Scale Options – Communication Methods
Most of the scales provided by Arlyn Scales can be equipped with a myriad of scale options designed to communicate with the customer’s devices. These devices may include Personal Computers (PCs), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Cloud Solutions and Database Frameworks. Some of these options include USB Communication, RS-232, RS-422, RS-485, Ethernet and Wireless TCP/IP, Setpoints, Analog Output 4-20mA, User Management, and Custom Field Support as well as common industrial protocols such as Modbus.
As more and more environments become wired for the Internet, we’ve developed scales to match. You can now monitor and control your Arlyn Scales over your local network. Simply plug the scale into the network and connect to it using our Remote Indicator software. Weights can be recorded, sorted, grouped and analyzed from your workstation PC. It is also possible to set up your network so that you can access the scale from anywhere in the world over the Internet. We also offer a Wireless Ethernet option.
The Setpoint output provides some simple Batching and PLC type functions. You may set up to 8 target weights at a time, and use these targets to turn other equipment on and off. Feeders, mixers, motors, valves, solenoids and other devices may be controlled using solid-state relays that are operated by the setpoint outputs. The most common use is automated filling and mixing operations. Through the use of the setup menu, formulas can be input to control how those output lines behave based on the weight applied to the scale platform. Many different formulas may be saved in the scale memory, and recalled when needed.
Enhanced Setpoint Functionality (Arlyn UpScale Display Indicator only)
Not only does the Arlyn UpScale Display Indicator provide general Setpoint functionality (actuating outputs based on target weights), it also allows you to email weight print frames when a target weight is reached. For example, if you want to be notified when a cylinder of Helium gas you were weighing on the scale reaches 30lbs, then you can configure the Setpoint function on the scale to email you when the scale reading reaches 30lbs. You can also configure the Setpoint function to output weight print frames when it reaches a target weight. This can be done through RS232, USB, Ethernet, Wireless TCP/IP, etc. This function is only available with the Setpoint option in conjunction with any of the digital print outputs. Please see the Arlyn UpScale manual for further details.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is the most common interface on today’s PCs. This option, in combination with Arlyn’s free USB Remote Software allows scale data to be sent to an Excel spreadsheet or Access database file on the PC. The PC can also control the scale’s operation. A utility is also available to send weight data from the scale directly into any Windows application software.
RS-232 is a standard communications protocol used mainly to transmit data from one piece of computerized equipment to another. In the digital scale world, RS232 is used to communicate with printers, programmable logic controllers and computers. Arlyn’s RS232 Option is a bi-directional interface that allows the Scale Indicator to not only send data, but also receive commands from computers and the like. This allows full remote capability. Consult our Options Manual for full details.
Included in the scale’s operating software is a print frame definition editor that allows for customized outputs like complex printed labels.
RS-422 & RS-485
Need a robust, long distance network protocol to connect several scales and a personal computer? RS-485 is another communication system built into Arlyn Scales. It differs from RS-232 and USB by the distance over which it can successfully transmit and receive – 4000 feet. RS-485 is a “multi-drop” protocol, meaning that several scales can share a single line, forming a network. We also sell an RS-485 to USB interface allowing you to log data and directly control up to ten scales from a single PC. Arlyn also offers RS-422 for full duplex communication.
Modbus [New Feature]
Arlyn Scales now offers Modbus Communication Protocol for scales equipped with the Arlyn UpScale Touchscreen Indicator. Modbus is a data communications protocol originally published by Modicon (now Schneider Electric) in 1979 for use with its programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Modbus has become a de facto standard communication protocol and is now a commonly available means of connecting industrial electronic devices. For more information on how the Modbus Communication is utilized in our scales, visit the Software Downloads page to view the Modbus Documentation. More information can be found in the Arlyn UpScale Manual – Modbus Section.
Time and Date
This is an add-on option to all digital outputs such as RS232, USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi that gives it the capability to add time (12 or 24hr format), day of week and date to any print frame. The clock is set through the indicators menu system. An internal lithium battery will keep time for up to ten years, even if the power is removed from the scale. Please note: Time and Date is always included in USB Datalogging Option without additional purchase. It is also included when the scale is upgraded for Arlyn UpScale indicator display.
Analog Output 4-20mA, 0-5VDC or 1-5VDC
Analog Output is used to communicate with programmable logic controllers and chart recorders. Through the setup menu, full configuration is provided allowing you to set the start and ending currents or voltages. Analog Output is available in two configurations, Current and Voltage output.
Voltage Output = 0-5VDC, 1-5VDC scalable
Current Output = 4-20mA scalable
An internal six cell, rechargeable NiMH battery Pack and its associated peak detect charging circuit can be installed in the scale indicator for portable use. The scale can operate for over twenty hours on a single four hour peak charge.
USB Data Logging
Many of our customers need to record weights from our scales. Our data logging option enables your scale to record a weight along with time, data, group and item information. Data is saved on USB drive that can be removed from the scale and read on a personal computer using Microsoft Excel.
Enhanced Data Logging Functions (for Arlyn UpScale)
In addition to performing basic Data Logging functions (such as recording weight and timestamp at certain intervals on a USB Flash Drive), the Arlyn UpScale Display Indicator also allows you to configure the data log file to be emailed to you. This could be done on demand at a click of a button, or automatically at a particular date and time. Datalog email functionality is only available when the Data Logging option is purchased together with Ethernet and/or Wifi. Please see the Arlyn UpScale manual for further details.
Import/Export Function Available with USB Data Logging (for Arlyn UpScale)
The Arlyn UpScale indicator is a versatile scale display indicator that not only offers the most advanced, state-of-the-art Scale Display Technology in the industry, but it also offers a myriad of functions and usability to allow the most flexibility in system integration. One of the newest features added in the Arlyn UpScale indicator is the ability to import Sample (used for Parts Counting), Tare and Setpoint records from the customers’ existing database. The scale also provides the ability to export its current table of parts or tares so that it can be used in the customer’s data or just for backup purposes in case something happens to the scale. The Import/Export function is available in all Arlyn UpScale indicators equipped with USB Data Logging option.
For further information, please see the Product Manuals and Specifications page and look for Arlyn UpScale – Import/Export Function Addendum
Data Logging with Google Spreadsheet (for Arlyn UpScale)
In addition to logging data locally (i.e. internal database and exported to USB stick), the Arlyn UpScale also features the ability to log data directly online, into a Google Spreadsheet. The logging of data can be observed almost in real time (allowing for a 2 second delay due to the time it takes for the data to be posted to the internet).
Any Google Spreadsheet can be used to implement this feature as long as edit permissions have been set appropriately. Use the steps below to create and configure a Google Spreadsheet to accept data. With live data logging, you are also able to analyze data as it comes in using a plethora of Google Spreadsheet tools available at your disposal. A demonstration of live Google Spreadsheet logging can be seen here:
For further information, please see the Product Manuals and Specifications page and look for Arlyn UpScale – Data Logging with Google Spreadsheets Addendum.
User Management & Time Tracking (Included with Arlyn UpScale Indicator)
The Arlyn UpScale Indicator offers the ability to control access to your scale and record usage of the scale as well as allow basic operator time management (in conjunction with other options such as USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB Datalogging, etc.) For example, when printing out data from the scale, you can determine who was logged in to the scale when work was performed. This can be determined by the username and timestamp printed out on each weight line.
Custom Fields (Included with Arlyn UpScale Indicator)
The Custom Fields Feature allows our customers to define and extend data fields to be printed or recorded from the scale that are not part of the weight data matrix. The scale can print out or record a range of metrological data available at its arsenal. For example, it can print out current weight, net weight, gross weight, tare weight, tare weight description, time, date, weight number, unit, piece count, sample piece description, etc. Notice that all the data listed here are related to weight in some way or the other. But suppose you deal with fruits as your trade. How do you print or record what fruit was being weighed at the time in addition to the weight recorded? How do you choose the color of the fruit being weighed? What if you wanted to print or record whether the fruit was ‘Organic’ or ‘GMO’? The Custom Field Feature allows to print or record additional information about the weight being measured. All Arlyn UpScale Indicators have this feature as standard – no additional purchase required (except for the output option itself).