Arlyn Scales has been designing, developing, and manufacturing industrial weighing equipment for almost four decades now. In that time, we’ve innovated quite a few new scale designs and weighing systems, but there are some things we do that you just won’t find anywhere else.
A Common Complaint
When it comes to affordable precision instruments, many companies are at a loss. Standard industrial scales just don’t provide the sensitive measurements they need at capacities relevant to their business and magnetic force restoration (MFR) scales are expensive, delicate, and limited in terms of capacity. So they’re always forced to make a sacrifice – less precise measurements or a bigger chunk of budget?
Understanding the Problem
The reason standard industrial scales don’t offer high precision has to do with the way measurements are taken. A load cell is the internal component of a scale responsible for measuring weight and converting it into a numeric reading. Within each load cell is a strip of metal called a spring element. One end of this element is attached to the underside of the scale’s platform while the other is attached to the interior base of the scale. When an object is placed on the platform, the spring element bends in direct proportion to the weight of the object.
Strain gages are attached to the flexures of the spring element. These devices change in electrical resistance in accordance with the strain placed on the spring element. When wired together they form something called a Wheatstone’s bridge, which is an electrical circuit that measures the electrical resistance of the gages. The bridge has a voltage output that changes with the resistance of the gages.
However, voltage is an analog signal, so it must be passed through an ADC (analog to digital converter) to create a digital signal, which is picked up by the scale’s display where you see the weight. However, this ADC conversion can affect the accuracy of your reading. This doesn’t matter so much when your scale only needs to read to a couple of decimal places, but for industries where .0456 lb of product can change a formula, it matters a lot.
The other issue is that the resolution of the scale (or the number of decimal places to which the scale can accurately read) is affected by the maximum capacity of the scale. The higher the capacity, the lower the resolution.
The Problem With the Solution
Magnetic force restoration scales were created as a solution to the issue with precision, but they never really addressed the issue with high capacity limits.
MFR scales work on a completely different premise. They use an electromagnetic force to counteract the weight of the object on the platform and cap out at a realistic max capacity of about 12-15 pounds. And they’re also very delicate and not well suited to industrial environments. Changes in temperature, air currents, and vibrations from other machinery can cause drifts in accuracy.
The biggest complaint about these scales, however, is their price. They’re expensive to purchase and ship, and since they’re so sensitive they are also prone to damage which means repairs and replacements are common.
So while they provide high-resolution measurements, they don’t do it in a meaningful way.
Arlyn Scales Specializes in Solutions
As an actual scale manufacturer, we’re able to design and test new weighing systems, which is how we came to invent the surface acoustic wave technology (SAW) used in our line of ultra precision scales, which addresses all the design vulnerabilities found in both strain gage and MFR scales.
We took the same basic theory of load cell design used in industrial scales because of its ruggedness and applied our SAW technology to it. So instead of strain gages and ADCs, we use attach two SAW transducers at opposite ends of the spring element. One acts as a transmitter and the other as a receiver. When weight is applied to the platform, it creates a bulk wave in the substrate of the transducer as the spring element bends. This wave is picked up by the transmitter and sent to the receiver, where it passes through an amplifier and gets sent back to the transmitter, creating a feedback loop with a specific frequency.
The frequency of this wave is directly proportional to the distance between the two transducers, which is determined by the weight of the object on the platform. And since the scale determines the frequency of this wave digitally, there is no ADC conversion, which makes these measurements inherently more accurate and precise.
And just because they take sensitive weight readings doesn’t mean they have to be used in gentle environments. We’ve designed our ultra precision scales specifically for use in harsh industrial environments where extremely fine resolutions are required.
We Also Specialize in Industrial Scales
Yet standard industrial scales are what the majority of industries use. But just because it’s a standard doesn’t mean we can’t improve them. Unlike other manufacturers who use aluminum or regular steel, our industrial scales feature solid stainless steel load cells for added strength, durability and accuracy. We’ve improved the interface of the digital indicator so that our scales are always simple to understand and easy to use. They’re equipped with special digital electronics that compensate for changes in temperature and other normal factory conditions to ensure accurate measurements. We also provide a range of sizes for platforms. And many of our models can be purchased as a corrosion resistant model, which means it has full stainless steel construction and a special triple epoxy to protect the platform against abrasion and corrosion.
Explosion Proof Scales
If you work in a classified hazardous area, we also offer a line explosion proof scales that have been factory mutual approved as intrinsically safe for use in a impressive range of hazardous locations.
Custom Scales and Weighing Solutions
We also work with businesses and OEMs to develop custom scales and weighing solutions. Whether you need a component for a larger production system, a uniquely sized platform, or a way to track your inventory and set up automated alerts when supplies are low, our design and development services are always available for those who need them. We always welcome a challenge!
Factory Direct Pricing
And while we specialize in high quality weighing solutions, our prices are always competitive. When you buy from Arlyn Scales, you’re buying straight from the factory. We don’t need to compensate for the services of the middlemen that drive up prices on other competing scales.
Looking for a scale that meets your needs? Contact us today and we’ll answer any questions you may have and help guide you to the scale that best meets your needs.