How Can I Send Weight Data From My Scale To My Computer?

At Central Carolina Scale we focus on scales and weighing equipment, first and foremost. That’s what we’ve always done. We are constantly working and training to be the best and most knowledgeable scale company that we can be. Now most of that training and on the job training focuses on digital weighing indicators, load cells, scales,  etc… We send scale weight information to various devices such as remote displays.

Customers have always wanted to send weight data from the scale to the computer since personal computers and laptops became prevalent.

send scale weight to computer

So when it comes to sending your scale weight data from the actual digital weighing scale to the computer, how do you accomplish this?

It actually might be easier than you think and it might even be something that you accomplish on your own using our scale equipment and a readily available accessory.

Please note, if you are operating a legal for trade weighing scenario, then you will need to make sure that any software or method that you utilize is legal to use. So for example if you are operating a truck scale and you are looking to send truck weights to your computer, then you will most likely need to utilize a software like Cardinal WinVRS or Rice Lake onTrak as examples.

If you are using a Doran Scales indicator, they have made some great software available for their products. The Doran Excelerator is probably the most basic software that is offered by Doran. It allows weight data to be taken from the scale readout and placed into Microsoft Excel. Doran also has more advanced software packages available.

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing also offers a USB option for some of their weight indicators which makes sending weight data from the scale controller to a USB thumb drive very simple. You can then take the USB stick out of the indicator, load it into your PC and see the weight data on your computer screen.

If you’re using a digital counting scale like the Counterpart for example, Rice Lake has the WeighVault computer software. This is a comprehensive software package that stores and manages data on your PC. With Counterpart you can create custom reports for inventory, threshold, location and more. It is designed for operators with minimal computer experience and managers who require quick and accurate information. Scales can be added or moved on-the-fly without interrupting other scales operating on the network.

Likewise the WeighVault is also available for the CW90 checkweigher. In this case, WeighVault allows CW-90/90X users to add, edit, and access IDs over a network connection. WeighVault surpasses the CW-90/90X’s 50 ID limitation and eliminates front-panel entry of ID parameters. It also collects data as transactions occur, and provides detailed transaction and productivity reports which can be exported to Excel, Word, or PDF.

Now we have talked about all the software above at some point before. But I wanted to also mention a couple of additional choices for end users to consider.

TalTech WinWedge Serial Device Data Collection for serial devices, including meters, balances, scales or any RS232 instrument. WinWedge captures data directly to Excel, Access or any Windows application or web page. It can even send commands out a COM port so you can control your device through hot keys, buttons, or DDE.

WinWedge easily collects data from balances, gauges, meters, sensors, micrometers, barcode scanners, GPS, PLCs, analyzers and other measuring devices and laboratory instruments. It can send the data directly into any Windows program, including Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, and more.

WinWedge is designed to be highly flexible and can easily parse, filter and format your device data to fit your project’s requirements. It can also transmit prompts or commands through the serial port to control your instruments. Winwedge comes in both Professional and Standard versions.

 Setup is as Easy as ONE, TWO, THREE

1. Select your device’s parameters.

Connect your device to your PC’s serial or USB port (installing any necessary drivers) and use the WinWedge interface to select your device’s communications settings, such as the COM port, baud rate, parity, data bits, and stop bits.

2. Define the data structure.

Intuitive, walk-through menus allow you to tailor the data to your needs by splitting the record into multiple fields, filter out certain characters, or format the data to meet your requirements. You can also easily define hot keys and buttons to send serial commands to your device or perform other tasks.

3. Select the mode and activate

Select from either Keystrokes Mode, DDE Server Mode, or Log to Disk, specify the target application or file, and activate WinWedge! Watch as the data from your device “pops” into the Windows application you selected. You can even input the device data directly to a chart or use Excel’s built-in functions to perform real-time analysis.

MicroRidge designs and manufactures a broad range of wired and wireless measurement collection solutions, including WedgeLink hardware and software keyboard wedges. Measurement collection is what they specialize in. They don’t manufacture gauges but they support gauges from a wide variety of manufacturers. The products are made in the USA and support the broadest range of digital & RS-232 gauges, digital indicators, scales, etc….. One nice feature is they provide unlimited and knowledgeable technical support at no charge on all of the products that they manufacture, particularly the keyboard wedge and software keyboard wedge.

What is a Keyboard Wedge?
A keyboard wedge is used when you are trying to get data from some type of measuring device into applications that cannot accept data from a serial port. A software keyboard wedge reads data from a serial port and passes this data to a PC application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is entered via the keyboard. A hardware wedge reads data from digital gauges or RS-232 devices and sends the data to the PC via a keyboard or USB port. The data sent by the hardware wedge looks like keyboard data to the current application. The more common applications that are used with keyboard wedges are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and other database types of applications.

Software and hardware keyboard wedges are used extensively in data acquisition applications that include statistical programs, spreadsheets, barcode, LIMS, etc. MicroRidge keyboard wedges can accept input data from any RS-232 serial device. The data is then passed to a Windows application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is actually coming from the keyboard.

About Software Keyboard Wedges
The advantage of a software wedge is that it provides much more flexibility in the formatting of data for presentation to the application and control of the target where the data is sent. In addition to transferring the information to the application, the WedgeLink software keyboard wedge can also simultaneously send the information to a disk file. The disadvantage of a software wedge is that your software wedge settings can be changed by your users.

About Hardware Keyboard Wedges
It is not uncommon in a production type environment that a company will insist upon using a hardware wedge rather than a software wedge. An advantage of a hardware wedge is that it is simpler to use because it is more like a plug ‘n play device. In most cases, just plug it in and you are ready to go.

Hopefully this months article will provide you with some resources and ideas when it comes to sending weight information from your laboratory balance to your laptop computer (or whatever your particular needs are). As you can see, there are several good choices available and several choices that will hopefully work for both your budget and your particular requirements. In some cases, you may very well be able to send data from your scale to your computer; and set it up all by yourself with the help of a wedge software.

For more information and assistance for your particular situation, contact our sales department by calling (919) 776-7737 or visiting our website and clicking the Request a Quote button.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Digital Weight Scales

Maintaining a pristine environment is absolutely critical to the success of food manufacturers. Unhygienic conditions within food manufacturing plants can have a potentially catastrophic impact on public health, not to mention the public relations and revenue impact on the company in question. It is not surprising, therefore, that increased consumer awareness and demand has seen safety standards become increasingly rigorous.

It is vital that companies manufacturing weighing equipment for the food industry ensure that the products they supply comply with best practices and meet strict legislative requirements. On a food production line, fast and accurate check weighing is vital to a company’s bottom line – the visibility of weighing data and statistics can help maximize performance and profitability – but the equipment chosen must meet stringent design requirements when it comes to construction and ease of cleaning.

With U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deadlines for small and medium sized companies to meet requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) hitting in late September 2017, the industry is under pressure to deliver high quality food while also meeting the requirements of this new legislation.

The date for registered companies with greater than 500 employees to comply with the first FSMA rule Preventive Controls was September 2016. For companies with fewer than 500 employees, the compliance date was September 2017.

Why is the FSMA being implemented?

The new rules are intended to minimize the serious illness and death that can be caused by unsafe food products, by focusing on preventing food contamination throughout the entire production process.

The link between HACCP, HARPC and FSMA

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a systematic, preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical and physical hazards in production processes that can cause the finished product to be unsafe. It focuses on the hazards that are unique to the product being manufactured, so the concerns for a seafood processor will be different from those of a coffee roasting company.

With the implementation of FSMA, HACCP becomes a part of a food manufacturer’s compliance to Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC). In short, the FSMA act aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.

Digital Weigh Scales

This risk-based, preventive approach to food safety relies on data and expertise to pinpoint potential food safety issues along the production, distribution and supply chain. The FDA has advised that facilities should set up a thorough system for documenting internal processes and record keeping, so that they can clearly demonstrate that legal standards are being met.

As a crucial element in most industrial manufacturing processes, weighing equipment for the food industry, can play an important role in FSMA adherence procedures, including, for example:

  • Updating weighing equipment to more hygienic options, such as stainless steel and a fully enclosed cover for easy and efficient washdown.
  • Ensuring that weighing equipment is used effectively: for instance, using checkweighers at appropriate points in the production process to obtain and record production data.
  • Weighing solutions such as the ZQ375 or IP rated bench and indicators can help food suppliers to achieve both backward and forward traceability (be able to identify where all the ingredients came from and where they went).
  • Using the right scales to provide the most accurate, legal for trade weights, to avoid mislabelling and eliminate costly mistakes or re-works.
  • IP69K enclosures ensure instrumentation protection in heavy washdown environments.

Many companies, regardless of size, need to be looking for digital scales and weighing systems to help them to align their current HACCP and HARPC processes in order to meet FSMA requirements.

Heavy wash-down: IP69K

Equipment used in the food processing industry must be able to withstand rigorous wash-down procedures. Designed specifically to kill micro-organisms and bacteria, this heavy duty cleaning process typically uses high temperature, high pressure jet sprays and detergents. The combination of water, chemicals, high pressures and temperatures used in this cleaning process can prove fatal for electronic circuits and instrumentation.

food safety scale weight indicator

The Ingress Protection (IP) rating system is an internationally recognized scale that relates to proven protection against environmental factors such as liquids and solids. A product with the highest rating available, IP69K, offers complete assurance that it has been subjected to a challenging set of tests to ensure protection against penetration of high pressure, high temperature water and dust particles – making it ideal for use in conditions where equipment must be carefully sanitized.

Scales designed to resist extreme temperatures

In the food industry, equipment such as check weighing scales may be subject to rapid temperature change, whether due to operating conditions or wash down procedures. Extremes of temperature inside and outside the enclosure can result in expansion and contraction of gases, which in turn can lead to moisture and humidity becoming trapped inside.

When selecting a piece of weighing equipment for use in the food industry, ensure that the manufacturer has not only recognized the challenges posed by this stringent environment, but also risen to them by incorporating design elements into the structure of the product that will counter issues such as humidity and condensation

 

Eliminating bug and food trap areas

The process of welding two pieces of stainless steel together can have implications for the corrosion resistance of the metal. Ideally, the surfaces of your equipment/scale should be continuously welded within an inert gas atmosphere – helping to ensure that the metal remains corrosion and crack resistant and that there are no edges or un-leveled surfaces that could trap food particles or impede cleaning.

Areas of the product that have internal corners and angles of less than 135° – and which come into contact with food – should have a smooth, rounded finish to minimize food trap areas.

Scale designs should, where possible, avoid flat horizontal areas to stop water from collecting. However, in some applications, offering a flat under structure base design can be more hygienic than open tubular base frames where high pressure cleaning can cause food particles to bounce off the work surface and lodge deep inside the loadcell area, making it harder to clean.

Fully welded tubular designs can also be hard to clean. A welded structure can result in bacteria becoming trapped within the tube and thriving in the constantly changing atmosphere often found within the food industry. Conversely, base designs with flat bases and open corners ensure that any food particles can be quickly and easily washed away during high pressure cleaning.

Threads should be covered and small components such as rubber feet should be well secured and bright blue in color, allowing them to be easily located should they become detached from the scale.

Safeguarding your business

Investing in a new digital check weigher scale is all about safeguarding quality and, fundamentally, profits – underweight packages can lead to unhappy customers, while overweight packages lead to costly giveaway and overweight shipments. When it comes to the food industry, safeguarding quality, profit and reputation must go one step further – selecting a piece of equipment that is fit for purpose is vital.

To maintain food safety and meet the requirements of the act, it may be necessary for many businesses to upgrade to equipment that is more sanitary.

Contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale, (919) 776-7737 to discuss the products that we recommend.

Cardinal Admiral Series Bench Scales Now IP69K Rated

IP69K Rated for Washdown Weighing Applications

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Admiral bench scales now feature an IP69K-rated load cell and indicator, so any sensitive electronics are fully protected against close range high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs making them ideal for the food processing industry where equipment must be carefully sanitized.

The Admiral’s heavy-duty stainless steel base is built solidly for high-usage durability. The bright, vivid ColorZONE display changes color automatically as pre-assigned target weights are reached for efficient check weighing.

In environments that require heavy washdowns, such as in the food processing industry, the combination of water, chemicals, high pressure and high temperature can prove fatal for electronic circuits and instrumentation. The Admiral bench scale’s IP69K rating offers the highest protection rating possible.

washdown safe load cell

Built for extreme-use applications in the weighing industry, the 190 STORM’s IP69K-rated polycarbonate enclosure withstands high-temperature (up to 176º F / 80º C), high-pressure wash downs (1450 PSI). The 190 STORM features capacitive touch keys, 1-inch-high clearly visible LCD digits, built-in RS232 communications port, and versatile power options: AC, DC, and rechargeable battery.

The 190 STORM’s bright, vivid display changes color automatically as the pre-assigned target weights are reached. The operator knows immediately when they’ve reached the acceptable weight range based on the amber, green, or red color changes for UNDER, ACCEPT, or OVER weights. NTEP, OIML, and Measurement Canada.

The Admiral’s colorful 190 STORM indicator is positioned at the optimum viewing height and out of the way of the product being weighed. The display tilt feature allows the display to be positioned just right for each operator.

The entire LCD display can be set to any of seven different ColorZONE colors during checkweighing. This exclusive ColorZONE feature takes the guesswork out of the weighing process making the Admiral the top bench scale in the industry.

The Admiral’s polycarbonate and ABS enclosure to the weight display is watertight and allows operation in the harshest of environments while the stainless base and column construction ensure long-lasting durability.

The scale’s 190 STORM indicator features four captive screws in the back panel, so they cannot be lost when unscrewed (important for food processing applications).

Contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale today. Call (919) 776-7737 or visit centralcarolinascale.com and click the Request a Quote button.

Reducing Food Waste is Becoming an Important Source of Increased Revenue for Commercial Kitchens

According to the USDA, every year the United States wastes an estimated 30 to 40 percent of its food supply. Statista reports that, in 2015, of the USDA estimates, roughly 16 percent of all food waste is attributed to restaurants and foodservice institutions-nearly one-fifth of all wasted volume! This is a huge source of overhead costs, but also a great source of improvement for food service entities to leverage in retaining their hard-earned profits. With food costs rising, waste reduction systems are becoming more important to reduce strain from front-end costs.

Waste reduction companies are taking advantage of this need for tracking inventory and getting more accurate weight counts. DETECTO Enterprise series scales, PS portion control scales, and PZ series wireless ingredient scales are all very important tools to aid the fight to increase inventory efficiency, and ultimately, creating increased profits. The accompanying advances in connectivity-Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth-create a more streamlined process for saving inventory data and yield a precise representation of a facility’s inventory strengths and weaknesses.

detecto food service scale

DETECTO’s foodservice scales are the first line in establishing a solid reduction program. High weight-resolution scales deliver highly precise weights and the associated costs. The ability to audit cooking processes and concomitant prices concretely establishes hard data to analyze. This analysis implementation forms the possible paths to be executed by foodservice management and personnel.

Facilities can track reduction areas, foodstuffs to be saved or discarded, and foodstuffs that can be repurposed. Knowing the usage levels of each product determines which products to reduce and where businesses waste capital. Product usage levels can help businesses push certain menu items and discard those that don’t sell well.

Businesses can more accurately spot and predict trends in their kitchens in a highly responsive manner. With the power to trend waste areas, kitchens can adjust their cooking implementation, labor cycles, use more efficient recipes, and utilize batch cooking to match customer trends. This knowledge can better serve the needs of their customer base and attract new clientele.

The power of an efficient waste reduction system yields amazing results with effort and consistency. Businesses can expect to save significant amounts of front-end revenue, revenue that can be circulated back into other costs and investments. Foodservice businesses large and small can now bolster their earnings and alleviate one of the most costly factors in their respective operations. And it all begins with a weight measurement of the wasted food combined with a digital tracking system for recording that measured waste.

Learn more about DETECTO foodservice scales by contacting the sales team at Central Carolina Scale, call (919) 776-7737 or visit the site at  https://www.centralcarolinascale.com/Detecto.htm

Inspecting and Testing Heavy Duty Truck Scales

At Central Carolina Scale in addition to selling and installing truck scales; we also check, test, adjust, and calibrate truck scales just about every working day of the year. We have factory trained technicians who can troubleshoot even the smallest problem areas like a load cell that might be creeping. We also have certified test weights and a weight cart which allows us to provide the highest level of truck scale service available in North Carolina. When we’re finished doing our scale check, we supply the customer with documentation that shows before and after readings and how much weight we tested the scale with, etc…

However, in quite a few cases, where money changes hands based on scale weight, the state of North Carolina will also check the customer’s truck scale to make sure it is weighing correctly and performing within legal for trade tolerances. The blog post linked below is a field trip that describes a state test in more detail.

The Standards Division checks any scales where “money changes hands.” This would include scales at grocery stores, livestock scales, buffets, agricultural-supply centers, highway patrol weigh stations and scrap metal facilities. Scales are checked on an annual basis or by complaint. The only exception is stockyards, which are checked twice a year.

When consumers bring unwanted appliances, metal debris or even old vehicles to a scrap metal facility the items are generally weighed on a truck scale. At some facilities, this scale can record up to 100,000 pounds of weight. The entire weight of the vehicle, trailer and scrap metal is recorded on the scale. After unloading inside the facility, the consumer then drives the emptied vehicle and trailer back over a scale at the exit and this weight is recorded. The consumer is paid for the difference of the two weights. Depending on the amount of scrap brought in, the amount could be a couple of hundred dollars.
weight cart testing scales

To check a heavy truck scale, Inspector Glenn Farmer uses a six-wheeled, gas-powered, steel test cart. A hydraulic arm is used to fill the cart with certified 1,000-pound and 500-pound weights. For the test, he uses a known weight (the cart plus added weight) and test different quadrants of the scale. A five-section scale would have 18 different test points. There are two different types of truck scales, mechanical and load. To test a mechanical scale, Farmer must move his cart side to side to record weight. To check the accuracy of a load scale, he moves the cart down the center of the scale.

The Standards Division uses National Institute of Standards and Technology guidelines to determine tolerance levels on the scales. A tolerance level is the amount of weight a scale is allowed to vary. For a scale that can measure more than 25,000 pounds of weight, the tolerance level would be 60 pounds. A scale that does not pass inspection must be pulled out of service until the facility fixes the problem. “Many times the issue is debris buildup in the crevices of the scale,” Farmer said. “Pine straw, cans and other debris can cause the scale not to weigh correctly.

Our advice to the company is to power wash or use an air hose to clean the area around the scale.” If the scale is still recording incorrect weights after cleaning, the facility may call a scale calibration company to fix the problem. Some facilities will have a representative from their scale company go along with the standards inspector on the day of their inspection. This means that most problems can be fixed immediately, and the facility doesn’t have to endure a prolonged shutdown of a scale if problems are found.

This was a nice write up about testing scales and how important it is to keep your scales weighing accurately. It’s always a good idea to keep your scales clean and weighing as accurate as possible, year round. One easy way to do that is to contact us at (919) 776-7737 and set up a maintenance schedule for your scales. You’ll save money and you will have accurate scales with the regular scale checks.

Our Scale Helps us to Reduce Waste, Accurately Weigh our Meat, and Ensure Customer Gets What was Ordered.

We dare you to read this blog post and not crave a big juicy burger! The pictures and the write up tell the story about how a restaurant uses the Kilotech counter top dial scale for simple and consistent check weighing. Whether you’re weighing ingredients for gourmet burgers or pizza, the ingredient costs can really add up and customers love consistency when it comes to their foods they order on a regular basis. So let’s take a look at Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce, cleverly named after Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, the Montreal neighborhood where it resides.

weigh meat and food ingredients

Do you ever crave a burger where the flavor explodes the minute you sink your teeth into it? Top the burger with super fresh ingredients and it is like a party in your mouth! Well two years ago, in my quest for gourmet burgers, I chanced upon a new upscale burger place called Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce. The décor is a mix of brick, wood and glass, designed to enhance your culinary experience. The music is excellent and covers most tastes.

Their menu offers something for everyone and most certainly will not leave you hungry. Fresh meat is ground daily and is always gluten-free because there are no fillers. There are also vegetarian options for the non-carnivores. Choose from their fresh cut fries (they really are fresh as we brought some home and two days later they were still intact, not soggy or hard!), beer battered onion rings, sweet potato fries and potato skins to complement your burger. Also available and made in-house are their gravies, sauces, milkshakes and cocktails. Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce also supports local suppliers and serves locally-grown food as much as possible.

A couple of weeks ago, while dining at the Notre-Boeuf-de-Grâce Côte-Vertu location, the manager Dennis Mandros approached us and asked us how we were enjoying our meal. Considering how busy the restaurant was that night, we were surprised to see that the manager was going from table to table providing that personal VIP touch! I took the opportunity to ask him if he used a scale to weigh his patties. When he replied, “Yes, absolutely!,” I just had to know if it was a Kilotech scale.

countertop dial scale

Dennis immediately went to the kitchen and like a proud father of a newborn child, held a Kilotech scale in his hands to show me! I knew then and there I had to write a blog about Dennis and his restaurant. When a restaurant uses a scale to ensure that their customers get what they paid for you know that they have the customers best interest at heart.

A few weeks later, on a beautiful Monday afternoon, I showed up at the restaurant. Dennis Mandros and Zakria Dehghani, the owners of this franchise, were hamming it up with their customers on the terrace. When they spotted me, they both greeted me with the kind of warm smiles you reserve for your long lost friends.

I sat down with Dennis and we talked business. I quickly cut to the chase and asked him what his Kilotech scale meant to them. Without hesitation Dennis said that it helps them to reduce wastage, accurately weigh their patties, and more importantly, ensure that the customer gets exactly what was advertised and ordered.

Their burgers come in three sizes: 3, 6 and 9 ounces. Dennis asked one of the cooks to grab a 6 oz. patty. He placed it on the scale and immediately the scale showed 6 oz. Dennis beamed! He is proud of his restaurant and the integrity with which it operates.

If you operate a restaurant, bakery or some other type of food related business; contact us at (919) 776-7737 and let us assist you with your weighing needs. It could be that you need a simple way to make sure your hamburgers weigh the same. Or it could be something else, either way, the odds are we can find a solution for you that will save you time and save you money.

I Need Truck Scale Prices & How Much Does a Truck Scale Cost?

We typically get some version of these statements or questions just about every day.

“I need a price on a truck scale”

or

“How much does a 70′ x 10′ foot truck scale cost?”

Rough estimate on average would be $35K-$50K when it’s all said and done.  It could be a little less money and it certainly could be more money, depending on what you are looking to do.

It’s hard to give an exact answer since every situation is a little different.

Maybe you’re replacing an existing CMI truck scale. Or perhaps you’re looking to extend a 60′ Weigh-Tronix truck scale into a 70′ scale. Or perhaps you’re putting in a brand new B-Tek scale and will need the concrete foundation formed and poured as well. That is why it’s important to discuss your application with your scale sales person and determine what products and services will work best for your situation.

truck scale

What exactly are the main parts of a truck scale?

There are several major components when you look at a truck scale. First, is the actual scale itself, also sometimes called the Weighbridge. This is the main surface for the trucks being weighed. Weighbridge lengths vary from around 20 foot to over 100 foot. Widths vary from around 10 foot to 14 foot but are usually 11 foot. Typical weighbridge platform tops are either steel or concrete.

If you contact more than one scale company then you will probably find one talking down about the other brand. For example; Rice Lake versus Cardinal Scale Manufacturing. Or Mettler Toledo versus Avery Weigh-Tronix. All of the brands mentioned above are good brands. You will need to determine which manufacturer you prefer and also which local scale company you like the best and what features you want / need.

When you talk about the Weighbridge, you will also probably be told about CLC ratings. Concentrated Load Capacity, or CLC, is an industry recognized rating of a vehicle or axle load scale. The rating defines the maximum load for which the weighbridge is designed as applied by a group of two axles with a center line spaced 4 feet apart and an axle width 8 feet apart. This is an area where you can save money in certain situations. If you will have limited amounts of daily traffic, then chances are you may not need a really high CLC rated Weighbridge. Be sure to discuss this with your scale sales person.

Next major component to consider is the Digital Weight Indicator. This item is what displays your truck weight. We have several different truck scale indicator models to choose from. This is an important part of a truck scale. You’ll definitely want to choose a readout that has truck storage and serial ports for your ticket printer and remote display.

Next important component are Load Cells. Most truck scales usually have around (8) cells inside.  The 3 most common types of load cells are analog, digital, or hydraulic. Each has it’s own advantages. This is a subject you will definitely want to discuss with your scale sales person as this can raise or lower the up front cost but could have a big impact on the long term cost of ownership.

The next important part of a truck scale is the Foundation, which is simply the concrete base which the load cells and weigh bridge rest on. These are normally above ground with approaches on each side. We also offer truck scales that sit in a pit.

The final important component to consider when buying a truck scale is the Peripherals. These are items like truck management software, ticket printers, remote displays, traffic lights, intercoms, etc….  You need some of these items for sure. A few others might be good choices, depending on your particular situation.

So as you can hopefully see, there really isn’t a one size fits all answer to the question, how much does a truck scale cost?  If you’re in the market for a truck scale, and we sell some very nice models including the Rice Lake OTR, contact us (919) 776-7737 and we can get you a current price.

Top 8 Strategies to Improve Your Dim Weight Shipping Process

Yesterday we had a chance to see, in person, the Rice Lake iDimension® 100 dim weight scanning system and the Rice Lake Bench Pro Series shipping scale and it is an impressive group of products from Rice Lake!

With a system like this, all you do is place the package that you’re shipping on the scale top and within a few tenths of a second you have the weight of the box and the dimensions. This data can then be sent over to your shipping software such as UPS Worldship.

We never had to key in the weight of the box. We also did not have to pick up a yard stick and squint trying to read measurements. We did not have to key in the length, or the width, or the height of the box either. All of this was done automatically in under a second!

Think of how much easier your shipping process could go at your business!

If your business ships a couple dozen boxes or more per day; this iDimension 100 dimensional weight measuring scanner could save your company and your shipping clerk a lot of hassles and money.

The iDim 100 could also help your UPS shipping corrections drop dramatically as well each month on your UPS or FedEx statement. We’ve written about the iDimension 100 before with a series of Frequently Asked Questions.

The key part of this system is the cost savings.

Let’s say you ship products to your customers on a daily basis. On average you ship (50) boxes per day all over the country. The boxes are usually different sizes because you sell various products and various quantities on each order. Your standard order fulfillment process that you currently use is to just fill each box, place the box on the scale and enter the weight and ship to address. The shipping cost is then displayed on the screen and that is what your customer is charged for shipping.

Unfortunately, when your UPS and FedEx bill comes in at the end of the month, you will soon find out that you have been undercharging your customers on virtually every transaction. And the costs can be significant. Multiply that out by (50) orders per day and (300+) days per year you can see where a iDimension 100 automatic dim weight measurement system could instantly improve your productivity and bottom line.

dim weight scanning device

When you research about the dim weight subject online, often you see folks mention the dimensional weight calculator for UPS or FedEx. The freight density calculator is great but only for a handful of boxes. You don’t want to have to use that online calculator manually for thirty boxes each day.

The future of shipping is dimensional weight. From small businesses and mail counters to large operations and warehouses, parcel and package shipment is a daily occurrence. In order to more accurately reflect billable weight, many carriers are now determining shipment pricing based on either dimensional weight or actual weight. Whichever is greater.

Measuring dimensions manually is more time consuming than obtaining the package’s weight with a conventional shipping scale. How can businesses ensure freight compliance and deter revenue-loss from miscalculated dimensions, without adding time to their process?

There are manufacturers modernizing dimensioning technology to provide shippers with solutions to quickly, efficiently and accurately obtain package dimensions for shipment with dimensioning systems.

Dim weight is all about volume. Dimensioning systems use sensing and imaging technology to calculate the dimensions of packages to determine dim weight. Although dimensioning systems differ in performance and technology, they provide valuable solutions to ensure companies optimize dim-weight shipping with accurate package dimensions, all without slowing processes.

Follow these EIGHT steps to optimize dimensional weighing in your application:

1. Optimize the way you package items. Use only the material needed to safely ship products and choose the best sized containers.

2. Do your research. Speak with your carriers to determine the dim weight policies they have in place. Knowing shipping requirements now can help deter additional fees in the future.

3. Document your current total monthly shipping charges to ensure your dim weight shipping charges are accurate (and that you’re measuring dim weight correctly). Odds are you will see a lot of areas for improvement.

4. Convert irregulars to cubic measurements. Polybags, tubes and irregular shapes need cubic measurements, too. Manually measuring irregular shapes can be complicated. A dimensioning system can measure them for you.

5. Streamline your system. Utilizing dimensioning systems can maximize your process flow and limit the amount of errors & time spent manually measuring.

6. Know that not all dimensioning systems are created equal. If speed, accuracy and dependability are important to you, ensure that your dimensioning system can deliver all three.

7. If you ship a variety of items, from oversized packages to thin mailers, closely research the maximum package height and widths dimensioning systems can measure.

8. Spec out the systems on the market. Certain dimensioning systems can integrate scales to provide package dimensions and weight at the same time. Some can integrate this data with existing shipping software, too.

If this sounds like a shipping solution that your company could use, contact us today. We’ve seen this product up close and there are many companies out there who have shipping departments who would benefit from a system like this. We can provide you with a custom quote for your particular needs. Our phone number is (919) 776-7737 or you can fill out the Request a Quote button on our website.

TruckScaleFest: 10-Year Weighbridge Warranty Special

Order a Cardinal truck scale between May 1st 2017 and June 30th 2017 and receive a 10-year weighbridge warranty!

Celebrate the strength of Cardinal’s truck scale bridges and join us in the TruckScaleFest going on now. Standard 5-year warranty still applies to electronics. 10-year weighbridge warranty applies only to 45-ton CLC truck scale models as designated and approved by Cardinal Scale. Terms apply within Cardinal Scale’s standard limited warranty.

cardinal scale extended warranty for truck scale

One popular choice to consider for this promotion is the 13570-EPR which is a 70 foot long and 11 foot wide steel deck Armor truck scale. As the name implies, Cardinal’s ARMOR® truck scales (EPR Series) provide you with superior-strength, long-life steel construction for optimum vehicle weighing.

The ARMOR’s durable baked-on, anti-corrosion tan powder paint stands the test of time. The NTEP legal-for-trade Armor® arrives fully-prepared for installation and includes DB75000-lb stainless steel load cells standard, which are factory assembled.

A wide selection of Armor® capacities, platform sizes, and types are available. Each Armor® scale bridge features interconnecting load blocks and receivers for an efficient, no-bolt installation. Rodent protection is standard throughout the scale via conduit integral throughout each scale module. Every Armor® truck scale is 100% assembled and tested before shipping.

The PRC series is also available. The Cardinal PRC series is a low-profile, fully electronic truck scale. The high-capacity PRC’s rigid design prevents excessive movement, ensuring long lasting reliability and accuracy in high-traffic installations.

The anti-corrosion powder coat painted weighbridge with welded structural steel tube and checkered deck plate is ready to install upon delivery. Features rock-solid steel deck plate to carry heavy loads! Many lengths and capacities to choose from. NTEP legal-for-trade certified.

Don’t miss out on this special! The offer is only good until the end of June. Contact us today and we can put together a customized quote just for you.

Call (919) 776-7737 or complete our Request for Quote form on the website at centralcarolinascale.com

I Want To Buy A Scale That Is Made In The United States of America.

The title of this blog post sounds simple enough, right? Many customers are interested in purchasing lots of different items that are made in America versus buying items made in China and other countries. But, I would like to ask you a question…

What exactly do you consider “Made in America”?

The reason I bring this up is that it’s really difficult to find certain types of scales that meet a certain definition.

According to the FTC, for most products there is no law requiring manufacturers and marketers to make a “Made in USA” claim. But if a business chooses to make the claim, the FTC’s Made in USA standard applies. Made in USA means that “all or virtually all” the product has been made in America. That is, all significant parts, processing, and labor that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Products should not contain any – or should contain only negligible – foreign content. The FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement and its business guide, Complying with the Made in USA Standard, spell out the details, with examples of situations when domestic origin claims would be accurate and when they would be inappropriate.

For simplicity, let’s look at an industrial floor scale as an example.

Ok so you’re looking to buy an American Made floor scale. Did you know that almost every floor scale that is built in the USA utilizes (4) load cells that were made in China? With that being the case, let’s say your floor scale was built in Rice Lake, Wisconsin but uses load cells from China.  Do you still consider this scale an American Made item?

industrial floor scale

Did you also know that many of the junction boxes and summing boards are made overseas? Finally, did you know that the home run cable, the fifteen foot long cable that connects the scale to your digital weight indicator is probably constructed overseas? And, what about the steel used in the floor scale? Was it purchased domestically?

Sticking with the floor scale example, next area to consider is the digital weight indicator. Is it one hundred percent made in the USA? Were all the boards and components made in America? How about the display board? The plastic or stainless steel enclosure? Was the AC adapter made in the USA?

These are some interesting things to consider. I know of many people who can justify buying a scale that was constructed and calibrated in the USA but does utilize some Chinese components. However, there are some who absolutely want their products to be 100 % made in America.  Are there any scales that can one hundred percent meet that?

From our standpoint as a distributor it can be quite tricky since we are not involved in the actual manufacturing process. We have had numerous scale manufacturers tell us over the years that they build Made in the USA weighing equipment and then over time they slowly start substituting Chinese parts or in some cases, send all the manufacturing over to China. Unless the scale manufacturer tells us, sometimes we are not even aware that anything has changed in the manufacturing process.

So if buying a Made in the USA scale is important to you, contact us and we can help you. Just be sure to specify to us up front how flexible you wish to be when it comes to things like Chinese components such as load cells being a part of the final product.

In our experiences, many customers may originally start a transaction as a “Made in the USA” fanatic but once they discover certain prices and lead times for domestic components, they become a fanatic of “Made in U.S. from Imported Parts” or “Assembled in U.S.A.”.