Process Equipment Weighing

floor-scale-2Many industries use large processing plants to quickly and efficiently manufacture products in bulk. The food industry requires these plants to produce our peanut butter, juices, sauces, and cereal. Processing equipment is used in the pharmaceutical industry to make lotions, cosmetics, crmes, gels, emulsions, toothpaste, eye drops, shampoo, makeup, and hair care products. Chemical mixing processing equipment is used to produce adhesives, varnishes, coatings, ink and paint. In addition, processing lines are used in the plastics and polymers, waste water treatment, cement, iron and steel, and pet food industries.

Production lines in these industries often require measuring out of either ingredients or finished products. At various stages in the process, ingredients may have to be mixed together in order to produce the final product. It is extremely important that this mixing of ingredients follow a very precise recipe. If even the slightest change has been made to this recipe, the characteristics of the product can vary greatly from the intended product, which can cause a company thousands of dollars of wasted goods. At the end of the production process, the finished product may have to be batched out into packing in order to be shipped. There are two different methods of measuring out material in process equipment. Material may be measured out volumetrically with an auger or a measuring wheel. Often, it is much more practical and precise to measure out material by weight. A weight-loss method may be used, which measures the amount of material that is released from a screw meter feeder. A weight conveyor belt can be used to measure the amount of material that is coming on and off at a time. A popular method of precision weighing of material is the weight-gain method. One example of this is the use of drum scales, a type of electronic scale manufactured by Arlyn Scales, for filling drums of chemicals. The weight-gain method is particularly important when creating mixtures of more than one ingredient. Rather than requiring one industrial scale for each feeder, which can become expensive, this method requires only one electronic scale for the mixer. One ingredient at a time is introduced into the mixer and the digital scale measures the difference between the original weight without this ingredient and the weight with this ingredient. When the proper amount of ingredient has been added to the mixture, the electronic scale sends a signal to a valve to close. One example of industrial scales in process equipment is their use in paint mixing. When paints are mixed, very precise ratios of each color must be added to each mixture so that identical colors are produced each and every time, along with reducers and hardeners. Specialized computerized scales, which are made by Arlyn Scales, automate the paint mixing process by measuring out each ingredient as it is added to the paint mixture. Since precision is so important when using processing equipment, it is reasonable to require a scale with the highest possible precision. Arlyn Scales Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Ultra-precision scales provide the sensitivity and capacity necessary for the demands of process equipment. Arlyn’s SAW-C line of scales have a capacity of 100 lb. which a readability of .001 lb, while other 100 lb. capacity scales have readabilities of only .02 lb or higher. In process equipment, digital scales can send signals to valves and other filling devices to control the amount of or whether any material is being released. In the food industry, ingredients must be mixed together in precise ratios. When making peanut butter, a manufacturer may need 145 lb. of peanuts, 10 lb. of oil, and 15 lb. of sugar. As the peanuts are being added to the mixture, an industrial scale is taking weight measurements of the blender. When 145 lb. of peanuts have been added, the electronic scale sends a signal to power a solid state relay which can close the filling device. It is even possible to set more than one set point. In this case, the manufacturer may choose to slow down the rate of filling when the weight reaches 125 lb. to allow for a more precise measurement. Once the peanut filling device has been closed, the oil filling device automatically opens up, followed by the sugar filling device. It is also important for industrial scales in processing equipment to be able to communicate with computers. High quality scales, such as those manufactured by Arlyn Scales, offer USB and Ethernet ports for universal connectivity.