Select Avery Weigh-Tronix Floor Scales now come with a 5 Year Warranty!

Avery Weigh-Tronix is pleased to announce the addition of a 5-year warranty across its family of floor scale products. Another strong statement for the reliability and robust performance of these Weigh Bar® enabled products. You can rely on these industrial floor scales for all your warehouse weighing needs. Please see the summary of model numbers that are included in this new policy.

prodec floor scale

Models with 5-year Warranty

DS & DSFS
DSL & DSLS
FCQH
MaxDec™
LP/LPFS
DW/DWS

 

Models that are exempt and retain their 2-year warranty

Pancake Cargo Scale
DRS Cargo Scale
SCS Cargo Scale
PFS and PT800

Effective June 1, 2018, any qualifying floor scale order or shipment will be registered under the new warranty policy. Thank you for your business and continued support. You can obtain a quote for these products by calling our Central Carolina Scale customer service line at (919) 776-7737 or clicking the Request for Quote button on our website.

Brewery and Beverage Manufacturing Equipment Co. Uses Cardinal Scales in Process and Packaging

In the case study below, we take a look at how a brewery and beverage company that manufacturers equipment for that industry, uses Cardinal Scale equipment in its process. The company that is featured in the case study chose Cardinal products for various reasons, one important reason was the wide range of products that Cardinal offers which allowed the company to utilize Cardinal Scale products throughout and not have to contend with multiple different brands of scales.

Cardinal 190 indicator

The systems provided by IDD provide answers for operations such as keg cleaning, sanitation and filling, flash pasteurization, bottling, and their HEBS (High Efficiency Brewing System). IDD manufactures these intricate and precise equipment systems to meet the distinct needs for their many customers in the beverage industry.

IDD’s reach extends all over the world. While primarily servicing America and Canada, IDD Process and Packaging, Inc. ships to Western Europe and as far as countries in the Oceania area, such as Australia. The burgeoning craft brewery and distillery movement in America and Canada provides IDD with a great deal of business opportunities; however, they are not limited strictly to beer and spirits. IDD delivers expertise in more traditional beverage production, such as grape juice, to more exotic and contemporary drinks, like kombucha and cold-brew tea.

To round out the design of a few of their systems, owner Jeff Gunn researched scale manufacturers to compare products lines and breadth of products. Cardinal Scale was capable of providing the load cells he preferred, along with the digital weight indicators meant to complete filling functions for keg, grain, and yeast managements systems, plus the scales themselves. “Cardinal Scale provided all of the implements that I needed within one company, and that influenced my decision to go with them,” said Gunn.

Cardinal Scale products are featured in Squire Keg Systems, Grain Handling Systems, and Yeast Management Systems. For the Squire Keg series, Cardinal Scale’s model EB-300 scale is coupled with the 190 STORM indicator. The EB-300 weighs the keg that can be moved on a roller platform, and the 190 provides the weight preset programming that is invaluable to precision filling. The Squire Series system can fill up to 30 kegs per hour.

The Grain Handling Systems and Yeast Management Systems utilize Cardinal Scale’s 825 or 225 weight indicator and the company’s TCBSS1KM-4 load cell kits. The TCBSS1KM-4 load cell kits provide the durability and precision needed to take on filling of grain augers, mills, and hoppers or multi-tank yeast propagation systems. The 825 or 225 weight indicator guides the more complex filling functions associated with the aforementioned tanking systems.

So as you can see, the robust product features of the Cardinal Scale Manufacturing lineup of products was a key ingredient in the success of the featured company in the case study. With more than five years of business between the two entities, both the companies are poised to achieve even more success in the beverage industry.

You too can enjoy this same level of success for your business. Contact our sales department to discuss adding load cells under your tanks or adding digital weight indicators to your scales that can collect data that you can then analyze in a spreadsheet on the computer.  Call (919) 776-7737 to get started.

Important Changes to Rice Lake 920i Display & CPU Board

The Rice Lake Weighing Systems 920i digital weight indicator has been an extremely successful indicator. It’s been utilized in thousands of different applications with accurate and reliable results. But as we all know things change and technology improves. So Rice Lake is making a few updates to the 920i which should allow it to continue to be a great choice for your scale needs for years to come.

To make the 920i programmable weight indicator even more robust and further extend its life, Rice Lake Weighing Systems is now manufacturing the 920i with enhanced display and CPU boards. These changes offer several benefits and are essential to ensure availability of components needed to continue manufacturing the 920i in the future.

ENHANCED DISPLAYS
As of February 1, 2018, Rice Lake began manufacturing the 920i with a technologically improved LED backlight display. While this change may go unnoticed, it affects the replacement part process.

If a 920i was built prior to February 1, 2018, and needs a replacement display, Rice Lake recommends replacing the old fluorescent backlight display with a new LED backlight display.

 

LED BACKLIGHT DISPLAY PART NUMBERS

LED backlight display
board (transmissive) …………………. 186275

LED backlight display
board (transflective)………………….. 186276

LED backlight only …………………… 187677

 

A new power supply cable must also be installed during this replacement:

                                                            AC POWER               DC POWER
Universal models ……………………………186464                        186464
Deep Universal model………………………186278                        187603
Panel mount models ………………………..186278                        187603
Wall mount models ………………………….186760                        188345
Two-slot expansion for
Wall mount models …………………………188716                          189424
Two-slot expansion for Panel mount
or Deep Universal models …………………188717                        189425
Six-Slot expansion for Wall mount………  188774                             N/A

Please note, fluorescent backlight displays are temporarily available if an upgrade to LED is not desired. CPU boards compatible with fluorescent backlights are also temporarily available.

 

ENHANCED CPU
As of June, Rice Lake will begin implementing a new CPU board in the 920i. This updated board (PN 186272, blue in color for easy identification) is compatible with firmware version 4.0 and above, and offers the following benefits:

– Updated power regulation for 5V and 3.3V supplies
– Merged analog, digital and chassis grounding to new industry standard
– Increased transient voltage protection
– Improved signal integrity
– Digital power conditioner for safe shutdown in unreliable power environments

The new CPU board is not compatible with fluorescent backlight displays, please use caution when ordering replacement parts.

rice lake 920i updates

Call the sales / service team at Central Carolina Scale (919) 776-7737 to obtain the 920i indicators and replacement parts that you need. For replacement parts, you will want to have indicator serial numbers handy along with the date that you purchased the indicator.

Case Study: Intercomp LP600™ to Weigh RVs for Customer Safety

Over the years we have been asked quite a few times about different ways to effectively weigh things like Recreational Vehicles and Trailers that are custom built. One of the choices that we often recommend is one of the wheel weighers from Intercomp such as the LP600.

wheel scales for RV

As you can see from the case study below, the Intercomp LP600 wheel weigher is often a very accurate and flexible choice for companies in today’s world.

As the size and complexity of modern RVs continue to increase,manufacturers and customers must also take into account axle weight compliance and safe weight distribution. While an RV may be weight compliant, RV manufacturers and dealers need to ensure these vehicles are safe to drive once the end user loads personal items, water and fuel.

In the RV market, checking and understanding weight distribution among the vehicle’s axles is becoming increasingly important. Manufacturers, dealers and owners need to have a better understanding of weight for the sake of compliance and safety.

North Trail RV, a dealer for one of the most well-known RV manufacturers in the United States, decided to tackle these potential issues. The company needed an accurate way to measure GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight), and obtain wheel and axle weights, to ensure proper load distribution when fully loaded with personal equipment, fuel and water. The dealer also wanted a way to record and print the data to provide the customer during the final walk through and when customers brought their RV back to the dealer for a standard one-month checkup.

With six LP600™s, North Trail RV recognized an increase in buyer satisfaction based on the additional information provided to each customer after fully loading their RV. The dealer also gained a better handle on what additions and modifications produced the most significant changes in weight distribution. In addition, the scales helped dealer technicians troubleshoot potential problems with suspension components and tires during the one-month checkup. Not only did this decrease the possibility of the customer having service issues in the near future, but it also helped customers understand how critical weight distribution is to proper drive ability and safety while using the unit.

If this sounds like a solution that you could use for your business, then give us a call at (919) 776-7737 or visit our website and click the Request a Quote button.

Digital Scales For WinSPC Real-Time Statistical Process Control Software

Today more and more customers want to not only measure the weight of their products, but they also want to capture that information and send it to their laptop computer for data collection and further analysis. There are several ways to do this, and various software programs to help accomplish this as well. We offer various communication types like USB and ethernet and we offer some of the software as well, such as Doran Excelerator.

But today we wanted to mention the WinSPC software. Quite a few customers over the years have been interested in having their digital scales be able to connect to this real time statistical process control software.

WinSPC basically allows companies to compete in today’s worldwide economy since many manufacturers must constantly discover new and innovative ways to cut costs while consistently delivering the highest quality products for their customers. Now it’s important to note up front that we don’t sell WinSPC. The product does seem to be a really nice software though.

WinSPC provides a proven, effective way for manufacturers to quickly improve quality, reduce variation, monitor production or process changes, increase profitability and more. Best of all, WinSPC runs in real-time, collecting data to deliver real meaningful process information directly to operators or to quality engineers, supervisors, and management. WinSPC is a very popular real-time process control tool of choice for manufacturers that need a top of the line solution because WinSPC provides real time SPC capability than quality modules or other process control software products.

A key requirement of most continuous improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma programs is the ability to access timely manufacturing data. WinSPC’s data collection software enable manufacturers to quickly obtain product and process data from nearly any shop floor source, including: serial devices, text files, machines, gauges, databases, and other manufacturing systems. WinSPC’s data collection features offer the fastest, easiest way for quality engineers to quickly gather manual input, connect to devices, and capture data from other manufacturing sources.

The reason we’re mentioning all of this is that if you’re currently using WinSPC (or you’re thinking of purchasing it) and you need to add some digital scales to your company, give us a call at (919) 776-7737.

Our outstanding selection of Doran Scales can be setup to communicate effortlessly with the WinSPC software. Doran Scales offers RS-232 serial, usb, and ethernet connectivity. Many of these scales are NTEP legal for trade and many of the scales are available in stainless steel washdown capability if needed.

With Doran’s Excel Series Indicators line comes an array of “Value Added Standard Features and Options” for a wide variety of applications. In the scale industry, the RS232 Serial Port has been used for communications between scales, computers, or printers since the introduction of the personal computer. In 2002, PC manufacturers agreed to obsolete Serial Ports over time and replace them with USB communication ports.

Doran 2200CW stainless steel checkweigher

Therefore, today’s computers are not always equipped with an RS-232 port, which makes the use of USB absolutely necessary. There are several benefits to using USB communications over RS232 Serial Ports. These include ease of use, reliability, flexibility, and compatibility.

Virtually every company today has an Ethernet network to distribute email, provide Internet access, share printers, and run enterprise wide software. Customers both large and small can leverage their existing Ethernet and PC hardware infrastructure and extend it to the factory floor. The merging of the administrative, control level, and device level networks makes for a less expensive and more connected data network. The result is an efficient end-to-end flow of data from the plant floor to the front office network, where it can be used to better manage operations.

Adding scales to an existing Ethernet network will not adversely affect the network speeds for existing devices. The speed of 10/100Base-T Ethernet networks that provide up to 100 Mbps communication bandwidth clearly eclipses the requirements for scale communications. A typical scale data string only requires about 200 bits, a tiny fraction of the available bandwidth for Ethernet.

As an example of the speed of Doran’s Ethernet option; The Excelerator Data collection software can monitor up to 20 scales with continuous print into one spreadsheet workbook in real time, while only utilizing 0.004% of the total network’s Ethernet bandwidth. Compare this to loading Google on Internet Explorer, which requires quite a bit more network bandwidth! Utilizing the existing Ethernet network without affecting existing devices makes Doran’s Ethernet communications option extremely cost effective.

The point of this article is to simply let you know that if you currently use WinSPC, or are considering purchasing the software, please keep us in mind when it comes to purchasing new digital scales that can connect to WinSPC software. You can reach our sales team at (919) 776-7737 or fill out our RFQ on the website.

Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and Digital Scales

Food safety is extremely important to all of us. In today’s ultra competitive and fast paced world, it’s imperative that we have laws in place to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as possible.

We hope the article below helps you better understand information about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Ultimately we think this information will highlight the ability of Rice Lake’s washdown products to meet your requirements of commercial processing industries. The FSMA info below not only informs producers about how to meet compliance laws, but demonstrates how Rice Lake scales can help prevent food contamination by the integrity of their construction and design.

For all producers, from the farm to the table, purchasing equipment that meets Sanitary Design Principles (SDP) is considered a mandatory preventative measure by the FDA. Our product offerings that are microbiologically cleanable, hermetically sealed and compatible with hostile environments can greatly assist you in adhering to these strict guidelines.

On January 4, 2011, President Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law. The FSMA brought a much-needed focus of food safety laws into the food processing industry as well as to consumers, and the general public as a whole.

The signing of the FSMA was arguably the largest reform to food safety in the previous 70 years. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the FSMA “aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it.” The key focus being prevention versus reaction in regards to food safety, from all aspects and stages of food—from the farm to the table.

The FSMA was spurred into action from an increase in foodborne illnesses in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report almost 1 in 6 Americans fall ill to food borne diseases each year. Foodborne illness became an issue of public health in the early 2000s, enabling the FDA to set higher preventative standards for food safety and elicit enforcement agencies to hold companies to these standards and contain any potential problems before they become a widespread risk of foodborne illness. To do this, the FDA under the FSMA can order companies to recall when needed.

The primary role of the FSMA is prevention. As noted by the FDA, “for the first time, FDA will have a legislative mandate to require comprehensive, science-based preventative controls across the food supply.” This legislative power ensures all U.S. companies that contribute to the food supply, no matter their size, are subject to the authority of the FDA and their preventative and responding agency.

Under the Prevention section of the FSMA, controls are given to the FDA for the following:

• Mandatory preventive controls for food facilities
• Mandatory produce safety standards
• Authority to prevent intentional contamination

These measures need to be qualified by scientific justifications by the FDA and are enforced by legislation. Under the mandatory preventative controls for food facilities is the addition of a preventative control plan that includes the following:

1 ) Evaluating the hazards that could affect food safety
2 ) Specifying what preventive steps, or controls, will be put in place to significantly minimize or prevent the hazards
3 ) Specifying how the facility will monitor these controls to ensure they are working
4 ) Maintaining routine records of the monitoring
5 ) Specifying what actions the facility will take to correct problems that arise.

Purchasing and using equipment that meets the Sanitary Design Principles (SDP) falls under these mandatory preventative measures as a control to prevent or minimize the possibility of foodborne contamination and disease. Continue reading

Benefits of Cardinal Digital Truck Scales

Cardinal Armor series Smartcell digital truck scales have several distinct benefits to you, the customer. First there is the heavy duty weighbridge design the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale uses. For example, the steel deck has (12) 12 inch eye beams across the scale but most important is there’s no moving parts under the scale.

ADVANTAGES OF A DIGITAL TRUCK SCALE

With a traditional truck scale, when it comes to debris build-up under the scale, that you typically see in landfills, quarries, sand and gravel businesses; all of that debris can cause problems under the scale and cause binding. Then you will be forced to have folks out there power washing the truck scale, trying to get the scale to work properly because safe linkage systems or load cells that are mounted to piers; the debris impedes on that critical weighing process.

This can often lead to down time for cleaning and can also lead to your scale being rejected when being tested by the State weights and measures inspector.

Another key element of the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale is simple connections which can also lead to limited downtime. Most important there is no power running to the scale other than the home run cable, that’s very important. Do you know what lightning, rain, and snow can do over time to the junction boxes of a traditional truck scale? There’s over a hundred and eight connection points in many standard analog truck scales.

digital truck scales

But, with the armor digital system, there’s ten. There’s five wires that plug into the terminal connector to go to the first load cell and there’s five that you simply wire into the weight indicator in fact Cardinal chooses 225 and the 825 as indicators of choice but most important for you; you want limited downtime for the life of the truck scale. Continue reading

Using an Analytical Balance for Laboratory Applications

In this article, you’re going to learn the correct way to use an analytical balance. These weighing devices are much more sensitive, accurate, and precise than larger topload balances or industrial scales. These balances are used for low mass samples, where specific weights are needed. Before using the balance, you need to make sure that it’s level.

To do this, check the level bubble. If the bubble is located within the black circle then the balance is level. If the bubble is outside of this circle then the balance is not level. If you find a balance that is not level, carefully adjust the foot on each corner until the bubble is located in the center. In most cases, you should not attempt to move an analytical balance because they are very sensitive. If you do, then you will want to make sure the balance is still weighing correctly.

analytical balance

Before you start, you should make sure that the inside of the balance is clean and dry. You should also make sure that all of the doors are closed when you are recording your masses. This prevents air from flowing through the balance. These balances are so sensitive that even air pressure can effect their reading. Now you can begin. The balance should already be turned on with a reading of 0.00 grams on the display. If the display says something other than zero, push the “zero” button. This will reset the balance to 0.00.

The display will also indicate the units of mass. The analytical balance can report masses in several units, so you should ensure to set yours to grams in most cases. Make sure your item is clean and dry, and then gently open one of the doors. Place your item inside and gently close the door behind it. Wait for the reading to stabilize, and then record it.

To remove the item, open the door, just as before, remove your item, and close the door gently. Because analytical balances are much more sensitive than top load balances, there are a few extra precautions to keep in mind. You should never put liquid inside the analytical balance unless specifically instructed to do so. If you do have to put liquid in there, make sure you use a container that seals tightly.

If there are ever any spills inside the analytical balance, clean it up according to the manufacturer instructions. It’s not usually a good idea to add a substance to your object while on the analytical balance. A better choice would be to, remove your item, add your sample, and place it back into the balance.

If you need to make multiple measurements of the same item make sure to use the same balance each time. There is a small error associated with each of the balances so using the same one keeps it consistent so that it cancels out in the difference.

For the most accurate results, you shouldn’t handle the sample with your bare hands. You should use gloves or tongs to handle your sample because the oils on your finger can transfer to the glass, which will be picked up by the analytical balance.

You should never lean on the bench when using the analytical balance because this small difference can alter the weight slightly. Make sure that the item that you are placing into the analytical balance is at room temperature. If it’s above room temperature, it can create air currents within the balance and it can also effect the buoyancy of your item by heating the air around it. This creates an error in your results.

Using expensive and sensitive equipment can sometimes leave you unsure of how to proceed but if you follow the instructions that we’ve presented, then you have nothing to worry about when using an analytical balance. If you need assistance calibrating your scientific scale or perhaps you’re looking to purchase additional laboratory balances, please contact the experienced sales and service staff at Central Carolina Scale, call (919) 776-7737.

Concrete Batching: NRMCA, Scale Company, and Calibration

In a concrete batching plant typically all of the ingredients that go into the concrete are measured by weight with certified digital scales. As you can imagine, those scales that are batching and mixing of concrete, need to be calibrated on a regular basis in order to maintain accurate weighing.

At Central Carolina Scale, we have checked and tested ready mixed concrete hopper scales for many years. Over all these years, concrete batching plant calibration procedures have evolved and we have also made changes to adapt to new guidelines and requirements. Whether it’s asphalt plant calibration or concrete batching, we have many years of experience repairing and calibrating these digital scale systems throughout central and eastern North Carolina.

While we don’t sell Command Alkon or Mettler Toledo indicators, we have worked on many systems that include those units. Popular instruments that we offer for sale include the Cardinal 205.

For concrete producers looking to achieve National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) Plant Certification, they need to adhere to the Guidance to Concrete Producers maintaining plant certification. This includes a list of Primary Requirements, Plant Inspector Guide and most importantly to us, the Scale Accuracy Verification guide.

Scale Accuracy Verification
There are some differences in what the scale companies are accustomed to doing in accordance with NIST Handbook 44 and what is required by the NRMCA plant certification and ASTM C94. Some of these differences are described in the Plant Inspector’s Guide.

Minimum quantity of test weights should be at 10% of scale capacity. Aggregate scale capacities will generally govern the minimum amount of test weights required – about 4000 lbs is typically needed. (There may be situations where the plant configuration does not permit the minimum test weights to be used and that has to be verified by the plant inspector).

Test weights should be certified to be accurate to 0.01% of their indicated load within the last two years. This is typically not a problem with commercial scale companies.

Scale checks should be done through range of use of the scales. Scale companies may only verify it through 50% of the scale capacity.

Up through 50% of the scale capacity, scale checks should be done using a build-up test load using a combination of product and test weights in a process called a substitution loading. Scale increments should not be skipped. In substitution loading, product in the scale should only be to the load previously verified – as close as possible.

Over 50% of the scale capacity, strain test loading is permitted. An unknown quantity of product is charged and the incremental weight indication with the test weights is verified. At least two points should be tested in this portion of the scale – through typical range of use.

Scale accuracy requirements (ASTM C94) is the greater of
● ±0.15% of scale capacity (governs at the lower end)
● ±0.4% of applied test load
● If it’s not accurate the scale has to be adjusted.

Maintenance tolerances in accordance with Handbook 44 are stated on the basis of scale divisions (min grad) but are generally more restrictive than those in C94 that state tolerances based on applied load or scale capacity.

A copy of the scale verification data sheets should be obtained to indicate details of the test loads used, test load increments, load indications and load error. A certificate just indicating a scale is OK is not acceptable.

Definitions of load testing, concrete batching plant calibration format, discussions and numerical examples of the scale accuracy verification are available in the NRMCA Plant Inspector Guide.

concrete batching scale calibration

Batching Plant Calibration Frequency

Accuracy checks of measuring devices (scales, water meters, admixture dispensers and moisture probes) should be performed at least once every 6 months.

State DOTs may have a requirement for these to be performed more frequently. The requirement with the greater frequency governs. Documentation of these verifications should be maintained and made available to the inspector during the plant inspection.

Also, scale accuracy should be verified anytime the plant is moved (portable plants), maintenance activities on the plant impact the weighing systems, or when there is a concern on scale accuracy determined from the batch man operating the batching process or the quality of concrete.

For customers throughout the central part of North Carolina, adhering to the NRMCA requirements can be accomplished with the help of the experienced service technicians of Central Carolina Scale located in Sanford, NC.

We have the trucks to handle these requirements and we have the large certified test weights (and small weights too) needed to accurately test your digital scales.

And we also stock a huge amount of replacement load cells, digital weight indicators, load cell cable, and other scale accessories to keep your batching plant up and going year round.

Contact our service department today (919) 776-7737 or fill out the RFQ button on our website for additional information.

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.