In the world of shipping, orders need to be handled accurately and often quickly. This is the type of business in which customers want their packages delivered yesterday at the drop of a dime. It would seem that everyone has a last-minute emergency on their hands.
The Growing Need for Electronic Shipping Scales
In the past, shipping was handled by manual or analog scales. To weigh the package, someone would need to place it on the analog scale and make sure everything was perfectly aligned. The scale might need to be manually calibrated before it could be used. And, once the person was ready to weigh the item, it could still take a long time because the numbers could be worn off. The position in which the person was standing might also make a difference in the reading the scale appeared to be giving. So, this might spark arguments with customers.
All of these issues greatly extended the time to ship just one package. Even when there are only a few customers none of them want to feel like their time is being wasted so just imagine the chaos that might ensue if there were many customers waiting in line.
With the new electronic shipping scale of today, these types of situations may be a distant memory. Electronic shipping scales can provide accurate readings within seconds. The digital output screen displays the numbers in a clear format so the reading will be the same from every angle. Simply place the item on the scale and read the numbers from the digital output screen.
These factors work together to ensure that today’s shipping experiences can go much more quickly. Packages can be prepared for shipping much faster allowing the shipping clerk to move on to the next customer in much less time than before.
Best Digital Scales for Shipping and Receiving
High Capacity, Accuracy, and Fine Resolution
Depending on the items being shipped, the weight capacities of the scale being used could be quite considerable. For example, the use of 48” x 40” pallets is fairly standard. If these pallets are loaded with dense metallic materials, they can be very heavy. The pallet scale may need to have a capacity of 10,000 lbs, or even 20,000 lbs.
The required accuracy of the scale is usually dependent on the value of the material being weighed. Due to the low cost per pound of most scrap metals, the required accuracy for a scale will not be very great. A standard 20,000 lb scale may have a standard resolution of 5 lb.
But if the material was titanium, or even gold, the accuracy and resolution would need to be much better. In those cases, a large Ultra Precision scale would be required. For example, a 1,000 lb capacity ultra precision scale has a standard resolution of 0.01 lb. Although the scale may be somewhat expensive, it is clear that the cost savings achieved when weighing expensive items would very quickly pay for itself.
Durable and Long Lasting Shipping Scales
The total cost of ownership of any piece of equipment is generally considered to be a combination of the original purchase price, and the maintenance costs. When this is divided by the lifetime of the item, an annual cost can be calculated.
There are many cheap scales available. The gauge of the metal used may be thin. The welding could be insufficient. The paint could be of low quality. In all likelihood, the total cost of ownership of this scale will be higher than that of a higher quality scale.
Stainless Steel Load Cells
Perhaps the most critical parts of a shipping scale are the load cells. These are the transducers that take the weight on the platform and convert it into an electrical signal. This is achieved by bonding resistive strain gauges to a spring element.
It is critical that the load cell perform as a nearly ideal spring. It should bend a certain amount with the application of a certain load. It should return to exactly its original position when that load is removed.
The material of the load cell will dictate its performance. Most shipping scales use plated steel load cells, because they are cheaper. The material is cheaper, and the cost of machining is also cheaper. Excellent quality scales use stainless steel instead. The additional step of heat-treating the stainless steel adds to its optimal performance.
Wide Range of Platform Sizes
A wide range of different items needs to be shipped. They are in a wide range of different sizes. Therefore, Arlyn Scales provides a wide range of different sized floor scales, ranging from 3’ x 3’ up to 7’ x 9’, and even larger. They will even fabricate a custom size, if needed.
Versatile Communication Methods
Many electronic shipping scales will have a communication port to allow them to be connected to a PC or a printer. This connection can allow the shipping company to integrate programs with the scale to print postage, labels, reports, etc. while the item is being weighed for shipping. This can greatly increase the speed of the shipping process.
There are quite a few additional communication options available. They include the legacy RS-232 protocol, along with USB for easy connection to a PC. RS-485 multidrop, Ethernet and Wi-fi are also good options.
The shipping industry moves quickly. Customers expect shippers to live up to that standard. Analog shipping scales may no longer be able to meet the needs of this fast-paced industry. An electronic shipping scale is the best way to ship many packages as quickly as possible. You may find yourself amazed at the speed and precision that is offered by these types of scales.
Discover Custom Electronic Shipping Solutions at Arlyn Scales
For more information on various types of electronic shipping scales, or to find the scale that will perfectly suit your need, please feel free to contact Arlyn Scales! We offer expertise over the phone, or by e-mail, to help with your selection process.