About Kevin Lamberth

Kevin has been providing his customers the proper weighing equipment for their applications for over ten years. He often writes about scales and weighing equipment solutions. Connect with me on Google+

Are You Paying For Your Frozen Yogurt Cup too?

Believe it or not, spring and summer will be here before you know it and we’ll all be looking to cool down at a frozen yogurt shop.Today, many of these frozen yogurt shoppes allow the consumer to dispense as much frozen yogurt the customer wants. The yogurt is priced at around fifty cents per ounce. So if you want different flavors or a cup that is filled sky high you are able to do that. However, the real question is are you paying for just the yogurt and toppings that you consume or are you also paying for the cup that the yogurt is placed in?

Many yogurt shops determine price based on the weight of the yogurt and toppings, but they are required to subtract the weight of the cup or package first (which is called the tare weight). According to Jerry Butler, NCDA & CS Weight and Measures program manager, not every shop is aware of that. Butler heads a team of 24 inspectors whose job is to inspect scales in the state, and he guesses that they’ve inspected around a hundred or so yogurt shops so far. Of those, he estimates about 75 percent have not been using their scales properly. “Say you’re a family of four,” Butler says, “you could be paying up to a dollar extra just for the weight of the cups. So it’s important that the shops know how to use their scales.”

Now that the NCDA & CS inspectors have discovered that yogurt shops use scales, they’re keeping an eye out for them as they drive to other jobs. If they see a frozen yogurt shop while they’re out, they’ll step inside to inspect it. Most shops that have been violating are quick to correct their mistakes, which were usually made in ignorance, Butler says. A second offense would result in a notice of violation, and a third offender must pay a penalty of up to $5,000. So what can frozen yogurt eaters do to make sure they’re getting the most yogurt for their buck? “The bottom line is: the consumer needs to look and ask,” Butler says. “Make sure that the yogurt shop employee uses the tare. And if they’re not, the consumer needs to call me.”

Fortunately we have electronic scales available that make this process fairly easy to accommodate. Contact the sales staff today (919) 776-7737 and they will be happy to provide you prices for the scales that will work best to accommodate weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce and using the tare feature to subtract out the weight of the cup.

scale for weighing frozen yogurt by the ounce

We have standard legal for trade counter top scales. We have point of sale scales that can connect to your cash register. Finally, we have price computing scales that can display the weight and price on both the front of the scale and the back of the scale.

Solar Panels Power Scales For Up To Entire Year!

Over the years the idea of solar power and scales has been brought up before and in fact there are currently a few products in the marketplace that accommodate that type of technology. Well, you can add Intercomp Company into the same sentence now as well with their latest product innovation.

Intercomp, the manufacturer of portable wheel load scales that we know you’ve heard of such as the popular PT300, recently announced an exciting solar panel update to their most popular wheel load scale models. A solar charger built into the scale indicator allows the scales to operate continuously without requiring direct power charging. This solar boost makes Intercomp scales even more versatile, and virtually eliminates the need to recharge batteries in-between uses. This is a major upgrade since battery life is one of the most important considerations for customers of these products. Being able to operate your portable wheel weighers without having to manually recharge batteries makes weighing that much easier and reliable.

By building solar chargers into the Intercomp weight indicators, it offers you exceptional battery life and eliminates the need to manage charging and replacement of batteries; which not only benefits customers, but the environment as well. Now, the question you’re probably asking is, which Intercomp scales does this include? Well, at the time of this write-up the time saving, solar charging technology will be standard on all PT300™,PT300DW™, LP600 and LP600-15T™ Wheel Load Scales moving forward. Therefore, charging cables will no longer be included, but are still available to be ordered as options if you desire.

At Central Carolina Scale, we’re proud to offer our customers the quality and performance of Intercomp scales and to be an authorized Intercomp distributor. For more information or to obtain a price quote on Intercomp scales, please contact our sales department by phone (919) 776-7737 or complete our sales request for quote form on our website.

Computer Scales on a 7″ Android™ Tablet

This is a pretty cool scale system. We are often asked about using a tablet computer to see scale weights but often it’s really not too practical for industrial situations. However, for racing scales it can actually be a great choice. Longacre Racing has developed an exciting new system that includes four scale pads and an android tablet which displays the scale weight info along with quite a bit of additional customized weight information. Take a look below.

Computerscales on a Tablet
This is the future of chassis setups. This tablet has many times the capacity of any dedicated scale control box. This scale was designed from the ground up as a tablet based system, not an add-on to an existing model. The wireless signal goes directly from the pads to the tablet without any bulky re-transmitter boxes needed. In the future we will have many more ‘apps’ for various setup functions.

Tablet Included
The tablet included is an Android™ based model and can support other ‘apps’. Computerscales XLi app is pre-installed and the entire system is ready to use. (Tablet brand / model may vary.)

DUAL Load Cell CNC Machined Pads (Single Cell Pads Also Available)
Dual cells give you a much more rigid platform than any single cell pads can. The lower deflection significantly improves accuracy and consistency, particularly for critical cross weight. These pads are fully CNC machined to a dead flat finish – within just .005″

Some of the features I like include the fact that all your partial weights & %’s can be seen. Scroll thru the options with your fingertip. The Tablet shows Memory weights and current weights AT THE SAME TIME so you can easily compare (50 memory storage). The Tabet features a customizable display – Easily tap your preferences in the order you want them displayed. You can even add a blank line if you want to separate %s. Select as many or few as you want. Up to 5 will be shown on the main display but you can access the others scrolling the list up or down. You can also change partial weight % resolution and weight units. Pad battery status shown on display for each corner. There’s even a Bright Sunlight screen mode for easier viewing outdoors. Contact Central Carolina Scale today at 919-776-7737 to place your order.

FC6300 Formula Control Scale Video Overview

What would it be like to be in total control? Imagine saving at least 2.1% of your yearly ingredient costs. What would that be worth to you? Picture having an extra supervisor watching over your employees’ shoulders monitoring and controlling the formulation process. What effect would that have on your product consistency and production efficiency? Well actually the Doran FC6300 Formula Control System puts you in total control and can pay for itself in four months or less!

Field-Proven Ingredient Savings
In today’s competitive marketplace, reducing production costs is a sure path to greater profits. Doran’s Formula Control has been guiding production plants along that path with ingredient savings of at least 2.1%—even more. Combine lower ingredient costs with the elimination of the money wasted on bad batches, and you can understand why successful companies are investing in the FC6300 Formula Control System.

Take a look at the savings one company experienced with the FC6300. This plant realized that improving the performance of their formula scaling could lead to a significant impact on profitability. Additionally they were averaging one bad batch a week due to errors that were traced back to the scaling process. They turned to Doran Scales to reduce costs from wasted ingredients and bad batches—the solution was the FC6300 Formula Control System. Return on investment due to ingredient cost savings was achieved in just four months, and the net one-year effect on profit margin was $27,068.71. It’s no wonder that plant managers at this company’s other location suddenly became interested in the FC6300 Formula Control System.

Consistent Batches—Guaranteed!
Reduction of ingredient costs is easy to see, but the costs associated with bad batches are often overlooked. Like a dripping faucet, those bad batches can gradually drain your plant’s profits. Production downtime to clean production lines and discard the bad batch, along with cost of wasted ingredients, can add up. Our field studies show that bad batches cost a company $837 per incident. With guaranteed consistent batches, your plant will run more efficiently, adding to your profitably.

Because the system prompts the user through the formula, the correct ingredients are accurately scaled every time. Each ingredient of the formula is weighed within a tolerance that you define. The color-coded Accu-Track display on the bright LCD screen ensures that added ingredients are within those tolerances. Each step of the formula is clearly labeled with batch ID, batch name, the step number, ingredient name, target weight, and actual weight. Accurate scaling can be achieved with or without experienced production employees.

Ensures Employee Accountability
Formula Loader is a standard component of the FC6300 Formula Control system. This Windows™-compatible software is used to configure formulas as well as to provide production reports. Standard Formula Loader reports can be used to evaluate scale operator efficiency and ingredient usage. Using scale operator ID’s, the FC6300 tracks when a user logs in and out of the scale. Management can easily determine how long the scale operators are taking to prepare each formula and how accurately it was done. It’s like having the plant manager watching over your employees’ shoulders 24/7.

For more information on this exciting product from Doran, please fill out our request form on the website with your particular requirements and specifications.

Weight Tolerances

Recently, I was informed of a situation that involved a digital infant scale and a “test weight” also known as a 5 pound consumer barbell weight. Apparently, the barbell weight was used to check the digital scale and it was thought that the scale had not been calibrated correctly due to a scale readout of 5.2 lbs.

Actually, consumer barbell weights like those used in the above scenario are manufactured to tolerances between +/-1% and +/-7%, a significant range of tolerance as compared to NIST certified test weights. Using a consumer barbell weight with a wider manufacturing accepted tolerance than the scale may result in a scale display reading that seems inaccurate. A +/-5% tolerance on a 5 pound consumer barbell weight means the weight can weigh from 4.75 lb to 5.25 lb and still be sold as a 5 pound weight. Compare that to a 5 pound NIST Class F weight which is manufactured and adjusted to within +/-230 mg tolerance. In the example above, the user contesting the calibration accuracy of the digital scale checked their consumer barbell weight again, this time on a certified Legal for Trade scale and found that it weighed 5.2 pounds, meaning the digital scale was correct.

We recommend using NIST certified Class F Sealed manufactured test weights in most applications to check or calibrate medical scales and industrial scales.

Cardinal Scale S2WIFI Provides Weatherproof Wireless Ethernet Scale Indicator

Cardinal Scale’s made in the USA S2WIFI connects to IEEE 802.11b/g wireless local area networks (wireless LAN) and allows you to wirelessly send data from weight indicators to existing networks, remote displays, printers, laptops, PCs, tablets, and smart phones. The robust S2WIFI allows you to utilize Cardinal’s extensive library of mobile apps for smart phones and tablets, such as Pathway and RemoteWeigh. The S2WIFI converts serial to a Wi-Fi signal and supplies wireless Ethernet for any Cardinal Scale indicator. It may be added to an existing network or you can create a stand-alone network.

•USA-made quality and technical support
•Watertight, weatherproof enclosure
•Easy Web browser configuration
•Supplies wireless Ethernet for any indicator
•Compact, fully-enclosed module
•Network configuration recall
•Appears as a wireless access point
•Polycarbonate box with clear-smoke cover
•No external power needed
•Easily connects to an existing network

The S2WIFI cable’s serial connector easily plugs into the main board on Cardinal model 205, 210, and 225 indicators and SB250/SB500 remote displays. For the 825 and 201 indicators, you will need to remove the connector and connect the red and black wires (for power) directly into the main board. Four communication status LEDs allow you to quickly identify power, link connection, transmit/receive, and reset to the factory default. The S2WIFI doesn’t require any batteries or an AC adapter, since all power is supplied by the indicator. Contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale for price information.

Scale Calibration Frequency: How Often Should I Calibrate my Digital Scale?

We’ve actually covered the subject of how often to calibrate a scale before but it’s always a good idea to remind customers just how important the accuracy of their scales can be. We get this question fairly often so today with the help of Doran Scales we’ll take another look at why it’s important to have your scales calibrated on a regular basis by a trained scale technician.

What is the value of the product to be weighed on the scale?
If the product being weighed is very expensive, there is value in regular and periodic inspection and calibration. For example if the product costs $10 a pound and on an average day 1,000 pounds of product is weighed on the scale, the total value is $10,000. Let’s assume the scale is out of tolerance by 0.5%; that discrepancy would be $50 per day, $250 per week, and $1,000 per month. Obviously, eliminating this error would save a tremendous amount of money and more than pay for the calibration services.

Is it a legal-for-trade application?
If you buy or sell product based upon weight using your scale, it will need to be inspected and certified by the State or local Weights and Measures Department at the time of or shortly after installation. If a scale is tested and found to be out of tolerance or if products in the field are found to not meet the stated weight, Weights and Measure can condemn the scales so that they cannot be used until recalibrated, and literally shut your production down.

How many weighments per day and at what % of scale capacity?
Generally speaking, with time and use scales can start to lose accuracy. It may be a tiny error but over months and years it can grow to unacceptable levels. Think of it in these terms: when you buy a new car, you can expect that the wheel alignment will be exactly accurate. When this same car has 75,000 or 100,000 miles on it, the wheel alignment may need to be adjusted due to normal wear and tear. The same idea is true with your scale. Regular calibration of heavily used scales will correct any accuracy errors that will normally occur with this type of use.

Are the scales frequently moved around in your facility or from one location to another?
Doran scales are designed to be portable, in the sense that they do not require a permanent installation location. However, many times when scales are moved, they are handled incorrectly, resulting in damage that can affect the calibration and accuracy of the unit. If your scales are constantly being moved around in your facility or moved from one location to another, regular calibration will help keep them accurate and reveal any damage that may have occurred when they have been moved.

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Restaurant Owners: Portion Control Is Very Important To Keeping Your Ingredient Costs Under Control

If you are in the restaurant business then you understand how much your ingredients like cheese really cost, since you purchase them from your suppliers on a regular basis. Think about this for a second… Let’s say you’re making your best selling pizza or your most popular sandwich. What if you could cut back on your most expensive ingredient by just a smidgen. Actually, a better way to say it would be — what if you could develop a consistent way to add your ingredients so that every large pizza had exactly eight ounces of cheese or six ounces of pepperoni. The results would hopefully lead to more profitability and a consistent product your patrons could enjoy each and every visit.

This outstanding must read article that is referenced below goes into great detail about portion control and why it’s so important to a company’s bottom line.

“You can have the best pizza in the world. But you can lose your shirt if you’re not careful,” he said. “If you ain’t weighing it, you are winging it.” While many operators habitually weigh dough balls, nothing provides a pizza operator with more margin/cost control than weighing their cheese portions.

…. it’s important to keep cheat sheets for employees to remind them how much cheese to use, and even have the cheese pre-weighed in cups for them. This allows an operator to ensure consistency and to know the cost of every single pizza. The difference, for example, of 7 ounces and 10 ounces of cheese can be 60 cents per pizza. He also suggested adding a weighing scale that is easy for employees to use. Training and incentivizing is important for employees, who may free throw either through habit or to save time.

…. At the end of those 30 days, the concept saved about 200 pounds of cheese totaling $1,200, which was then split between the four employees as a bonus.

I like how the author wrote this article since it’s always great to see real world examples. As you can see from reading the entire article, your business can really benefit by adding some type of weighing functionality into your kitchen. Not only does this help control costs but it should also help restuarants increase their consistency. How many times have you gone to a restaurant and had one pizza with too much cheese or too little sauce, then you go back a couple weeks later and it’s the opposite problem. Customers love a consistent sandwhich or entrée (just ask my in-laws).

If you need some guidance on choosing the correct scale for your restaurant or prep kitchen please contact our sales department at 919 776-7737 or visit our site centralcarolinascale.com which has many scales posted for you to view. We also have a Youtube channel that shows a few of our scales in video format.

Why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a Commercial Weighing application?

There are a number of questions we get from time to time regarding legal for trade scales. Often, especially with floor scales we are asked “why should I buy a scale that is “Legal-for-Trade” when I don’t intend to use it in a commercial weighing setting”?

Defining a commercial weighing application can sometimes be a little tricky. Scales can be moved around and get used for things that maybe you didn’t originally intend.

Basically, an NTEP approved device is required any time money changes hands based on a scale’s reading. We sometimes call this legal for trade scales or we might call it NTEP certified equipment.

Freight scales, for example, must be NTEP approved. For these situations government requires that a scale must pass tests put forth by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). These regulations are meant to protect the consumer.

But if I were in the market for a scale, in most cases, I would want to choose a scale that was at least capable of passing NTEP testing and receiving an NTEP certificate.

If you think about it, we use a scale because we want to know an exact weight (as accurately as possible) and have trust in the information we view on the scale display.

NTEP approved floor scale

When selecting a scale to weigh your produce, or packages, would you choose one that’s been tested and approved by an independent third party as accurate, or would you rather have a scale that’s never been tested at all by an independent group?

NTEP Certified Commercial Scale

In most cases I would choose the scale that has been tested and received a conformance certificate.

Sure there are some markets and applications where NTEP certified scales are not really necessary. But when you’re comparing a legal for trade scale side by side with one that is non-ntep, ask yourself or your scale sales person a question. Could this non-ntep scale have earned a NTEP certificate of conformance?

If the answer is yes you may be ok with purchasing a non-ntep scale. The non ntep scale probably costs less, but is the scale accurate and stable as well?  How will you know for sure the scale is accurate? And if you need to replace it sooner than expected, how much money did you ultimately really save buying a non legal for trade scale?

If the sales person says no, the scale probably would not be capable of earning a certificate of conformance, that would cause me re-evaluate the product and my products that I’m looking to purchase.

Ultimately, it’s up to you the end user to decide what direction you want to to.

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Digital Weight Indicator For Scales With USB Port and Micro SD Card?

Happy New Year!  It’s our goal to provide great service to you again this year and to bring you some really nice products that make your job easier. Cardinal Scale Manufacturing in Webb City Missouri has a USA-made digital weight indicator product line that is very popular with our customers. Cardinal’s weight indicators provide easy, convenient scale operation and accurate, reliable measurements. From basic truck scale weighing to complex process automation, Cardinal Scale probably makes a weight indicator for your application. Whether operators need an easy-to-maintain wash-down indicator or an indicator that provides highly visible scale readouts, a Cardinal indicator from Central Carolina Scale usually has an option available to suit a wide range of weighing needs.

Cardinal-2XX-USB-AThe latest announcement from Cardinal Scale is very exciting for those of us in the weighing industry. Over the years customers have always asked us “can I send weight data to my pc” or “we need to send scale data to the computer”. And the answer that we usually told customers was well, yes you can…… but it might require some additional software or yes… but it might require some other type of hurdle or challenge. Over the years it has gotten easier but depending on the product and what you are trying to connect to, it could be a real challenge to send weight data reliably and consistently to a computer. But, now with the new Cardinal 2XX-USBA option board which is listed as USB-A Card, 2 USB-A Ports, One Micro SD Port – you have the ability to add a USB flash drive to a select group of Cardinal indicators like the 205, 210 and 225 and easily collect weighing data. For example, with one 4GB flash drive, you could literally collect millions of weight transactions. Then once you’re ready to view the transactions, you remove the flash drive and take a look at the CSV file on your computer. It’s easy to add titles to the columns and sum the weight column to determine the total amount of weight that you’ve weighed over a period of time. Continue reading