Before the invention of the personal computer, industrial scales completed just two tasks: measuring items and displaying weight values — and that’s it. If a company wanted to document the results, an operator had to record every weight reading by hand.
Undoubtedly, the process was time-consuming and vulnerable to errors. By removing this extra step, and connecting your scale directly to a computer, you maximize productivity and minimize mistakes.
However, to ensure that there are no barriers to communication, you must be confident that you can properly connect your equipment to your PC. At Arlyn Scales, we’ve seen a few (thousand) scales in our time, so we present this step-by-step guide to connecting your industrial scale to a computer.
How Do I Connect My Weighing Scale to a Computer?
With all of the advancements in computer and scale technology, there is still no one-size-fits-all solution for transmitting scale data to a computer.
Therefore, the first step in securing a connection is to identify the correct connection type. The connectivity option you choose depends on several factors, including:
- The options available to you
- The location of your scale
- How your operators use your scale during regular operations
- The type of device that you are transmitting to
- How you prefer to access the information communicated from scale to device
Confirm the Connectivity Options for Your Scale
There are several connectivity options available for linking your scale to a computer. The most common include:
- USB Flash Drive
- Ethernet or WiFi
- 3rd Party Connectivity Solutions
How to Connect a Scale to a PC using RS-232 Connections
The RS-232 serial port has been used for the communication between scales, computers, and printers for a long time. However, in 2002, computer manufacturers agreed to limit the installation of RS-232 ports and install USB ports into computers instead.
While RS-232 ports are still used, but USB ports are more common. To connect a scale to a PC using an RS-232 connection, plug your scale’s RS-232 cable into the RS-232 serial port on the computer.
How to Connect Your Weighing Scale to a PC using a USB
When an industrial scale features a USB port, there are a number of ways the scale can be connected to a computer. First, users can connect the scale to a nearby computer with a USB cable (USB cables are generally inexpensive and easy to find).
By connecting an industrial scale to a computer using a USB cable, users are able to view the scale indicator on the computer screen. This enables users to control the scale from the computer.
Moreover, users can extract weight data from the scale and transfer the information to the connected computer. Once the data is obtained, it can be analyzed on Microsoft Excel or Access.
Use a USB Hub to Connect Multiple Scales to a Single PC
Computers are capable of monitoring multiple scales at once. However, PCs tend to offer only 2 USB ports at maximum. Therefore, to connect multiple scales to one computer, you should connect via a USB hub.
Or, Use Arlyn Scale’s Free USB Remote Software Package
Arlyn Scales provides all of our customers with a free USB Remote Software Package. By downloading this software, customers are able to import weight data onto an Excel spreadsheet or Access database.
The software enables users to access, monitor, and control their scales from the connected computer. USB Remote Software can connect up to 10 USB scale indicators to one computer.
Once You’ve Downloaded the USB Remote Software Package…
You’ll notice that a faceplate appears on your computer screen that is identical or similar to the scale’s faceplate. The keys that appear on the computer screen are the same as the keys normally present on the scale’s indicator.
Users can control the scale from the computer by clicking the keys on the computer screen. A separate screen allows operators to view readings collected by the scale.
Users can export the data to a CSV text file that can be imported into various software packages.
Connecting a PC to an Industrial Scale with a USB Flash Drive
A USB flash drive comes in handy if your computer is not located in the same vicinity as your industrial scale. This can occur when there is no power source for the computer, or when the scale is located in a hazardous area.
By inserting the drive into the scale’s USB port, users can later remove the drive, and transfer the weight data to a computer whenever they choose. This provides several advantages, such as backing up your data, or reducing strain on your bandwidth by transferring data physically.
Using Ethernet or Wi-Fi to Connect a Scale to a Computer
In some ways, the USB connectivity option can be limiting. Either the computer and scale have to be in the same room, or users have to take the time to transfer all of the weight data from the scale to a computer.
The Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity options do not share these limitations. With Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity, your computer is not required to be in the same room as your scale.
If your scale is located in a part of the building that is far from the Internet router, Wi-Fi might be the best option for you. Also, with Wi-Fi, users can access the scale 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in the world.
Setup is an Advantage to WiFi & Ethernet Connectivity
Software that uses WiFi or Ethernet connectivity simply require an internet connection. Install the software, open it, and let it use your internet connection to find your scale.
A Vast Selection of Connectivity Options
When personal computers were first invented, there weren’t many connectivity options available. In fact, a majority of scales communicated with computers via the RS-232 port.
However, the manner in which computers and industrials scales are able to communicate has changed drastically since then. Today, there is a vast selection of connectivity options available for industrial scales and computers.
AxChange: Want a Scale that Sends Weight to Your Phone?
To provide industry leaders with superior connectivity options that boost communication and efficiency, we developed our own monitoring solution, AxChange.
AxChange wirelessly connects your scale to your computer, but it can also do much more to maximize productivity. For example, with this software, you aren’t constrained to a PC — you can turn your system into a scale that sends weight data to your mobile device!
Learn More about Arlyn Scales’ Connectivity Options
At Arlyn Scales, we’ve been a leader in the weighing industry for over 30 years. In that time, we’ve manufactured a variety of industrial scales with a wide range of connectivity options.
In fact, all of the connectivity options we’ve presented above can be added to our scales for an additional price. The options and price of each are as follows:
- RS-232: $100.00
- USB: $100.00
- Ethernet: $200.00
- Wi-Fi: $200.00
Why Connectivity is Useful to Scale Operators & Companies
From the first time personal computers were sold, industrial scales have been capable of communicating with them.
By connecting an industrial scale to a computer, scale users can access weight data collected by their scale quickly and easily.
Using this information, operators can analyze the data, search for patterns within the statistics, and make predictions or adjustments concerning the numbers.
Find the Best Scale Connectivity Options at Arlyn Scales
At Arlyn Scales, we’re committed to manufacturing scales that are dependable, accurate, and innovative. Even better, our team of knowledgeable & collaborative experts is prepared to assist you with any questions you might have.
To find the perfect scale and connectivity options for your operations, reach out to our team today.