Nothing is more important than accuracy when it comes to conducting experiments, running tests, and formulating new products. Everything must be exact so results can be duplicated. And while precision weighing balances are an important part of this process, it can be difficult to find a truly reliable scale from a manufacturer you can trust.
Arlyn Scales is a factory direct scale manufacturer that’s been leading innovations in weighing technology since 1978. We recently introduced the first major breakthrough in weighing technology in the last 40 years and it’s the perfect solution for purchasing managers looking for precise, high resolution instruments for their labs and research facilities.
Common variety strain gage scales don’t offer resolutions or accuracy high enough to suit the purposes of most labs. There is a relationship between the maximum capacity and resolution that can limit the dimensions of a project. When magnetic force restoration scales were introduced, they solved the issue of high resolutions but not maximum capacities.
Our Ultra Precision Scales feature an entirely new technology that addresses the issues found in both strain gage and MFR scales.
Why Strain Gage Scales Don’t Make Good Lab Balances
The most common type of scale, strain gage scales are suitable for the majority of weighing applications. However, they’re not capable of providing the high resolution measurements labs need, and this only decreases as the maximum capacity increases. So while a bench scale with a max capacity of 5 lbs. will have a resolution of .0002 lb., a 100 lb. capacity scale will only display measurements up to 0.01 lb.
The accuracy of strain gage measurements, or how close the measurement is to the true value of an object’s weight, is affected by the ADC signal conversion, the adhesives used to bond the strain gages to the spring element, and other similar factors. And while all scales will deviate from this true value, the degree to which they do so depends on the type of scale you use and the standards of the manufacturing company.
Strain gage scales are generally accurate to 1/10 of 1%, which means the measurements can be incorrect by up to ± 0.1% of the true weight. And while that drift won’t affect a food manufacturer’s final outcome, it can mean a great deal in a lab.
MFR Scales as an Alternative
Magnetic force restoration scales were invented to take care of this issue. They employ a completely different kind of weighing technology, using an electromagnet to counteract the weight of the item on the platform. While the weight measurements of an MFR scale are certainly precise and offer higher resolutions, they’re still limited in the maximum capacity they offer.
They’re also vulnerable to drifts in accuracy due to temperature changes, air currents, and vibrations from other equipment, which makes them extremely temperamental.
However, the biggest complaint we hear about these scales is their price. They’re expensive to purchase and ship and because they’re so delicate they require repairs and replacement fairly often.
So while these scales solve the issue of precise, high res. measurements, they don’t do so in a way that’s meaningful for professional labs and research centers.
Affordable Precision Weighing Balances
When designing our Ultra Precision Scales, we took the basic theory of load cell design used in strain gage scales for its ruggedness and durability and applied our breakthrough surface acoustic wave (SAW) technology to achieve high resolution measurements without a limitation on capacity.
We fabricate our SAW transducers using semiconductor-grade crystalline substrates and deposit our sophisticated electronics on them using the same photolithography process found in the manufacturing process of advanced semiconductor devices. This makes our SAW load cells inherently more accurate than strain gage scales because it eliminates the need for an analog-to-digital signal conversion, providing a fully digital output stream that results in precise, high resolution measurements.
It also means that this weighing component is extremely durable and not vulnerable to drifts in accuracy due to changes in temperature, air currents, or vibrations caused by other machinery. We’ve designed these devices for use in heavy duty industrial environments, so while they take sensitive measurements, they don’t have to be handled delicately.
Better Readability and Usability
Scale manufacturers use readability to describe the performance characteristics of their products. It’s calculated by dividing the maximum capacity by the resolution. So if you take a strain gage scale with a 10 lb. capacity and a 0.002 resolution, you would calculate (10/0.002 = 5,000), which means the scale has a readability of 1 part in 5,000. Essentially, the scale can display 5,000 unique weights between 0 and 10 pounds. This is standard for most strain gage scales.
However, SAW technology gives our scales an amazing readability of 1 part in 100,000 and an accuracy of 1/100 of 1%. That means they have a readability that’s 20 times better than a standard scale and 10 times better accuracy levels. Because our SAW transducers require so little bending from the spring element and because the measurements are taken digitally, we were able to improve the performance of our scales by up to 2,000%!
And unlike MFR scales, which have a 50 lb. cap on their maximum capacity, our Ultra Precision Scales are accurate to 1/100 of 1% at capacities of 500 lb. or higher. And when compared with the 0.1 lb. resolution offered by a strain gage scale at the same capacity, our SAW scales are accurate to 0.005 lb.!
Experiment With an Arlyn Scale of Your Own
If you’re in need of a precise weighing balance, look no further than Arlyn’s Ultra Precision Scales. Contact us today to learn more about this new weighing technology and how it can improve the output of your lab or research facility.