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.”.

The New Look of the UWE PS2 Stainless Steel Scale and Why It Matters

The UWE PSII (PS2) is a Stainless Steel, Washdown bench scale that is great for sanitary applications, as you can lightly spray it off without worry of damaging the scale. This scale comes with a stainless steel load cell as well, so rust and water damage is less of an issue over time. This is great for food production, and messy environments. The manufacturer lists this scale as IP67 rated.

FDA safety regulations on food production have compelled process equipment manufacturers to rethink their designs. The UWE PS2 sets the pace for industry standards by producing a medium capacity food service bench scale that utilizes easy to clean stainless steel parts which wipe out the chances of food particles becoming trapped or hidden during washdown.

The PS2 features all stainless steel platform, pillar, indicator, load cell and base. This means easy to clean for food processing or harsh environments / washdown resistant scale. The open pillar design allows for thorough washdown with less chance of food particles remaining. Heavy duty construction Will withstand harsh industrial operation and the sealed electronics leads to improved water and dust resistance. The low profile design is easy to load and unload with platform only 3.7 inches high. The scale displays weight in grams, pounds and pounds:ounces for flexibility of operation.

The UWE PS2 stainless steel scale is great for stationary applications or can easily be moved around with the built-in rechargeable battery or external power adapter. The battery lasts a minimum of 100 hours (without backlight). Automatic power save conserves battery power. And, Low battery indicator / charge status indicator alerts you to charge the battery, saving downtime.

Accumulation function allows you to add together consecutive weights to arrive at a total. Adjustable stainless steel feet with rubber inserts help to make sure the scale remains level for accurate results on uneven working surfaces – anti-slip. The wide angle LCD display with backlight can be seen from a wide viewing angle. Gravitational correction software enables you to input different G acceleration factors.

Food safety regulations have caused manufacturers to adjust or improve their designs over time. The UWE PS2 was recently redesigned and utilizes easy to clean stainless steel parts which wipe out the chances of food particles becoming trapped or hidden during wash down with water. The easily accessible pillar design eliminates the chance of food particles remaining behind after washdown.

uwe ps2 scale designed for food safety

• Same Dependable Bench Scale
• New FDA Safe Pillar Design
• Rechargeable Battery Eliminates Cord Clutter
• Stainless Steel Parts Made For Washdown
• Large Back-lit Display
• Gravity Compensation
• Accumulation

Contact our sales department today for additional information regarding the UWE Scale lineup. You can call us at 919-776-7737 or complete our request for quote form on our website.

Installing Load Cells on Suspended Hoppers or Tanks

If you have a hopper or tank in your facility, one great way to accurately keep track of its contents is to weigh it. The ITCM Series modules utilize several Rice Lake Weighing Systems components (mounting hardware, load cells, junction box) to provide an unmatched level of performance in suspended tank and hopper weighing applications and mechanical scale conversions. The ITCM HE incorporates clevis and unique rod-end ball joint assemblies to reduce the overall length to less than half of the traditional tension cell mounts, while providing correct load alignment.

In addition, the load cell is completely electrically isolated from stray currents, which are a major cause of load cell failure. To complete the design, a grounding strap connects the two clevis assemblies to further provide safety to your load cells. As always, the installation should be planned by a qualified structural engineer. Each installation is unique, and this manual is meant to serve only as a general guideline for installation.

The ITCM Weigh Module provides excellent performance in suspended tank and hopper weighing applications. The ITCM reduces the overall assembly length to less than half of traditional tension cell hardware arrangements and offers correct alignment of the assembly. The combination of clevises and rod end ball joints isolates the load cell from extraneous forces detrimental to accurate system performance.

suspended hopper load cell mount for scales

The ITCM incorporates an insulating system which resists the flow of stray currents through the load cell. To insulate the load cells from the clevises, the clevises incorporate nylon insulating washers, and the rod end ball joints are lined with Teflon®. A parallel grounding strap connects the two clevis assemblies to provide an alternate path to ground, preventing load cell damage from electrical spikes or stray currents.

The ITCM modules feature RL20000 series S-beam load cells and are available in a variety of capacities, ranging from 100 to 20,000 pounds per module. A single ITCM module is often used to convert a mechanical scale to electronic operation, allowing for the added benefits of an electronic signal for process control or data collection. When an ITCM module is inserted into the steelyard rod, the mechanical beam or dial is still functional and can serve as a backup indicator.

General Installation Guidelines for Tension Cell Mounts

Depending on the weighing application, ITCM modules may be used in single or multiple load cell configurations. Single cell suspension configurations are relatively simple and work well in low capacity applications which have minimal disturbance from mixers, materials flow, or other agitators.

For best results, the vessel should be symmetrical with respect to the suspension point and used to weigh only self-leveling materials, such as liquids.

This allows the center of gravity to rise along the same vertical line each time and minimizes the tendency of the vessel to bind against the bumpers. The bumpers only serve to limit sway caused by accidental contact or other external forces. Erroneous scale readings result if the vessel contacts the bumper. Instead of bumpers, horizontal stay rods may be used to rigidly hold a vessel which has a tendency to sway sideways. Also, note that single cell systems must be restrained from rotating to prevent the suspension hardware from coming unscrewed.

single load cell tank hopper mount

Multiple cell suspension configurations commonly involve three or four load cells. One advantage to using three suspension points is that even weight distribution is inherent in this configuration. Support points should be equally rigid and deflect by the same amount when loaded. Otherwise, one or more of the cells may be overloaded.

For maximum stability, attach suspension rods at or above the filled vessel’s center of gravity. In situations where there is a potential for vibration, agitation, wind, or seismic activity, install bumpers or horizontal check rods to check the sideways motion of the vessel.

3 and 4 load cell hopper scale mount

We always like to mention that all suspended vessel weighing systems must be protected by safety check rods, chains, or other means to prevent damage or injury in the event of a failure.

If piping or conduit is required, make sure that it runs horizontally and verify that the distance from the vessel to the first pipe support is 20 to 30 times the pipe diameter. If necessary, incorporate flexible sections into the pipe. Suspension rods should be as long as possible to minimize the introduction of side forces.

Use only hermetically sealed load cells in washdown applications. Environmentally protected load cells are not suitable for such applications and will eventually be damaged. If tanks and surrounding equipment are frequently steam cleaned, or if the load cell might be subjected to direct washdown pressure, a protective shroud for the weighing assembly is recommended.

It is important that the S-beam load cells are properly oriented with respect to the load. The cable must emerge from the dead, or fixed, end of the cell. If it emerges from the live end, it will restrain the movement of the cell. This orientation must be followed with low capacity S beams.

correct way to use a s-beam load cell

Installing the ITCM suspended weighing modules

1. Select a suspension rod of the appropriate diameter. Use a safety factor of at least 4, based on the yield strength of the rod material. If vibration or shock loads are common, then a higher factor of safety should be considered. Commercially available threaded rod is made from a low yield strength material and will not provide an adequate safety factor in many applications. When determining the rod length, subtract the length of the ITCM module from the overall suspension length, making allowance for complete thread engagement in each clevis.
2. Making certain to provide adequate thread for the jam nut, cut the suspension rod near its center point and thread the ends that screw into the ITCM module.
3. Making sure to put the jam nut on first, assemble a clevis to the top and bottom rods. Screw the rod in sufficiently so that all threads of the clevis are engaged. Lock each clevis in place using the jam nuts. The clevises should be rotated 90° relative to each other.
4. Initially, the lined rod end ball joints are stiffer than regular rod end ball joints. This is normal. Verify that all threads of the load cell are engaged by the rod end ball joint, then lock in place with the jam nuts provided. Screw the rod end ball joints into the load cell. Align one so the flat face is in the same plane as the load cell. Turn the other to 90°.
5. Insert the rod end ball joint into the upper clevis. Place a nylon washer on each side of the rod end and insert the shoulder screw. Secure the shoulder screw with the lock nut provided. Repeat the procedure on the lower clevis.

Note: The 15K and 20K ITCM models use plain pins secured with washers and cotter pins, rather than threaded shoulder screws and lock nuts.
6. Remove the 1/4” machine screw and lock washer from each clevis. Fasten the bonding strap in place as shown in the illustration below. Make sure to connect the vessel or the support structure to a single system-wide ground.
7. The attachment points on the structure and vessel should be rigid to minimize deflection. Add gusset plates if necessary. Spherical washers help to minimize bending of the suspension rod due to structure or vessel deflection under load. They can also compensate for initial misalignment.
8. In multiple cell applications, adjust the length of each assembly to level the vessel. If the system consists of more than three cells, you must be sure the load is evenly distributed. This may be done by lifting or prying on the vessel at each support point, checking for even load, or by reading the dead load output from each cell. The variation in load among the cells should be no more than 20%.

Load Cell Wiring

1. Route the load cell cables so they will not be damaged or cut. Cables should not be routed near heat sources greater than 150 °F. Do not shorten any load cell cable. The load cell is temperature compensated with the supplied length of cable. Cutting the cable will affect temperature compensation. Coil excess cable and protect it so it will not be mechanically damaged or be sitting in water.
2. Provide a drip loop in all cables so that water or other liquids will not run directly down the cables onto either the load cells or the junction box. Attach load cell cable to the dead structure, not the vessel.
3. If conduit protection is necessary against mechanical or rodent damage to the load cell cables, use flexible conduit and conduit adapters at the load cells.
4. Connect cables for the load cells to the summing board in the junction box according to the load cell calibration certificate provided with the load cell and the labels on the terminal strips of the junction box.
5. For better performance, use positive and negative remote sense lines if the wiring run from the junction box to the indicator is longer than 25 feet.

Junction Box Connections, Adjustments & Calibration

• Refer to junction box manual for trimming details.
• Refer to indicator manual for system calibration details.

Scale Troubleshooting

If the system powers up and gives some type of stable digital readout that varies with the load on the system, the system problems are probably caused by factors other than the load cells. Often, load cells are blamed for a malfunctioning system and the majority of the time, the problem lies elsewhere.

Look for mechanical causes first. If the system can be calibrated but doesn’t return to zero, loses calibration, or demonstrates non-linearity or non-repeatability, see the following chart for possible causes and refer to the following list of checks.

No return to zero
Mechanical binding or debris in seals or under load cells; may have lost system calibration

Non-linearity
Thermal expansion or deflection under load causing binding or side load

Non-repeatability
Loose load cell mount; drifting caused by moisture, load cell overload or shock damage; mechanical binding

Lost calibration
Out of level or plumb; moisture problem; mechanical binding

Drifting readout
Moisture in junction box, cables, or load cell; mechanical binding

1. Check load cell mount for debris restricting load cell movement or debris between scale and structure.
2. Check that tank/vessel and mounts are plumb, level, and square at the critical areas.
3. Check piping and conduit for connections that restrict vessel movement.
4. If check rods are used, loosen connections to finger tight only for testing.
5. Check load cell cables for physical or water damage.
6. Check all electrical connections, especially in the junction box.

Contact the scale sales and service team at Central Carolina Scale today for hopper scale load cells and weigh bars. Nobody stocks more load cells in North Carolina than we do. We can put together a quote for the ideal system for your weighing needs. And when it comes to digital weight indicators, we can meet just about anyone’s requirements for specifications like analog output or a certain price range. We can also repair or calibrate an existing hopper scale. We feature many of the top scale manufacturer product lines to choose from. Call us at 919-776-7737 or complete the Request a Quote form on our website.

70 ft Truck Scales for Sale – What You Need to Look For When Buying.

When it comes to buying a 70 foot long truck scale, there are about a half dozen key ingredients to think about. If you don’t look at these important factors it could lead to increased scale down time, increased costs and overall dissatisfaction with your scale purchase. Don’t let that happen, be sure to look at the following key features.

We sell several different brands of truck scales but the list below from Rice Lake sums up the key facts to consider when purchasing a truck scale for weighing your trucks with trailer.

70 ft truck scale

IS THE TRUCK SCALE BUILT TO WITHSTAND EXTREME USE?
Rice Lake SURVIVOR® series truck scales utilize up to 25 percent more steel than most competitive models and incorporate a longitudinal highway bridge design. The Survivor truck scale is designed to provide you with years of service. It’s important to purchase a scale that is built tough and not full of short cuts.

DOES THE TRUCK SCALE PROVIDE ULTRA LOAD CELL PROTECTION?
SURVIVOR truck scales are designed with the load cell pocket integrated into the steel structure of the scale. Rice Lake truck scales are some of the most reliable truck scales in the market today. The design of their Survivor truck scale is important and is a big part of why they enjoy one of the lowest load cell failure rates in the industry.

DOES THE SCALE OFFER BREATHING ROOM BELOW THE PLATFORM?
SURVIVOR steel deck truck scales feature an open-bottom design, providing unrestricted airflow to eliminate rust-causing moisture buildup. Important feature since the scale is going to be providing you weights for many years of service.

IS THE SCALE TOUGH, FROM START TO FINISH?
High-performance epoxy primer and specialized hard-coat alkyd enamel is applied to all visible steel surfaces for a car-like finish that protects the scale from the elements. Once again, this is important since your truck scale is going to be out in the elements for many years.

IS THE SCALE AVAILABLE IN CUSTOM SIZES?
SURVIVOR truck scales can be custom-built to fit almost any project specification and application requirement including installations on existing foundations or in unique locations with space limitations. One important thing to consider is the width of your truck scale. Many customers will choose a 10 foot wide scale bridge. This is ok but often for just a little more money, you can order a 11 foot wide scale and give your drivers a little extra room to maneuver across the scale.

IS YOUR SUPPLIER ABLE TO OFFER A COMPLETE SOLUTION FOR ANY APPLICATION?
Our supplier Rice Lake offers not only the scale, but the complete solution for your weighing application. The digital weight indicator is important since it will normally include the truck storage program. We can also provide you with a ticket printer and remote display so that your drivers can see their truck weight on the scale.

When you’re ready to proceed with your 70 ft Truck Scales for Sale, give us a call (919) 776-7737 or fill out the request a quote form on our website. Customers have trusted us to sell and install their new truck scale for over three decades.