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.”.

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

Thermal expansion or deflection under load causing binding or side load

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.

Load Cell Repair Service

We can offer you load cell repair services with fast turnaround times and affordable pricing. Our load cell repairs come with a one year warranty and flat rate pricing to help make the repair process easy and worry free.

Our repair service has experience repairing all types of load cells and even offers a load cell Exchange Program. Calibration work and repairs are traceable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

truck scale load cell repair

We offer no hassle load cell repairs with:

  • Fast Turnaround Times
  • Low Repair Rates
  • Long Repair Service Warranties
  • High Temperature Option Available!

Fill out our Request for Quote button on the website and include the manufacturer, model number, capacity, etc… and we can get an estimated quote sent to you.

Load Cell Kit For Weighing Tanks and Vessels

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing has a wide variety of Made in America load cell kits which allow you transform almost any vessel or platform into an integrated weighing system. A few simple things need to be considered when choosing the right system. We’ll also discuss the proper installation and setup methods to use.

Whether utilizing beam, tension, or compression cells in either analog or hydraulic configurations, Cardinal load cell kits give you flexible options to help solve many weighing applications.

To determine the total capacity of the system, you first need to know the total weight of the structure that the load cell stands will be supporting (dead load).

Add the anticipated maximum system live load to the actual dead load, and that total will be the necessary minimum system capacity. Normally, you want to divide this total by the number of load cells and then go up to the next largest size available load cell.

For example, let’s say a tank has an empty weight of 22,000 lb and an anticipated live load of 100,000 lb for a total combined load of 122,000 lb. Using four load cell stands, each cell will be seeing 30,500 pounds of anticipated weight. We would normally use a 50,000 pound load cell in this application. Since many times these systems are under a continual long-term load it is not uncommon for load cells to be almost twice the necessary capacity in order to help reduce signal creep.

load cell kit for weighing tanks

Installation of load cell kits begin by determining if the floor (in the case of stand assemblies) or the building structure (for tension systems) is strong enough to bear the anticipated load. If not, piers or footings may be needed or additional support structures added. For all overhead suspension type systems, safety chains must be provided locally to bear any anticipated load due to component failure.

After the system is assembled, it is necessary to make sure that all of the load cells are taking equal dead load to the extent that it is possible. After the millivolt readings are as close as possible, secure the load cell stand assembles. Grouting the stands in place is the preferred method for long-term accuracy.

Most Cardinal Scale load cell stand kits come with checking designed into the stand itself. Depending on the device, some applications may require additional checking. Mixers and blenders are examples of devices that may need additional checking. Also, very tall tanks or hoppers may require additional restraints due to wind load on the structure.

Many systems using load cell kits require the connection of electrical supply or control wiring, as well as pipes and supply augers. Discharge chutes or pipes are used to get material out of the tank or hopper. It is very important to understand that anything connected to the scale structure must be installed with flexible couplings so that no path is present for force to be shunted off to ground during the weighing process. The more items that are connected to the structure the harder it is to get accurate weights.

For more information, contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale (919) 776-7737

Common Issues Found on Tanks with Load Cells For Weighing

It’s fairly common to see tanks used in various industries that have load cells or weigh bars underneath, connected to a digital weight indicator. This is a great way to keep track of how much product is inside the tank. These systems generally work very well but every now and then you will find a system that has some errors. Below is a list of problem areas to consider when it comes to tanks and hoppers that have load cells. The information applies to tanks and hoppers currently in operation and also if you’re thinking of putting load cells under one of your existing tanks the information below could help you make a better decision as well.

Probably the number one issue we see is binding. It could be due to something like rigid piping or some kind of attachment that has been added or modified since the scale was put into service. Whatever the case may be, the tank needs to be free and able to get an accurate and consistent weight. We typically see either three or four module systems and that is usually what we recommend.

What type of load cell should you choose? Talk with your scale company to determine what load cell will work the best. The single-ended shear beam cell is designed for low-profile scale and process applications. The shear-beam cell strain gauge cavity contains a thin metal diaphragm onto which the strain gauges are mounted. Typical shear beam capacities range from 1,000 lbs through 20,000 lbs, although some manufacturers offer shear beams up to 40,000 lbs. One end of the shear-beam contains the mounting holes while the opposite end is where the cell is loaded. The cell should be mounted on a flat, smooth surface with high strength hardened bolts. The larger shear beam cells have more than two mounting holes to accommodate extra bolts and keep the hardware from stretching under stress load. The double ended shear beam characteristics are similar to those of the single-ended shear beam. The most common bridge resistance for this load cell is 700 ohm. It is most commonly used in truck scales and tank and hopper applications. Instead of being secured at one end with the load applied to the other end as in the single-ended shear beam, the double-ended shear beam is secured at both ends with the load applied to the center of the load cell. As in all shear beam designs the strain gauges are mounted on a thin web in the center of the cell’s machined cavity. S-Beam load cells derive their name from their shape which is the shape of the letter S. The S-beam is normally used in tension applications. However, there are S-beams available which are bidirectional. They are primarily used for mechanical-to-electronic scale conversions, platform scale and general purpose weighing applications. They vary in size from as low as 25 lbs to as high as 20,000 lbs. When mounting an S-beam, remember to include the side from which the cable extends is the dead portion of the system. Movement of the cable in the live part of the system can be a source of weighing errors.

Aluminum load cell elements are used primarily in single point, low capacity applications. The alloy of choice is 2023 because of its low creep and hysteresis characteristics. Aluminum load cells have relatively thick web sections compared to tool steel cells of comparable capacities. This is necessary to provide the proper amount of deflection in the element at capacity. Machining costs are usually lower on aluminum elements due to the softness of the material. Single point designs can be gauged for costs similar to those of bending beams. Load cells manufactured from tool steel elements are by far the most popular cells in use today. The cost to performance ratio is better for tool steel elements compared to either aluminum or stainless steel designs.  Stainless steel load cells are made from 17-4ph, which is the alloy having the best overall performance qualities of any of the stainless derivatives. Stainless steel cells are more expensive than tool steel load cells. They are sometimes fitted with hermetically sealed web cavities which makes them an ideal choice for corrosive, high moisture applications. Stainless steel load cells that are not hermetically sealed have little advantage over comparable cells constructed of tool steel, other than a higher resistance to corrosion.

Environmentally protected load cells are designed for “normal” environmental factors encountered in indoor or protected outdoor weighing applications. By far the most popular type, these load cells may employ strategies like potting, rubber booting, or redundant sealing to afford some protection from moisture infiltration. Potted load cells utilize one of several types of industrial potting materials. The liquid potting material fills the strain gauge cavity then gels, completely covering the strain gauge and wiring surfaces. While this may significantly diminish the chance of moisture contamination, it does not guarantee extended waterproof performance, nor does it withstand corrosive attack. A second method of protection uses an adhesive foam-backed plate. This protection affords some moisture and foreign object protection. In many cases, manufacturers will use a caulking material to seal the plate to decrease the potential for cavity contamination. A common approach among manufacturers to further decrease the entry of moisture to the strain gauge combines both a potted cavity and a foam-backed plate, in a process called redundant sealing. Yet another strain gauge cavity protection strategy is the rubber boot. Commonly employed with cantilever and bending beam models, the boot covers the cavity and is secured by clamps. While this provides easy access for repairs, the boot may crack if not lubricated regularly, allowing contaminants into the load cell cavity. Lubricating the rubber boot during routine inspections will contribute to the long-term durability of the load cell. Protecting the strain gauge cavity is just one consideration in protecting a load cell from contamination. Another susceptible area is the cable entry into the body of the load cell. Most environmentally protected load cells incorporate an “O” ring and cable compression fitting to seal the entry area. This design provides protection only in applications with minimal moisture. In high-moisture areas, it is safest to install all cabling in conduit, providing both a moisture barrier and mechanical protection. Although environmentally protected load cells keep out unwanted contaminants, they are not suited for high moisture, steam, or direct wash down applications. The only long-term strategy for these applications is to use true hermetically sealed load cells.

Hermetically sealed load cells offer the best protection available for the weighing market. Using advanced welding techniques and ultra-thin metal seals, these load cells handle the extremes of harsh chemical and washdown applications. What makes the seal unique is the process of laser-welding metal covers to protect the strain gauge and compensation chambers. The cavities are then injected with potting or, in the case of glass-to-metal seals, filled with a pressurized inert gas, providing a redundant seal. As a final assurance of the integrity of the seal, a leak test is conducted to reveal any microscopic flaws in the sealing weld. True hermetic protection addresses both the strain gauge cavity and cable entry area. The most advanced cable entry design employs a unique glass-to-metal bonding seal which makes the cable termination area impervious to moisture. Cable wires terminate at the point of connection to the load cell, where they are soldered to hermetically sealed pins that carry signals to the sealed strain gauge area through a glass-to-metal seal. Water or other contaminants cannot “wick up” into the load cell, since the cable ends at the entry point. This design allows for field-replaceable cable, since the connection is outside the load cell. Note, stainless steel load cells are not synonymous with hermetically sealed load cells. While environmentally-protected stainless steel load cells may be suitable for dry chemical corrosive environments, hermetically sealed stainless steel models are the appropriate choice for high-moisture or washdown applications.

It is vital to the performance of a weighing system to select load cells of the correct capacity. Here are some guidelines, all load cells selected must be of the same capacity. Estimate the vessel dead weight, including all piping, pumps, agitators, insulation and vessel heating fluids. Add the maximum live weight of product to be weighed to the dead weight. This is the gross weight of the vessel and contents. Divide the gross weight by the number of legs or support points. This is the nominal weight which will be carried by each load cell. Select a load cell with a capacity somewhat greater than the nominal weight. The following should be considered when determining how much greater the load cell capacity should be; is your dead weight accurate? Will the load be evenly distributed on all cells? Is the vessel fitted with an agitator or subjected to shock loading? Is it possible the vessel will be overfilled, exceeding your live weight value? Will the vessel be subjected to wind or seismic loading? A good rule of thumb is to select a load cell with a capacity 25-50% in excess of the calculated nominal load per cell. Once the load cell capacity has been determined, check that the live weight signal is adequate for the instrumentation selected.

weigh bar kit for tanks

If you’re designing your tank you will want to make sure that you provide an easy way for scale companies to hang test weights evenly all around the tank for testing and calibrating your system. Also, don’t forget to take safety into consideration. Our scale technicians are fairly agile but a little planning up front can make the tanks much easier to test and work on. If you’re in the planning stage, make sure you work with a scale company to ensure that you spec the right parts for your application. For example, we look at several factors such as the weight of the tank, number of legs, and the expected amount of product the tank will hold to determine what capacity of load cell or weigh bar to place underneath.

Finally, you need to think about the environmental conditions such as extreme temperatures, moisture, vibration, and corrosive substances. If any of these elements take place, adjustments such as digital filtering or different products such as hermetically sealed load cells may be recommended.

If you’re looking to place load cells under your tank or add load cells to your hopper, contact us at (919) 776-7737 and we can discuss the options that are available.

What Does The Arrow On A Load Cell Mean?

One question we are asked occasionally is what does the arrow on my load cells mean and what direction should it be pointing?

As you can imagine, correct load cell orientation is necessary for your scale to function properly. Most load cells have an arrow that tells you the direction of the load. When weight is applied to the scale, the load cell will deflect in the direction the arrow is pointing. When installed correctly, this deflection provides a positive output (based on the load cell color code) which is then interpreted as weight. If the load cell is installed incorrectly, you won’t get a positive weight reading on your scale.

Also, make sure you know your load cell’s color code. They can vary by manufacturer, but don’t worry we have a web application to alleviate any confusion. Just visit the link above and enter the load cell’s manufacturer and model to see the correct color code.

Strain Gauge Load Cell Designs From Cardinal Scale Manufacturing

cardinal scale strain gauge load cellEvery now and then we are asked if there are any Made in the USA strain gauge load cells available and the answer is yes, in fact we wrote about that not too long ago, you can click here to see that article. Today I wanted to look at several of the load cell designs that are available from Cardinal that distributors like Central Carolina Scale sell everyday. Of course, load cells convert force into an electrical signal and are a very important part of things like hanging scales, truck scales, floor scales, and many other medical or industrial weighing systems. The load cell sensor detects force and moves the strain gauge, which then measures the movement as an electrical signal that can be used to give power to the scale.

Located in Webb City Missouri, Cardinal Scale Mfg. is one of the largest load cell and strain gauge manufacturers in the U.S. with their own state-of-the-art load cell manufacturing facility. Cardinal features a wide variety of USA-made load cells for use with all weighing systems. From powerful aluminum alloy electronic load cells to durable stainless steel load cells, each model is available in a range of capacities. Continue reading

Zemic Load Cell Wiring and Part Numbers

At Central Carolina Scale, we have a wide range of standard load cells in stock. If you’re looking for custom load cells, we can get quotes on those, usually within one business day.  We also provide weighing assemblies used in tank weighing and batching systems and bulk weighing applications. With over 30,000 quality items available in stock, nobody offers faster, more reliable load cells for your applications. From small tension sensors to 1,000,000 lb capacity truck scale and tank weighing assemblies, we have solutions to fit any need. Our extensive inventory of equipment and accessories means you can get your replacement or new load cell quickly.

Zemic Load Cell WiringWe currently offer the lineup of Zemic load cells through one of our top suppliers Brecknell Scales. The lineup of Brecknell load cells and supporting products from Zemic are ideal for many weighing applications that you may encounter. The full range of Zemic load cells should compliment and support your service and original equipment requirements. Be sure to visit our site which includes all the Brecknell loadcell info you need. This will also show the load cell wiring color codes for each load cell as well. The types of load cells include S-beam, Single end beam, Double end beam, Single point, Canister, and accessories like load cell feet and summing boards. Many of the Brecknell load cells are interchangeable with the “brand name” load cells that you’re used to. So if your normal brand name load cell is out Continue reading

Is It Alright To Cut Load Cell Cable?

We recently were asked about cutting load cell cable since the cable on the customer’s load cell was too long for his particular application.  The standard line of thinking is that I should not cut load cell cable because it may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Are there any recommendations for altering load cell cable that might be different than cutting?

load cell cableActually there are several things you can do.  Many load cell manufacturers recommend NOT altering (shortening) the load cell cable length, and most manufacturers will not honor the warranty on altered products. However, for the majority of load cell installations, any output change resulting from cable length alteration is easily compensated for with a junction box with trimming capability. Excess cable should be coiled and secured within the junction box (if it will fit). If the excess cable will not fit inside the junction box, it will need to be coiled, and secured externally to the junction box with wire ties, or other suitable means. If the cables are routed in conduit, and excess cable will not fit within the junction box, then the only option may be to cut the cable(s) to length.

What about if the load cell cable is too short?  Well, we recommend avoiding splicing when possible; however, if you need to gain cable length, it is very important to use the correct splicing technique. Ensure the integrity of the cable is maintained, including voltage, current (signal) ratings, shielding, moisture resistance, and tensile strength. Our recommendation is to use a potted cable splicing kit when possible. If you need a reusable splice point, a sealed junction box may be used.  Hope this helps you understand shortening and lengthening load cell cable for specific applications.

Can I Buy An American Made Load Cell?

You know we get asked this question usually about once every three months so we figured that we’d throw together a quick write up on the blog to give you an answer to the question.

And that question is, can I buy a Made in the USA load cell?

The answer is……


The good people at Cardinal Scale in Webb City, Missouri still make load cells for a large portion of their product line at their factory in Missouri. So if Made in the USA quality is important to you, we suggest that you take a look at the Cardinal Scale product lineup.

Load cells convert force into an electrical signal and are an essential component of hanging scales, truck scales, railroad track scales, and many other medical and industrial weighing systems. The load cell sensor detects force and moves the strain gauge, which then measures the movement as an electrical signal that can be used to give power to the scale. Cardinal Scale is one of the largest load cell and strain gauge manufacturers in the U.S. with their own state-of-the-art facility. Cardinal features a wide variety of USA-made load cells for use with all weighing systems. From powerful aluminum alloy electronic load cells to durable stainless steel load cells, each model is available in a range of capacities. Cardinal also offers several hydraulic load cell models that provide accurate weighing in harsh conditions because they are water-proof and immune to lightning.

Artech Load CellsWe also have a wide variety of Made in the USA load cells from Artech Industries.  They are based in California and build just about every type of load cell that you can imagine in their Riverside, California load cell factory.  Artech Industries is a major supplier of strain gauge load cells / force transducers for a wide variety of industrial and OEM applications. They rely on proven engineering innovations, careful manufacturing and quality control procedures have built an enviable reputation and record of performance since 1985.

We know that buying Made in America weighing products is important to many of our customers and we appreciate your loyalty and share your enthusiasm for Made in the USA equipment. If this is important to you please let us know before we process a quote or before we provide service on your scales. The reason we say this is many times when we are asked to quote on scales or parts we often choose the best overall product (price/durability) and often that is an imported item. So, if Made in the USA is very important to you, let us know and we would be happy to quote you an American Made scale or load cell if we can.