that’s going to meet all of your needs and be a true investment in your business, contact us today. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the selection or customization process.