Platform scales are probably the most common measurement devices found throughout the industry. Every company that ships parts and materials will use a scale so that they can determine the weight of the package, and therefore the cost of transportation. Goods that are received by the company may be weighed on the scale to confirm that the proper amount has been received. Any time that a container is being filled is appropriate for using a platform scale. The weight of the container can be determined, and the net weight of the contents carefully measured. Where drums of material are being dispensed into a process, a scale is used to provide an alarm when the drum is almost empty, and can also be used to monitor the usage of the material .
Mechanical Scales Vs. Digital Scales
There are two main types of scales you can choose from: mechanical and digital. Until fairly recently, most industrial platform scales were completely mechanical, but digital industrial platform scales have been becoming more and more popular. What exactly is the difference between mechanical and digital scales?
Mechanical Platform Scales
Mechanical (or analog) platform scales don’t require electricity to work. Generally, these scales are supported on each corner by a bearing, which rests on a set of pivots. The pivots are supported by a single understructure device which, in turn, is supported with another lever system. Typically, there is a 14 to 1 mechanical advantage on the last lever. Finally, this is attached to either a counterbalanced arm or a spring type dial. With a standard capacity of about 1,000 lbs, and the lever system provided, the counterbalance experiences a maximum force of about 70 lb.
Benefits of Using Mechanical Scales
The main benefit of mechanical platform scales is they don’t require a power source, meaning they can be used anywhere at any time, even if the power is out. However, with scales requiring only tiny amounts of current, and batteries and alternative power sources, this advantage tends not to matter as much.
Disadvantages of Mechanical Scales
While mechanical scales provided weight information for many years, they are far from ideal. The pivots and bearings move against each other and experience wear over time. This can cause inaccuracy and require the scale to be serviced regularly. Because the platform rests on its bearings, there was a certain amount of free motion on the platform. The pivots, bearings and the supporting lever arms force the overall height of the scale to be six inches or more. This can make it difficult to place loads onto the scale platform. This type of scale is expensive to manufacture, as there are a significant number of parts.
Digital Platform Scales
Digital platform scales are electronic weighing devices that provide accurate weighing data. Some early types of digital platform scales simply replaced the counterbalance arm of a mechanical scale with a single load sensor. This type of sensor converts a mechanical force into an electronic signal. The signal is amplified, and then converted from its original analog form into a digital number which is displayed on the electronic indicator.
Early industrial digital platform scales still suffered the rest of the disadvantages of the older mechanical type. The next step was to place a single large capacity load cell in the center of the scale platform. This directly accepted all of the weight on the platform and eliminated all of the pivots, bearing and levers. The primary disadvantage of this method is that the load cell had to be quite large in order to provide support for loads that could be off center on the platform. Therefore the platform height remains too large for easy use. Also, the size of the scale platform was kept fairly small, with 1,000 lb capacity scales at approximately 15 x 20, in order to avoid the off-center difficulty. Even with the smaller platform, there is still some movement of the platform when the load is not well centered. A more ideal solution is to provide a load cell under each corner of the scale platform. This method is used by Arlyn Scales to provide the electronic platform scale with the best feature set.
The scale platform can now be quite large, ranging in size from 20 x 27 all the way to 48 x 48. But the scale profile can be exceedingly low, at 1 7/8. Furthermore, with no pivots or bearings, the scale will remain quite accurate over time. To provide even better performance, the Arlyn digital scales use stainless steel for the load sensors, which provide excellent resistance to shock loading and overload abuse.
Benefits of Digital Platform Scales
Digital platform scales have many advantages over analog versions. For starters, the digital display often makes it easier to read output information. Digital scales can also integrate with other devices, such as printers and computers.
Digital industrial platform scales like those from Arlyn Scales also have a very wide range of electronic features, including a USB interface that can send data to a computer, or to a USB memory stick for purposes of logging the data. Ethernet connections are also available, so the scale can be monitored from remote locations. The optional setpoint controller allows the scale to control valves, pumps and solenoids for automatic filling. Optional Modbus output, and cloud based monitoring offers even more versatility.
Upgrade to Digital Industrial Platform Scales From Arlyn Scales
If you’re in the market for industrial scales, platform scales from Arlyn Scales will give you the versatility and dependability you need. Our scales are ideal for a range of industries, from airline travel to commercial laundry. While all these industries have a basic need to weigh items, they still vary greatly in application. There’s a difference between an airline company using platform scales to weigh luggage that’s usually around 50lbs and waste and recycling companies measuring large loads of trash. Our platform scales are designed to work for any industry in any environment, even those that involve liquids and heavy capacities.
We offer two models of Platform Scales with Industrial Technology: Stainless Steel Platform Scales and Aluminum Platform Scales. Both scale types use durable, top-of-the-line stainless steel load cells. These four load cells are embedded in a welded frame to give maximum shock and abuse resistance. These scales have a large digital graphics display and multiple unit conversions.
We also offer an intrinsically safe version of our industrial platform scale. The ArlynGuard P scales are intrinsically safe and can be used in hazardous area classes, divisions, and groups. These scales have new features and can be configured in multiple ways to meet more specific applications, including AC Powered Systems that are now available. Capacities for these scales range up to 1,000 lbs, and sensitivity can be as high as 0.1 lb.
Arlyn Scales is a leader in the weighing industry, and we have decades of experience. We are able to design and develop new technologies to bring you the most accurate, durable scales for your business. To learn more about our digital platform scales or to discuss custom solutions for your unique needs, please contact us.