Industrial weighing in hazardous environments can be a tricky process. To maximize productivity and ensure the safety of your staff, it’s vital that you use the right tools for your operations.
What type of industrial weighing scales are best for your environment? And how can you find your ideal solution in a market filled with diverse equipment?
In this article, the metrology experts at Arlyn Scales consider the differences between industrial scales and intrinsically safe equipment. That way, you can find the safest, most productive weighing solutions for your business.
Industrial Scales vs. Intrinsically Safe Scales
The industrial process of weighing is vital in a wide range of commercial and scientific applications. For example, weight measurements are critical in:
- Chemical formulation
- Drum filling
And much more! In fact, counting large quantities of identical parts is often accomplished by measuring weight.
For every industrial application in which an industrial scale is found, there are many different environments in which they may be used. The most common may be in a shipping department or on a loading dock.
Many scales are used in laboratories. Here, the scale is in an almost ideal environment. The temperature is very stable, there likely won’t be large air currents, and vibration is minimized.
Out on the factory floor, the situation may be quite different.
Temperatures on a factory floor may range, from quite cold during the winter to extremely hot in the summer. You may run fans at full speed, so there can be major air currents that affect the scale reading.
Additionally, there may be heavy equipment running in the vicinity, so vibration can compromise scale accuracy. Finally, your standard factory power outlet can be a major source of electrical noise, which can result in instability of the digital indicator.
In general, an industrial scale can endure these environments without the threat of malfunction. However, there are some special industrial locations where any electrical device can, in fact, cause an unsafe situation.
Hazardous Environments Require Durable Scales
Depending on your industry, there may be flammable liquids, explosive fumes, or other dangerous materials present in your operations. In these cases, standard scales may not be suitable for these locations.
Your scales — and any other electrical or electronic equipment in the work area — may need to be rated for hazardous areas. They may even need to be explosion proof!
Often, these types of scales are built into heavy-duty cabinets with additional equipment to purge the cabinets with an inert gas. These solutions can be quite expensive, they can be inconvenient to use, and may also require regular maintenance at short intervals.
Intrinsically Safe Weighing Solutions for Hazardous Areas
A viable alternative is to select a scale that is rated as “Intrinsically Safe.” This indicates that the device was carefully tested by a recognized rating agency, such as the National Fire Protection Agency.
The NFPA 70 National Electrical Code standardizes the classifications and divisions used to identify safe electrical equipment for different hazardous environments. To earn these ratings, tests must show that the scale won’t cause sparks and explosions, even under more than one failure mode.
Which Heavy-Duty Weighing Scales are Best for Hazardous Areas?
At Arlyn Scales, we offer several types of scales for a variety of hazardous environments. The equipment in our ArlynGuard line has one or more components that are tested and approved to be Intrinsically Safe. These include:
- ArlynGuard B: Bench Scales & Counting Scales
- ArlynGuard C: Gas Cylinder Scales
- ArlynGuard F: Floor Scales
- ArlynGuard P: Platform Scales
- ArlynGuard S: Ultra Precision Scales
- ArlynGuard T: Chlorine Ton Scales
ArlynGuard scales are available in welded aluminum and steel construction, but may also be fabricated from stainless steel when necessary. In all cases, the load cells are made from stainless steel to provide reliable operation and excellent protection from shock and overload abuse.
Intrinsically Safe Digital Indicator
Our MKE-5-IS Intrinsically Safe Digital Indicator is an FM Approved component as per Approval Standard 3600, 3610, 3611, and 3810. It boasts a large-graphics screen with clear block digits, which you can read from a distance with ease.
Tare functions with Net and Gross selections give your operators access to the data in different formats. In fact, your operators can choose from a number of different unit types, including pounds, kilograms, grams, and ounces.
Our ArlynGuard B Counting Scales include a large number of memory functions which capture piece weight values for recall at a later time.
Intrinsically Safe Power
All ArlynGuard models are powered by rechargeable AA-cell batteries that are housed in a specially machined, aluminum battery case. This battery empowers the scales to operate for approximately 80 hours.
Even though these scales use very little power, they still include electronic features that make them both accurate and easy to use. A battery charger is included, but must be used in a safe area to recharge the batteries.
Find Hazardous Area Weighing Solutions at Arlyn Scales
To find the best hazardous area metrology solutions for your operations, reach out to our team today.