Consider two different companies. One of them is an electronics company that builds circuit boards. The other is a company that mixes chemicals into large drums.
The first company must keep track of their inventory of electronic components capacitors, resistors, switches, diodes, and transistors. This company must make sure that they always adequately stocked of these components so that they never run out before the next shipments come in.
The second company must mix their chemicals precisely. They must fill each drum with exactly the correct mixture according to their clients’ specifications. So, what needs do these two companies have in common?
Both of these processes keeping inventory and mixing chemicals are complex jobs that can be made much simpler using industrial scales.
The electronics company mentioned could hire workers whose sole task is to count out each electronic component every day in order to keep track of the inventory. As the supply of a component runs low, these workers would inform the procurement office to order more supplies.
However, obviously this is not cost effective when you can choose to automate. A much more efficient and cost effective method of keeping inventory of small electronic components would be to use electronic parts counting scales. Parts counting scales are very simple to use.
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Here’s how a parts counting scale works:
A known number of parts, such as resistors, are placed on the platform of the electronic bench scale.
The number of resistors that is being used is entered into the digital interface of the scale.
Once the parts counting scale calculates the total weight of these resistors, it divides the weight by the number of resistors, which is how the weight of one single piece, or “piece weight” is calculated. Confirm by checking the display, as it should announce the unit as “pcs” and not lbs, kg, etc.
To iterate, when the digital scale is switched into counting mode and a large number of pieces are placed on its platform, it divides the total weight by the calculated piece weight to determine the total number of resistors. As resistors are taken off of the scale, the measured weight changes and therefore the displayed number of parts decreases.
An Efficient Strategy to Measure Volume
The chemical company mentioned above could also hire workers to measure out each chemical volumetrically. To complete this task, they could mark the drum at particular levels, or the worker may need to use a separate measuring device and then transfer the chemicals from its original container into the drum. However, as with the inventory solution, there is also a much more efficient solution to filling drums that uses industrial scales.
In this case, chemical drums may be placed on a digital drum scale. High quality drum scale manufacturers, such as Arlyn Scales, have sophisticated, time-saving features, specifically Set Point Controllers to trigger a particular action at a predetermined unit:
When a drum has been filled with a predetermined amount of chemical, the Set Point Controller sends a signal to solid state relays to open or close valves, starting or stopping the flow of different chemicals.
Note: separate filling recipes may be programmed into the computer memory of an electronic drum scale and when a certain chemical mixture is needed, the operator simply places the drum on the industrial scale, selects the correct program and watches as the drum fills automatically.
While industrial scales themselves save a company time and money, these electronic scales may also be incorporated into customized computerized weighing systems that allow for advanced use, such as:
- keep precise weigh records
- control more than one industrial scale at a time
- control a scale from a remote location
- send large data sets in CSV or Excel format for analysis and reporting
Certain scale manufacturers specialize in these custom weighing solutions and are experts at working with clients to develop new solutions that suit certain needs.
For example, Arlyn Scales developed a bin scales technique for keeping inventory. This custom weighing system uses many different parts counting scales.
Each counting scale holds a manufacturing plant’s inventory of one type of piece. Therefore, one digital scale may hold resistors while another may hold capacitors.
These electronic scales are wired via RS-485, USB, or Ethernet to a computer or to a network where a customized Arlyn interface is used to read the number of items remaining in each bin.
In addition, these scales may communicate over the Internet with an Internet connected communication module. The bins can then be monitored from anywhere in the world. If the stock of one component dips below a certain pre-programmed level, a parts distributor may be alerted to deliver more of this component. The system is entirely automated saving all parties involved both time and money.