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.”.

Doran Scales Updates 7000XLM Digital Weight Indicator

Doran has been manufacturing digital scales for forty years. This milestone was a great reason for them to take a look at their indicator lineup and make some adjustments. One of the biggest changes is a focus on Made in the USA quality. They have actually been able to source many more of their components from USA sources. In fact, according to Doran, if you buy a 7000XL with a 10″x10″ base and column, all products in that build were sourced from USA vendors. That’s pretty impressive in today’s competitive environment.

doran scales built in America

Another change that Doran has made is to replace the 8000XL bench scale and digital weight indicator. Actually, this is not a surprise since the only real difference between the 7000XL and the 8000XL was a battery. So if you were a fan of the 8000XL scale or the 8000XLM digital indicator, then all you need to do is order a 7000XL with optional battery.

Doran challenged the design team to update the indicator line. Doran’s engineers have been working overtime to update our indicator line starting with the 7000XL and 8000XL. Not only that, the purchasing department found ways to bring many items back to the USA. Doran is proud to announce that they will be building many of their products in their plant in Batavia, IL again. They are sourcing metal including indicators, columns and most platforms from superior stainless steel producers in the USA. Touchpanels and boards also come from USA sources.

When you buy a 7000XL with a 10×10 base and column, know that all components were sourced from USA vendors. As they transition products back to the USA, Doran will be labeling products that are built in the US factory and USA sourced components with Built in America label that you see in this blog post. Along with USA manufacture, Doran has made some additional improvements as well. They are excited to introduce improvements like the 7000XL display, which is now 0.8” tall and expanded options. The factory now supports 34 options for the 7000XL weight indicator.

It’s no mystery why so many people turn to the Doran 7000XL for their weighing applications. From capturing plant floor data to a simple dough scale on a baker’s bench, the 7000XL is adaptable to fit your specific needs. Engineered to stand up to the harshest environment, the sealed, heavy duty “Guardian” touch panel resists moisture and puncture damage. The big, bright red LED display is easy to read. IP69K rated Washdown safe, stainless steel is a hallmark of Doran Scales. The heavy gauge 304 stainless steel construction and the gasketed enclosure ensure that the 7000XL will provide many years of trouble-free service.

Choose from a variety of Doran 7000XL models that include columns and attachment brackets to place the weight indicator at an ideal height for your weighing application. Need battery power? Just add option EXOPT308 and you have what used to be called the “8000XL” indicator.

Doran 7000XL Indicator Features

• Built in America
• Variety of data communication options including, wired Ethernet, WiFi, USB, Bluetooth or 4-20mA
• Optional internal rechargeable battery providing up to 60 hours of continuous use
• 304 stainless steel construction
• IP69K washdown protection
• Bright red, 0.8” tall 6 digit LED display
• Heavy duty touch panel with ZERO, UNITS, and PRINT controls
• Units of measure: lb, kg, oz, g, or lb:oz
• Legal for trade in US and Canada
• Dimension configuration software
• Programmable custom data strings

doran 7000xlm weight meter

A couple of additional notes to consider about the Doran product line. The 7000XL display is now 0.8″ tall and the indicator now has thirty four options available. One thing that hasn’t changed is the washdown quality and stainless steel construction. So, if you need a scale for food processing environments with grease and debris clean up is needed, this is your scale. The 7000XL is ideal for washdown situations in food processing plants, dairies, packing houses, bottling plants, breweries, canneries, creameries and much more.

So when it comes to stainless steel washdown bench scales, we usually recommend Doran Scales. In fact, we have received “Top Doran Scales Dealer” awards in the past. Contact our sales team (919) 776-7737 for additional information and price quotes.

Wastewater Treatment Plant Case Study

Recently Cardinal Scale Manufacturing provided us with a case study involving remote displays and an unattended Satellite 825 weight indicator. Below is a short overview of the information.

Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) recently took on an expansion project in order to more precisely and efficiently scale all sludge dried through the de-watering system. The project included the installation of Jordan’s first unmanned weighing system. Cardinal Scale’s authorized dealer, Traffic Tech, assisted with the project using Cardinal Scale’s USA-made load cells, (2) SB500 remote displays, an unattended Satellite 825 indicator in conjunction with Traffic Tech’s weighbridge, camera system, printer, and RFID for driver identification.

The vehicle weighbridge became operational in September, 2015. Approximately 35 trucks are weighed daily. With the purchase and installation of the new equipment, Samra Plant O&M Co. is excited to report that the Cardinal digital display is accurate and easy to read. Process Manager Mr. Mohammed reports, “The accurate readings of sludge volume enable us to achieve good accuracy in plant mass balance calculations.” This capability is a great asset to Samra and, in turn, the surrounding community.

The indicator is now located in a suitable place for the drivers to easily extract necessary data. “The drivers and operators find the weighbridge user friendly with clear signs of entering and leaving. The smooth weighing process gives us more accurate and controlled data,” reported Production Manager Mr. Morad.

Also significantly improving the overall process, team members are now able to monitor the weighbridge and trucks using cameras and Cardinal’s WinDDE 2.0 Dynamic Data Exchange program. The weight and status of the weight indicators is made readily available to spreadsheets, databases, and industrial control applications by means of Dynamic Data Exchange.

cardinal scale wastewater treatment plant scales

We offer the equipment listed in the case study. Cardinal Scale’s Satellite series unattended weighing kiosks provide the ultimate experience in unmanned truck scale efficiency and streamlined data integration. The lockable, weather-proof enclosure features an articulating arm to retract the kiosk away from truck traffic when its not in use. Select a Satellite model with the features you need including a high-speed thermal cutbar tape printer, proximity badge reader (AWID and HID), rainhood/sun deflector, and 240 x 64 pixel blue backlit LCD or 640 x 480 pixel backlit color touch screen LCD. The weatherproof QWERTY keyboard with navigation arrow keys and main soft keys provides driver input prompting controls.

Cardinal Scale SB-500 boasts a giant 5-inch tall, high-intensity LED display easily read up to 250 feet away. A weatherproof mild or stainless steel enclosure with mounting tabs allow it to be mounted on a vertical surface. Other features include bi-directional RS232 serial port and other connectivity options, auto-learning serial protocol, annunciators for lb, kg, T, t G and N. Custom programmable software to create your own graphics. The interface can autolearn most serial protocols. One custom protocol can be entered into the unit. The interface is configurable for serial data input as either an active or passive 20mA current loop, RS-232 or RS422/485, and also has the connectivity options of Wi-Fi, wireless, fiber optic and Ethernet.

Please contact us at your convenience to determine what item(s) would be best suited for your weighing needs.

UDP User Datagram Protocol now available with Avery Weigh-Tronix ZM300 / ZM400 Series

Technology is always evolving and fortunately the engineers at Avery Weigh-Tronix are hard at work building high quality digital weight indicators that can handle a multitude of tasks.

scale weight indicator UDP ethernet

One of the recent upgrades that these scale controllers received is the ability to communicate via UDP. UDP is User Datagram Protocol. We’ll provide the wikipedia link below for additional information on the technology.

The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is one of the core members of the Internet protocol suite. The protocol was designed by David P. Reed in 1980 and formally defined in RFC 768. With UDP, computer applications can send messages, in this case referred to as datagrams, to other hosts on an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Prior communications are not required to set up transmission channels or data paths.

UDP uses a simple connectionless transmission model with a minimum of protocol mechanism. UDP provides checksums for data integrity, and port numbers for addressing different functions at the source and destination of the datagram. It has no handshaking dialogues, and thus exposes the user’s program to any unreliability of the underlying network and so there is no guarantee of delivery, ordering, or duplicate protection. If error correction facilities are needed at the network interface level, an application may use the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) which are designed for this purpose.

So if UDP is a technology that you require or perhaps one of your pieces of existing equipment requires, then we now have the ability to provide you with a weighing solution for that. Contact our sales team for a quote today.

Cardinal Scale’s Digital Fill Control Improves Efficiency for Cherry Packing

In preparation for the busy summer harvest season, fruit distributors find tremendous value in equipment improvements and workflow efficiency.

Recently, an authorized Cardinal Scale dealer outfitted a cherry packing shed in California with an upgraded packing system. This operation utilizes a conveyor belt system to transport sorted cherries to be packaged using Cardinal Scale static scales and weight indicators.

fruit packing scales

The initial weigh-in is performed on 14 conveyor lines using Cardinal Scale’s USA-made EB-150-LPAN bench scales and 225 Navigator weight indicators. The customer uses Cardinal Scale’s digital fill control software that comes standard on the 225 indicator and an RB4 relay to control the speed of the conveyor belt filling the cherry packages. When an appropriate weight has been reached, the indicator stops the belt and the container is sent down conveyor rollers to the next work station. The operator is not required to press any keys to continue filling the next container.

The filled cherry container then goes down the conveyor line to the checkweigher, comprised of a Cardinal Scale EB-150-LPAN bench scale with 190 Storm wash down indicator. This station utilizes the ColorZONE feature on the 190 indicator to rapidly indicate over, under, or desirable weight. The 190’s ColorZONE feature overcomes any language barrier that might be an obstacle with reading the indicator. The container is brought to the appropriate weight by manually adding cherries and then sent to final packaging.

The Cardinal Scale system has improved the operation by automating the initial packing process with fill control software.

The cherry packing process has become more productive and the packing shed is ready for the summer produce season. You can read the entire case study here.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in for your business, then give us a call at (919) 776-7737 or fill out our Request for Quote link on our website, centralcarolinascale.com — we are an authorized Cardinal Scale dealer and would be happy to provide you with the right equipment for your weighing needs.

Rice Lake 720i Weight Indicator – Reports, Customers, Transactions

The standard truck in/out functionality of the Rice Lake 720i is very effective. But with a little bit of programming, the 720i can do a lot more including customer or material reports. The standard truck in/out modes are used to handle multiple truck ID numbers and weights. Truck IDs can be up to 16 alphanumeric characters in length. The terminology for the truck storage includes:

Stored IDs
Let you keep a database of truck IDs and weigh-in weights in the indicator’s memory. The indicator can automatically store up to 1000 truck IDs and tares; or it can clear the information after printing a weigh-out ticket. For example, if the same truck seldom crosses the scale, it may not be practical to save its ID number and weigh-in weight. However, if that same truck crosses the scale many times each day, it’s more convenient to store the information in the indicator memory and recall it when needed. Stored IDs and weights are available in modes 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Keyed Tare
Allow you to manually enter the tare weight using the numeric keypad and the key. Keyed tares are available in modes 1, 3, and 5. To use keyed tares, an incoming truck must be empty at weigh-in, full at weigh-out.

Value Swapping
Ensures that the lower of two weight values associated with a particular ID number is used as the tare weight. For example, if a truck crosses the scale fully loaded at weigh-in, then unloads and crosses the scale empty at weigh-out, the indicator automatically assigns the lesser (empty truck) weight as the tare. Value swapping is available in modes 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Mode ……… Stored IDs ………… Keyed Tares ………… Value Swapping
MODE 1 …….. NO …………………… YES ……………………. YES
MODE 2 …….. NO ……………………. NO …………………….. YES
MODE 3 …….. YES …………………. YES ……………………. YES
MODE 4 …….. YES ………………….. NO …………………….. YES
MODE 5 …….. YES ………………… YES ……………………… NO
MODE 6 …….. YES …………………. NO ……………………… NO

In modes 1 and 2, the indicator erases truck ID numbers and tare weights from memory after the transaction. In modes 3–6, the truck ID and weigh-in weight values are saved after the weigh-out ticket has been processed.

The general weigh-in procedure is as follows:
1. The empty truck moves onto the scale for weigh-in.
2. Press the Weigh In softkey.
3. A prompt is shown to enter the truck ID (up to eight alphanumeric characters). Enter the ID, then press the Enter key.
4. Indicator generates the weigh-in ticket:
5. Truck leaves the scale.

The general weigh-out procedure is as follows:
1. The loaded truck moves onto the scale for weigh-out.
2. If truck ID is known, press the Weigh Out softkey, enter the ID, and press the Enter key.
If ID is not known, press the Truck Regs softkey to view list of stored IDs. Scroll to the correct truck ID, note the ID number, then press the Cancel softkey to return to the weight display. From the weight display, press Weigh Out, key in the ID, then press the Enter key.
3. Indicator generates the weigh-out ticket. In modes 1 and 2, the ID is deleted once the weigh-out ticket is processed.

Single-Transaction Tare Weights and IDs
One-time transactions are supported in all modes that can be configured to use stored IDs (modes 3–6). This function allows one-time weighing of trucks without adding the truck ID and weigh-in weight to the permanent truck register. To use this function, press the Weigh In or Weigh Out softkey, then enter a truck ID containing a decimal point. IDs entered with a decimal point as part of the ID are erased from the truck register when the transaction is complete.

Now to the real point of the article! With some additional programming, the standard out of the box 720i weight controller can deliver a lot more for your business. With the Truck Storage “Advanced Mode” you can run reports based on several factors such as:

Report from beginning date to ending date specified by the operator. (DDMMYYY)
Report by material, customer or source

Report of selected date entered by operator, can be all transactions or by a selected shift (1, 2 or 3)

All transactions in the database or pending transactions only

List of stored items by material, customer or source Continue reading

Solid State Relay Versus Mechanical Relay

The argument about which is better, solid-state relays (SSRs) or electromechanical relays (EMRs), has raged on for many years. The answer is actually neither, as each relay type has positive and negative aspects. But if you factor in specific application requirements, clear winners emerge.

Actually, SSRs aren’t relays at all, but rather electronic circuits. The control inputs are connected internally to an LED, which shines across an air gap to light sensors. The light sensor is connected to the transistors which open or close, supplying the relay’s load with power. When a transistor is closed, current can flow freely through the relay, causing the load and power supply to be connected. When a transistor is open, almost all current is blocked, causing the load to become disconnected from the power supply. The pairing of an LED with light sensors is called an opto-coupler, and is a common technique to link two parts of a circuit without a direct electrical connection.

Mechanical relays use an electromagnetic coil to open or close the circuit. When current runs through the input and energizes the coil, it creates a small magnetic field which either pulls the arm of the switch away from the other contact of the switch, or pushes it down to close the switch depending on the how the switch is made. A relay also serves as an isolator, because the control (input) and load (output) ends of the relay are not electrically connected. This allows you to protect the device you’re using to control the relay from power surges in your application.

doran 2200 digital weight indicator with relays

Ok then, when should you use each type?

Whether to use an EMR or SSR depends on a number of factors such as the application’s environment, electrical requirements, and cost or budget.

Use SSR for:
• Applications requiring high speed and frequent switching operations.
• Applications in high vibration environments.
• Application where the relay has to be located near sensitive automation components, such as PLC’s, HMIs, and temperature controllers.
• Applications in dusty or humid environments.
• Applications in hazardous locations (presence of fumes or gases)

Use EMR for:
• Applications requiring a wide output range from the relay.
• Applications using motors & transformers requiring high starting amps.
• Applications where the initial installation budget is very limited.
• Applications prone to current surges and voltage spikes.

EMR or SSR… we have choices for you. Our Doran Scale lineup of products offers both types of relays in the Internal Relay option (Part# EXOPT106) and the External Relay Option (Part# EXOPT107).

Do I Have to Send My 190 STORM Indicator in to the Factory for an Option Install?

As we’ve mentioned in the past, the Cardinal 190 weight indicator is a very popular digital weight indicator. Most customers like it because it is washdown safe and because of the easy to read display that can change colors based on your tolerance settings that you can program into the unit. This makes it a great scale readout for checkweighing. One question that customers sometimes ask relates to optional features and do you need to send the unit in to the factory for installation?

As of the time of this write up, there is only one option that needs to be installed at the factory, and that is for the analog output (190-DAC). This is because the DAC option requires a certain software in the 190 to work. Any of the other connectivity options for the 190 (i.e. battery pack, Ethernet, USB, Wifi, RS232) do not require special programming and can be installed in an existing 190 in the field. Please contact us if you are interested in adding one of these Cardinal 190 indicators to your list of weighing equipment.

Avery Weigh-Tronix ZM305 Scale Indicator FAQ

We put together a top ten list of frequently asked questions on the Avery Weigh Tronix 305 and 305 GTN Inbound-Outbound Indicators. The ZM305 Standard weight indicator is ideal for floor scales, batching, vessels and for in motion conveyors. Meanwhile, the ZM305 GTN Inbound-Outbound model is ideal for use with Truck Scales and Weighbridges and offers users the ability to store Gross, Tare and Net weights against up to 1000 container/vehicle IDs, providing inbound/outbound weighing. This rugged indicator features a unique Harmonizer filtering system which corrects for environmental noise and vibration which commonly occur in these applications. Let’s take a look at the list below.

10.  The 305 series is comprised of 2 different products, what are they?
The first choice is the ZM305 Standard stainless steel IP69K desktop with multiple built-in weighing applications with IBN display. The second choice is the ZM305 GTN Inbound-Outbound stainless steel IP69K with IBN display (Great for truck scales)

9. What is an IBN display?
This display technology provides tremendous contrast between its illuminated digits and surrounding background. It is used within the automotive industry to improve viewing in both bright and dimly lit environments.

8. What power source is required?
These indicators can operate on 90-264 VAC (110-240 VAC nominal), 50 or 60 Hz, 12 to 36 VDC or from the optional external battery pack ZM-BAT.

7. How long will the optional external battery pack power the scale?
The external optional battery pack ZM-BAT utilizes (4) D cell batteries. Fresh batteries will maintain operation of a single weight sensor system for six hours, or a four weight sensor system for four hours, and one hour with systems with eight weight sensors. The ZQ-BAT option with auto shut-off has selectable sleep mode choices in the Supervisor menu which will extend battery life if enabled.

6. Is the IP69K stainless steel a standard feature and what exactly is IP69K?
The ZM305 is enclosed in a stainless steel assembly with a IP69K certified rating. IP69K is a worldwide recognized standard which defines ingress protection of the enclosure. The ZM305 indicators are certified by a third party to meet this standard. Tip: Do not be misled by brands that claim their products are designed or equal to IP69K. Continue reading

Satellite Unattended Weighing Kiosk For Truck Scales

Have you ever wondered if it was possible to have a truck scale without anyone actually manning the scale? If so, take a look at the Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Made in the USA Satellite series unattended weighing kiosks. These provide the ultimate experience in unmanned truck scale efficiency and streamlined data integration. The lockable, weather-proof enclosure features an articulating arm to retract the kiosk away from truck traffic when its not in use. Select a Satellite model with the features you need including a high-speed thermal cutbar tape printer, proximity badge reader (AWID and HID), rainhood/sun deflector, and 240 x 64 pixel blue backlit LCD or 640 x 480 pixel backlit color touch screen LCD. The weatherproof QWERTY keyboard with navigation arrow keys and main soft keys provides driver input prompting controls.

Articulating Arm Allows Kiosk to be Retracted
Data Integration with WinVRS Available
Easy to Refill Paper Rolls
High-Speed Thermal Cutbar Printer
Internal Heater with Thermostat in Printer
Cabinet Kiosk May be Pole or Wall-Mounted
Lockable Outdoor-Grade Enclosure
Main Soft Keys Provide Driver Input
Prompting Controls Reduces Risk Associated with Drivers Walking Across Platforms USA-Made Weatherproof QWERTY Keyboard and Navigation Arrow Keys