HAVE YOU FACTORED IN THE COST OF DOWNTIME? ARE SCALE DISRUPTIONS A REGULAR PART OF YOUR TRUCK SCALE OWNERSHIP EXPERIENCE?

As we discussed in the last entry, the Armor truck scale is a scale worth considering. Today we look at the SmartCell. SmartCell® load cells and iSite software greatly reduce the monetary risks involved in scale ownership.

• Since the circuitry of the load cell is internal, wiring is not openly exposed to corrosion. The internal wiring and digital components are completely protected by
Cardinal’s proprietary potting compound process that fills all of the internal voids
of the load cell. This load cell technology prevents ingress from moisture and provides the SmartCell® with an IP69K rating. Load cell failures associated with exposure to
water and electrical surges are greatly reduced and load cell replacements become
much less frequent due to SmartCell® technology.

• Most truck scale manufacturers still offer electronic scales that feature analog load cells. Analog load cells require time-consuming wiring and load cell fault diagnosis. Analog load cells are also much more prone to fluctuations in temperature and wiring degradation and damage due to moisture and sediment. Cardinal’s SmartCell® digital load cells feature stainless steel double-ended shear beam bodies and patent-pending
complete internal encapsulation via proprietary potting methods to protect internal circuitry.

SmartCell® load cells are daisy-chained together by waterproof load cell
cables and there is no junction box that is susceptible to water and lightning damage. SmartCells can be remotely monitored through Cardinal’s cloud-based iSite portal so dealers can be alerted to a load cell malfunction. Time spent having to randomly diagnose wiring failures is eliminated, and costs associated with lengthy diagnosis periods are also minimized.

• In the event that there is damage to the load cell, it can be easily swapped out and replaced quickly. Simply removing a few bolts and two screw-on cell cables is all that is needed. Technicians of any level can complete such a simple task, and your scale
can be back to running in a fraction of the time—increasing profits. Electronic truck scales with analog load cells still rely on time-intensive traditional wiring methods that can keep a scale out of commission with long waiting periods to find the source of the issue.

• If your scale is to be positioned in a location where chronic downtime is going to be a problem, digital load cells provide the greatest solution to preventing unwanted interruptions and costly load cell repairs and replacements. Lightning-fast load cell diagnosis and quick-and-simple load cell replacement with superior protection create a massive windfall for the end-user that no longer needs to be squandered.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER BEFORE PURCHASING A TRUCK SCALE


Over the next few blog entries, we are going to take a look at a few of the reasons why Cardinal’s ARMOR® Digital Truck Scale arguably provides the best return on investment.

Cardinal Scale’s all-around innovative truck scale and load cell design
provides the most protection against circumstances—seen and
unforeseen. The combination of Cardinal Scale’s SmartCell® load cells,
ARMOR® weighbridge, and axis® frictionless centering system provide
a well-rounded vehicle scale package that protects against the
harshest conditions while transmitting valuable weight data digitally.
Cardinal Scale provides customers with the versatility and efficiency
required to fit their individual scale needs while saving valuable time
and effort.

Cardinal Scale engineers, develops, and manufactures their truck
scale hardware, software, and load cell technology in one location.
Weighbridges, indicators, load cells, and related instrumentation
are produced to meet the individual customer’s needs. Due to the
highly-vertically-integrated nature of Cardinal Scale’s manufacturing
processes, the company can easily modify and customize each truck
scale they make to fit a customer’s application—a benefit that is
becoming increasingly rare in today’s truck scale market.

Keeping with its visionary heritage, Cardinal Scale has again pushed
the boundaries of truck scale technology by developing SmartCell®
digital load cells. The added benefit of transmitting weight digitally
is greatly augmented by Cardinal Scale’s iSite remote monitoring
system. Dealers can now see, in real time, load cell issues as they
happen. Most importantly, time spent checking load cell wiring
is greatly reduced thanks to the streamlined, digital load cell
diagnostics. Dealers can now quickly and remotely diagnose load cell
issues and replace defective load cell elements in a fraction of what
analog load cell diagnosis requires.

Carefully consider the following questions for the purchase of a truck
scale to see if Cardinal’s ARMOR® digital truck scales will provide the
best solution for your time and resource investment.

Large Vehicle Scale Case Study

The following is a case study provided by Cardinal Scale Manufacturing. The specs on this installation are as follows: twin digital YUKON off-road truck scales (for haul trucks weighing up to 300 tons) and a Satellite 825D indicator connected to a long-range RFID tag reader for completely-unattended data transactions.

The system consists of two checkered steel deck 30 ft x 12 ft YUKON off-road truck scales with digital SmartCells installed side by side to make up a 30 ft x 24 ft weighbridge that is used to weigh wet bottom ash for a construction company in Montana. The 825D digital indicator is set up as a single scale with a capacity of 300 tons x 0.02 tons.

The YUKON off-road truck scale features an extremely-high, 70-ton concentrated load capacity (CLC) and extra-thick checkered steel deck, meaning it can withstand a dense amount of weight in a tight circumference that is inherent in the CAT haul trucks used at this site.

The large trucks used at this job site support their heavy loads on a relatively few number of axles thus concentrating the total load in a few small footprints on the scale platform. A substantial CLC rating is necessary to ensure that a loading pattern produced by trucks like these are accurately measured.

The customer required an automatic weighment so that the off-road dump trucks simply pull onto the scale and the system IDs the trucks and stores the weight. The embedded traffic light of the stainless steel Cardinal Scale SB600 remote display signals the driver to enter the scale and then exit it once the transaction is stored.

The weight indicator used in this application is a Cardinal Scale Satellite 825D with digital scale input, full-color graphics display, weatherproof enclosure, and rain hood. There was not a printed receipt necessary, so the Satellite 825D’s ID storage application stores all transactions digitally within its memory. The customer is using the remote indicator capabilities of the 825D to access it from their office and upload the transaction file.

The scale is equipped with a long-range RFID tag proximity reader located in the middle of the truck scale. The reader is used to ID each truck and automatically store the weighment without driver/operator intervention. Traffic across the scale is bi-directional, so the construction company’s trucks are equipped with two like-numbered RFID tags located on each side of the truck.

The operational steps are set up to automate and minimize the time needed by each truck driver and for the facility to avoid staffing the truck scale. When the SB600 remote display’s 6-inch-high traffic light is green, the truck driver knows to pull onto the scale, and once the display’s traffic light turns red, the truck drivers know to stop. The RFID tag is then read by the long-range reader, which has a proximity range of up to 15 feet.

Once the weighment delay timer expires and motion ceases, the truck weight is acquired. If the truck tare weight is stored within the 825D indicator’s memory, the net weight is calculated and the transaction is stored.

Otherwise, first pass weighment data is stored. The truck then exits the scale, unloads or loads, and returns for a second weighment to complete the transaction. The system resets and is ready for the next weighment. The entire unmanned transaction is performed without a scale operator necessary.

Using the Satellite 825D’s remote indicator application, the 825D can be monitored, truck ID’s can be added/edited, and the transaction file can be uploaded from the office via the construction company’s Ethernet network.

Contact the heavy capacity sales team at (919) 776-7737 or complete our online Request a Quote form for additional information regarding the products mentioned in this article.

Upcoming Changes to NIST Handbook 105-1 Requirements for Class F Calibration Weights

Beginning January 1, 2020, Class F calibration weights will no longer be sold for legal metrology use. According to the newly updated NIST Handbook 105-1 (2019), new weights for use as field standards placed into service for weights and measures use after this date must comply with all of the requirements of NIST Handbook 105-1 (2019).

In order to update our Class F inventory to bring it more in line with ASTM and OIML tolerances, all Rice Lake NIST Class F weights will become ASTM Class 5 weights. Part numbers and pricing will remain the same, but the tolerance will be tighter.

nist class f test weight

Note that existing NIST Class F calibration weights in the field are grandfathered in and may continue to be used for legal metrology use, but they must meet NIST Handbook 105-1 (1990) requirements. Although the new revision does supersede the 1990 version, it makes clear that existing Class F weights may continue to be used.

While existing NIST Class F calibration weights may be reclassified to one of the new specifications if all specifications and tolerances fully comply with the alternative standard, the NIST Office of Weights and Measures strongly recommends that you do not reclassify existing Class F weights due to the difficulty of performing compliance evaluation.

This change is taking place to accommodate for the increasing accuracy of weighing devices used for legal metrology. Class F weights are no longer sufficient for the calibration, inspection, or sealing of weighing devices used for the jewelry, marijuana and pharmaceutical industries. Similarly, hydrogen for hydrogen vehicles is being sold by weight, which demands a high level of accuracy.

We are here to help guide customers to select the right calibration weight for each application; however, selection is ultimately based on the customer’s unique needs and requests.

Feel free to contact us with any questions about the NIST Class F legal metrology change in Handbook 105-1 or questions regarding calibration weights by visiting Central Carolina Scale online. 

Using Scales to Weigh Industrial Hemp

Hemp, or industrial hemp, is a strain of the Cannabis sativa plant species that is grown specifically for the industrial uses of its derived products. It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago, according to Wikipedia

Below are a few popular questions and answers regarding industrial hemp. You can see the complete question and answer article by viewing the state website.

What kind of plant is industrial hemp?
Industrial hemp is a small seeded, dicot, dioecious, photoperiodic plant. This means that it is a broadleaf and not a grass. There are male and female plants. The plants flower based on a day length trigger.

These plant characteristics will present production and cultivation challenges for North Carolina. The small seed is very sensitive to planting depth, and establishing an acceptable stand will require close attention to a shallow planting depth, firm seedbed and avoiding flooding conditions. The seedling is also small and not very competitive with weeds until the crop is established and canopy closure occurs. There are no labeled pesticides for use on industrial hemp at this time.

How is industrial hemp cultivated?
Industrial hemp is generally grown for; seed, fiber, or floral materials. Each is produced is in a slightly different way. For seed production, plants would generally be seeded at a high plant population similar to a small grain crop. Reported seeding rates are 25 to 40 pounds of seed per acre planted with a grain drill. For fiber, high seeding rates are generally recommended. The reason for high seeding rates and plant population is to limit lateral branching and facilitate harvest. Production of floral materials varies widely from greenhouse production to wider row spacings, which would resemble tobacco or horticultural crop production. Floral buds are harvested, so production systems that promote lateral branching and more numerous flowers per plant would be desirable. Harvesting methods vary.

What are the market opportunities for industrial hemp?
Similar to the limited research for production, little information exists at this time for the market opportunities to potential North Carolina growers. Growers are urged to proceed with caution and closely examine potential market opportunities.

What is hemp used for?
Hemp fibers have been used to manufacture hundreds of products that include fiber for injected/molded composite materials, twine, paper, construction materials, carpeting, clothing, and animal bedding.

Seeds have been used in making industrial oils, cosmetics and other personal care products, and medicines. Hemp seed or oil can be found in cooking oil, salad dressings, pasta, and snack products. 

Can I grow hemp in my backyard?
No. Under state and federal laws, industrial hemp growers must be issued a license to participate in the industrial hemp pilot program. The Industrial Hemp Commission is responsible for developing rules and regulations for participating in the program.

What is the difference between industrial hemp and marijuana?
Marijuana and industrial hemp are different varieties of the same plant species, Cannabis sativa L. Marijuana typically contains 3 to 15 percent THC on a dry-weight basis, while industrial hemp contains less than 1 percent (Blade, 1998; Vantreese, 1998). Most developed countries that permit hemp cultivation require use of varieties with less than 0.3 percent THC. 

Industrial hemp can be grown as a fiber and/or seed crop. Grown for fiber, it is planted in dense stands to maximize stalk production. Grown for seed or for seed and fiber, plants are spaced farther apart to encourage branching and seed production. Marijuana varieties are grown for their leaves and flower buds, and therefore are grown under low-density conditions to maximize branching. 

Authorized research purposes
As part of the industrial hemp research program directly managed by a State land grant
university, a licensed grower may engage in any of the following research activities:

(1) Studying and investigating marketplace opportunities for hemp products to
increase the job base in the State by means of employment related to the
production of industrial hemp.

(2) Studying and investigating methods of industrial hemp cultivation that are best
suited to soil conservation and restoration.

(3) Overseeing and analyzing the growth of industrial hemp by licensed growers
for agronomy research and analysis of required soils, growing conditions, and
harvest methods relating to the production of various varieties of industrial
hemp that may be suitable for various commercial hemp products.

(4) Conducting seed research on various types of industrial hemp that are best
suited to be grown in North Carolina, including seed availability, creation of
North Carolina hybrid types, and in-the-ground variety trials and seed
production. The Commission may establish a program to recognize certain
industrial hemp seeds as being North Carolina varieties of hemp seed.

(5) Studying the economic feasibility of developing an industrial hemp market in
various types of industrial hemp that can be grown in the State, including by
commercial marketing and sale of industrial hemp.

(6) Reporting on the estimated value-added benefits, including environmental
benefits, to North Carolina businesses of an industrial hemp market of North
Carolina-grown industrial hemp varieties.

(7) Studying the agronomy research being conducted worldwide relating to
industrial hemp varieties, production, and use.

(8) Researching and promoting on the world market industrial hemp and hemp seed
that can be grown in the State.

(9) Promoting research into the development of industrial hemp and commercial
markets for North Carolina industrial hemp and hemp products.

(10) Studying the feasibility of attracting federal or private funding for the North
Carolina industrial hemp research program.

(11) Studying the use of industrial hemp in new energy technologies, including
electricity generation, biofuels, or other forms of energy resources; the growth
of industrial hemp on reclaimed mine sites; the use of hemp seed oil in the
production of fuels; and the production costs, environmental issues, and costs
and benefits involved with the use of industrial hemp for energy.

ntep legal for trade platform scales

So you may be asking, what interest does CCS have in this product? Turns out, we have had numerous farmers contact us looking for weight scales used in the harvesting of industrial hemp in central North Carolina. Contact us today (919) 776-7737 and let us help you be more efficient and accurate in your processing. 

Maximize Your Money with Scale Purchase

During the final quarter of the calendar year, many businesses will look to reduce their annual tax bill to Uncle Sam.

We encourage you to check out the benefits of IRS Section 179. Section 179 allows customers to purchase or finance (lease to own) capital equipment up to $ 1,000,000, and be able to deduct the entire amount (dollar for dollar) from their Federal Income Taxes.

For businesses wanting to reduce their tax liability, this is a great tool that allows you to acquire capital equipment prior to year-end, as compared to waiting until calendar year 2020.

Here is an idea of what we’re talking about:

TAX ADVANTAGES
IRS Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation

The deduction limit for Section 179 is $1,000,000.

• This means that if you buy (or finance) a piece of equipment, you can deduct the Full Purchase Price (up to $1,000,000) from your gross income.


The 2019 Section 179 deduction threshold for total amount of equipment that can be purchased is $2,500,000.

• This means that you can purchase more equipment and still have the benefit of the Section 179 deduction.

 

BONUS DEPRECIATION:
100% for 2019 New and Used Equipment Allowed

• Under Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) Bonus Depreciation has increased first-year depreciation deduction to 100% (vs. 50%) of the adjusted gross basis of qualified property.

• This goes into effect for assets placed in service after September 27, 2017 and before January 1, 2023.

• Another significant change under the new tax law, is you can use bonus depreciation for purchases of new or used property. Under prior law, you could only use bonus
depreciation for new property.

weigh-tronix truck scale lease program

Call us (919) 776-7737 or fill out the request a quote form on our website to take advantage of this program. 

*Credit & equipment restrictions apply. This program does not assume your company will qualify to take advantage of the IRS Section #179 depreciation schedule which allows rapid first year depreciation of certain assets acquired. The amount of previous
depreciation your company may have used may affect your ability to utilize the elections. Please consult your tax advisor or accountant for additional information. Equipment must be purchased and placed in service by 1/1/2023.

Consider iQUBE² as a Digital Truck Scale Solution

When most potential customers seek a vehicle scale that also performs diagnostics, they often think of truck scales that use digital load cells. Digital load cells require A/D cards to be placed in every load cell to obtain diagnostic information.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems’ iQUBE², however, conducts A/D conversion at the junction box rather than the load cell. This means you will receive intelligent diagnostics from new or existing scales that use analog load cells.

Both devices sum the signals from each load sensor to determine the weight of the entire vehicle on the scale. The output of each load cell is compared to establish diagnostic information including real-time status of potential component failures, weighing errors and overall system health.

The iQUBE² Advantage

While analog and digital devices perform the same function, iQUBE offers impressive benefits at a more affordable price. In addition to providing diagnostics for Return to Zero, Load Cell Balance, Noise/Instability and Drift, iQUBE²:

  • Is non-proprietary
  • Pairs with analog load cells, which are more cost efficient
  • Conducts A/D conversion at the junction box, protecting sensitive electronic components

Download and review “Upgrade to a Digital Truck Scale Using iQUBE²” to understand how the iQUBE² can operate like a digital truck scale. After you read the guide linked above, contact us for additional information or a quote.

Upgrade to Rice Lake Advanced Weight Transmitter

Rice Lake Weighing SCT-1100 and SCT-2200 signal conditioning weight transmitter is a small, DIN-mounted indicator featuring theoretical or weight calibration and an easy-to-navigate menu.

SCT-1100/2200 Advanced Series Signal Conditioning Weight Transmitters

Theoretical calibration: Enter deadload or capture zero with theoretical calibration, which is ideal for use in environments where traditional calibration isn’t practical.

Quick-start setup menu: For a quick setup, this feature prompts you through basic configuration and calibration, analog setup and inputs/outputs.

Rice Lake tools: Rice Lake Tools is a user-friendly PC application that allows users to calibrate the scale and upload, download and save parameters.

weight transmitter

Additional Benefits of the SCT-2200 When Using a Fieldbus Protocol

Hub mode: With hub mode, 16 units are able to be connected to just one protocol module, making installation easier and cutting costs.

Web server: A web server provides calibration, zero and tare functions as well as remote weight viewability through PC control. The server can be used to access all units in the hub.

Calibration from a PLC: Using a protocol for calibration eliminates the need to physically access the SCT. Zero capture, span capture and linear points can be performed using the protocol.

You can read more about Rice Lake’s SCT-1100, SCT-2200 and other weight indicators online at Central Carolina Scale.com. Please complete our Request a Quote form if you’re interested in receiving a quote or additional information about these weight transmitters. 

How to Create a Remote Scale System

A remote scale system uses two weight indicators to allow users to access scale functions without having physical access to the primary indicator, or “local” indicator. Historically, to create a remote scale system, a technician needed to add a second weight indicator to a scale and run the load cell signal to both indicators. Only one indicator supplied the scale with excitation; each unit was calibrated independently and operated as a separate system.

Today, however, creating a remote scale system has never been easier, thanks to remote indicator capabilities. To form a remote solution, a scale is paired with two digital weight indicators: a primary indicator, or “local” indicator, and a secondary “remote” indicator. The local weight indicator, connected to the scale, transmits a string of weight data to the remote weight indicator, which displays the weight with limited independence. This forms what is known as a remote scale, or secondary scale.

When weighing functions occur in more than one area, a remote scale can prove useful—in some cases, it may even be essential. Remote scales are ideal for environments such as a scale house and a front office, or a control room and a process floor.

Remote scales provide numerous benefits, including:

Access to weight data from a distance
Ability to perform scale functions without having physical access to the local indicator

Despite the advantages of remote scales, it is important to consider that some functionality may be limited. Before implementing a remote scale system, take note of the following:

A key press on the remote indicator will initiate basic weighing functions like zero and tare, performed by the local indicator. Not all functions may be supported or initiated from the remote indicator to the local indicator, such as keyed tares or setpoint values.
Printing at the remote location may or may not be supported by the remote indicator. Some remote indicators have printing capabilities, but others simply forward the command to the local indicator.

When it comes to printing with remote indicators, consider whether a tare weight is included with the transmitted weight from the local indicator. Typically, only gross or net weight is transmitted to the remote indicator, so a ticket that shows gross, tare and net information may need to be printed by the local indicator.
Databases are almost always resident in only the local indicator. Remotely accessing a database may be prevented for a number of reasons. If specific records are entered during the transaction, those will need to be entered at the local indicator.

Another method of setting up a remote scale is using a scale webserver. A scale webserver is a server that allows a local indicator to communicate scale data that can be read on a network, through a PC or a handheld device. Typically, weighing functions can be performed at these remote locations, just like at the local indicator.

Whether you opt to form a remote scale system using local/remote indicators or a webserver, remote scales can streamline your process and increase accessibility. Central Carolina Scale offers a variety of weighing solutions. Optimize efficiency in your process with a Rice Lake indicator. Call our sales team at (919) 776-7737 to request a quote today.

Popular Truck Scale Accessories to Consider

Quality truck scale accessories increase efficiencies and optimize the flow of trucks in and out of your plant.

Knowing exactly which truck scale accessories will complement your current operations can help you better select an overall truck scale system and manufacturer. Refer to your site planning flow map to see where an accessory can speed up processes and reduce the risk of human error.

Always consider the space an accessory will need prior to installing your truck scale system to ensure the best truck maneuverability and flow.

Accessories include attended and automated ticketing kiosks, remote displays, traffic signals, printers, guiderails and more.


Guide Rails
Guiderails offer drivers protection against accidental drive-offs.

Many suppliers offer guiderails…. make sure you examine the designs of each with your scale supplier closely, including the shape and strength of the rail.

Some guiderails have open-ended rails, while others are sealed or plugged with an end cap. Open-ended rails can accumulate debris and moisture, and guiderails plugged with an end cap can corrode from the inside if moisture seeps past the cap.

Caps with a welded seal offer the best protection, keeping debris and moisture build-up out of the rail.

Truck Scale Accessories

Automated Ticketing Kiosks
From RFID truck identification to load assignment, weighing and ticketing, unattended automated ticketing kiosks optimize truck traffic and improve safety by keeping drivers behind the wheel. Many manufacturers’ kiosks can integrate with your central office and accounting systems.

Printers and Printer Kiosks
Printers and printer kiosks improve more than just speed and accuracy. Many printer kiosk systems offer state-of-the-art features like RFID, vehicle recognition and durable weatherproof designs.

Truck Scale Data Management
Truck scale data management software can print tickets or reports, as well as store information to a central database.

Data management software enhances the functionality of automated ticketing kiosks by providing advanced data management and reporting capabilities. Most software systems are adaptable to a wide variety of industries and are compatible with many popular operating systems, streamlining your scale house or front office operations with your truck scale.

Most manufacturers’ software allows you to generate reports, often broken down by a number of variables including customer, hauler, truck, product and vendor.

Remote Displays
Whether you need to see weight readouts up close or messages at a distance, remote displays light up information to increase efficiency and provide direction to drivers. Many remote displays are customizable and feature stop/go red and green signal lights.

Traffic Stop Lights
Industrial-strength stop lights professionally communicate the universal stop/go red and green signals at a distance, speeding up scale traffic and eliminating congestion.

Barrier Gates
Barrier gates block access at the entry or exit of your truck scale. Most gates are electronically controlled to open or close after a designated action is taken.