Digital Scales For WinSPC Real-Time Statistical Process Control Software

Today more and more customers want to not only measure the weight of their products, but they also want to capture that information and send it to their laptop computer for data collection and further analysis. There are several ways to do this, and various software programs to help accomplish this as well. We offer various communication types like USB and ethernet and we offer some of the software as well, such as Doran Excelerator.

But today we wanted to mention the WinSPC software. Quite a few customers over the years have been interested in having their digital scales be able to connect to this real time statistical process control software.

WinSPC basically allows companies to compete in today’s worldwide economy since many manufacturers must constantly discover new and innovative ways to cut costs while consistently delivering the highest quality products for their customers. Now it’s important to note up front that we don’t sell WinSPC. The product does seem to be a really nice software though.

WinSPC provides a proven, effective way for manufacturers to quickly improve quality, reduce variation, monitor production or process changes, increase profitability and more. Best of all, WinSPC runs in real-time, collecting data to deliver real meaningful process information directly to operators or to quality engineers, supervisors, and management. WinSPC is a very popular real-time process control tool of choice for manufacturers that need a top of the line solution because WinSPC provides real time SPC capability than quality modules or other process control software products.

A key requirement of most continuous improvement, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma programs is the ability to access timely manufacturing data. WinSPC’s data collection software enable manufacturers to quickly obtain product and process data from nearly any shop floor source, including: serial devices, text files, machines, gauges, databases, and other manufacturing systems. WinSPC’s data collection features offer the fastest, easiest way for quality engineers to quickly gather manual input, connect to devices, and capture data from other manufacturing sources.

The reason we’re mentioning all of this is that if you’re currently using WinSPC (or you’re thinking of purchasing it) and you need to add some digital scales to your company, give us a call at (919) 776-7737.

Our outstanding selection of Doran Scales can be setup to communicate effortlessly with the WinSPC software. Doran Scales offers RS-232 serial, usb, and ethernet connectivity. Many of these scales are NTEP legal for trade and many of the scales are available in stainless steel washdown capability if needed.

With Doran’s Excel Series Indicators line comes an array of “Value Added Standard Features and Options” for a wide variety of applications. In the scale industry, the RS232 Serial Port has been used for communications between scales, computers, or printers since the introduction of the personal computer. In 2002, PC manufacturers agreed to obsolete Serial Ports over time and replace them with USB communication ports.

Doran 2200CW stainless steel checkweigher

Therefore, today’s computers are not always equipped with an RS-232 port, which makes the use of USB absolutely necessary. There are several benefits to using USB communications over RS232 Serial Ports. These include ease of use, reliability, flexibility, and compatibility.

Virtually every company today has an Ethernet network to distribute email, provide Internet access, share printers, and run enterprise wide software. Customers both large and small can leverage their existing Ethernet and PC hardware infrastructure and extend it to the factory floor. The merging of the administrative, control level, and device level networks makes for a less expensive and more connected data network. The result is an efficient end-to-end flow of data from the plant floor to the front office network, where it can be used to better manage operations.

Adding scales to an existing Ethernet network will not adversely affect the network speeds for existing devices. The speed of 10/100Base-T Ethernet networks that provide up to 100 Mbps communication bandwidth clearly eclipses the requirements for scale communications. A typical scale data string only requires about 200 bits, a tiny fraction of the available bandwidth for Ethernet.

As an example of the speed of Doran’s Ethernet option; The Excelerator Data collection software can monitor up to 20 scales with continuous print into one spreadsheet workbook in real time, while only utilizing 0.004% of the total network’s Ethernet bandwidth. Compare this to loading Google on Internet Explorer, which requires quite a bit more network bandwidth! Utilizing the existing Ethernet network without affecting existing devices makes Doran’s Ethernet communications option extremely cost effective.

The point of this article is to simply let you know that if you currently use WinSPC, or are considering purchasing the software, please keep us in mind when it comes to purchasing new digital scales that can connect to WinSPC software. You can reach our sales team at (919) 776-7737 or fill out our RFQ on the website.

Benefits of Cardinal Digital Truck Scales

Cardinal Armor series Smartcell digital truck scales have several distinct benefits to you, the customer. First there is the heavy duty weighbridge design the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale uses. For example, the steel deck has (12) 12 inch eye beams across the scale but most important is there’s no moving parts under the scale.

ADVANTAGES OF A DIGITAL TRUCK SCALE

With a traditional truck scale, when it comes to debris build-up under the scale, that you typically see in landfills, quarries, sand and gravel businesses; all of that debris can cause problems under the scale and cause binding. Then you will be forced to have folks out there power washing the truck scale, trying to get the scale to work properly because safe linkage systems or load cells that are mounted to piers; the debris impedes on that critical weighing process.

This can often lead to down time for cleaning and can also lead to your scale being rejected when being tested by the State weights and measures inspector.

Another key element of the Cardinal Armor digital truck scale is simple connections which can also lead to limited downtime. Most important there is no power running to the scale other than the home run cable, that’s very important. Do you know what lightning, rain, and snow can do over time to the junction boxes of a traditional truck scale? There’s over a hundred and eight connection points in many standard analog truck scales.

digital truck scales

But, with the armor digital system, there’s ten. There’s five wires that plug into the terminal connector to go to the first load cell and there’s five that you simply wire into the weight indicator in fact Cardinal chooses 225 and the 825 as indicators of choice but most important for you; you want limited downtime for the life of the truck scale. Continue reading

How Can I Send Weight Data From My Scale To My Computer?

At Central Carolina Scale we focus on scales and weighing equipment, first and foremost. That’s what we’ve always done. We are constantly working and training to be the best and most knowledgeable scale company that we can be. Now most of that training and on the job training focuses on digital weighing indicators, load cells, scales,  etc… We send scale weight information to various devices such as remote displays.

Customers have always wanted to send weight data from the scale to the computer since personal computers and laptops became prevalent.

send scale weight to computer

So when it comes to sending your scale weight data from the actual digital weighing scale to the computer, how do you accomplish this?

It actually might be easier than you think and it might even be something that you accomplish on your own using our scale equipment and a readily available accessory.

Please note, if you are operating a legal for trade weighing scenario, then you will need to make sure that any software or method that you utilize is legal to use. So for example if you are operating a truck scale and you are looking to send truck weights to your computer, then you will most likely need to utilize a software like Cardinal WinVRS or Rice Lake onTrak as examples.

If you are using a Doran Scales indicator, they have made some great software available for their products. The Doran Excelerator is probably the most basic software that is offered by Doran. It allows weight data to be taken from the scale readout and placed into Microsoft Excel. Doran also has more advanced software packages available.

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing also offers a USB option for some of their weight indicators which makes sending weight data from the scale controller to a USB thumb drive very simple. You can then take the USB stick out of the indicator, load it into your PC and see the weight data on your computer screen.

If you’re using a digital counting scale like the Counterpart for example, Rice Lake has the WeighVault computer software. This is a comprehensive software package that stores and manages data on your PC. With Counterpart you can create custom reports for inventory, threshold, location and more. It is designed for operators with minimal computer experience and managers who require quick and accurate information. Scales can be added or moved on-the-fly without interrupting other scales operating on the network.

Likewise the WeighVault is also available for the CW90 checkweigher. In this case, WeighVault allows CW-90/90X users to add, edit, and access IDs over a network connection. WeighVault surpasses the CW-90/90X’s 50 ID limitation and eliminates front-panel entry of ID parameters. It also collects data as transactions occur, and provides detailed transaction and productivity reports which can be exported to Excel, Word, or PDF.

Now we have talked about all the software above at some point before. But I wanted to also mention a couple of additional choices for end users to consider.

TalTech WinWedge Serial Device Data Collection for serial devices, including meters, balances, scales or any RS232 instrument. WinWedge captures data directly to Excel, Access or any Windows application or web page. It can even send commands out a COM port so you can control your device through hot keys, buttons, or DDE.

WinWedge easily collects data from balances, gauges, meters, sensors, micrometers, barcode scanners, GPS, PLCs, analyzers and other measuring devices and laboratory instruments. It can send the data directly into any Windows program, including Excel spreadsheets, Access databases, and more.

WinWedge is designed to be highly flexible and can easily parse, filter and format your device data to fit your project’s requirements. It can also transmit prompts or commands through the serial port to control your instruments. Winwedge comes in both Professional and Standard versions.

 Setup is as Easy as ONE, TWO, THREE

1. Select your device’s parameters.

Connect your device to your PC’s serial or USB port (installing any necessary drivers) and use the WinWedge interface to select your device’s communications settings, such as the COM port, baud rate, parity, data bits, and stop bits.

2. Define the data structure.

Intuitive, walk-through menus allow you to tailor the data to your needs by splitting the record into multiple fields, filter out certain characters, or format the data to meet your requirements. You can also easily define hot keys and buttons to send serial commands to your device or perform other tasks.

3. Select the mode and activate

Select from either Keystrokes Mode, DDE Server Mode, or Log to Disk, specify the target application or file, and activate WinWedge! Watch as the data from your device “pops” into the Windows application you selected. You can even input the device data directly to a chart or use Excel’s built-in functions to perform real-time analysis.

MicroRidge designs and manufactures a broad range of wired and wireless measurement collection solutions, including WedgeLink hardware and software keyboard wedges. Measurement collection is what they specialize in. They don’t manufacture gauges but they support gauges from a wide variety of manufacturers. The products are made in the USA and support the broadest range of digital & RS-232 gauges, digital indicators, scales, etc….. One nice feature is they provide unlimited and knowledgeable technical support at no charge on all of the products that they manufacture, particularly the keyboard wedge and software keyboard wedge.

What is a Keyboard Wedge?
A keyboard wedge is used when you are trying to get data from some type of measuring device into applications that cannot accept data from a serial port. A software keyboard wedge reads data from a serial port and passes this data to a PC application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is entered via the keyboard. A hardware wedge reads data from digital gauges or RS-232 devices and sends the data to the PC via a keyboard or USB port. The data sent by the hardware wedge looks like keyboard data to the current application. The more common applications that are used with keyboard wedges are Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, and other database types of applications.

Software and hardware keyboard wedges are used extensively in data acquisition applications that include statistical programs, spreadsheets, barcode, LIMS, etc. MicroRidge keyboard wedges can accept input data from any RS-232 serial device. The data is then passed to a Windows application in such a manner that the application thinks the data is actually coming from the keyboard.

About Software Keyboard Wedges
The advantage of a software wedge is that it provides much more flexibility in the formatting of data for presentation to the application and control of the target where the data is sent. In addition to transferring the information to the application, the WedgeLink software keyboard wedge can also simultaneously send the information to a disk file. The disadvantage of a software wedge is that your software wedge settings can be changed by your users.

About Hardware Keyboard Wedges
It is not uncommon in a production type environment that a company will insist upon using a hardware wedge rather than a software wedge. An advantage of a hardware wedge is that it is simpler to use because it is more like a plug ‘n play device. In most cases, just plug it in and you are ready to go.

Hopefully this months article will provide you with some resources and ideas when it comes to sending weight information from your laboratory balance to your laptop computer (or whatever your particular needs are). As you can see, there are several good choices available and several choices that will hopefully work for both your budget and your particular requirements. In some cases, you may very well be able to send data from your scale to your computer; and set it up all by yourself with the help of a wedge software.

For more information and assistance for your particular situation, contact our sales department by calling (919) 776-7737 or visiting our website and clicking the Request a Quote button.

Weighing Solutions for New SOLAS Requirements

Starting July 1, 2016 the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) Treaty will require all ISO containers to have a verifiable gross mass entered into the ship’s manifest prior to loading. This international treaty amendment comes in the wake of several at-sea disasters resulting from overweight and improperly balanced containers; impacting the loading of all containers at all ports world-wide, container shippers are ultimately responsible for verifying and providing the gross mass number.

We have a wide variety of scale equipment from Rice Lake Weighing Systems to help you with compliance, offering several turnkey solutions that are straightforward and worry-free. The industry preferred and recommended method for verifying ISO containers mass is to weigh the entire container, once sealed, to provide a total verified mass, with the added benefit of relevant center of gravity and container balance data. Rice Lake offers several products that make this possible, including:

  • Twist lock sensors for crane spreaders and mobile equipment attachments
  • Load pin and load sensor solutions integrated into overhead cranes
  • Below-the-hook crane scale and tension link solutions
  • Forklift scales
  • Truck scales and rail scales
  • And much more

These products can integrate into existing port handling equipment and management systems, providing minimum interruption to operations and seamless merging of data.

Starting July 1, 2016, unverified containers cannot be legally loaded. Failure to comply will result in fines and penalties throughout the logistics chain as well as costly delays and interruptions. Don’t let this happen to you – contact us today to discuss options to ensure compliance with this new treaty amendment.

Digital Scale with Wireless Display

Technology can be a wonderful thing. The TranSend wireless load cell interface is one of the items customers are starting to utilize more frequently to eliminate cables and wires and costly repairs. From the initial weighment on the scale to the final numeric value on the indicator, efficient communication is key to the success of the entire operation. Whether it’s overhead, livestock, tank, or heavy capacity weighing, once your traditional conduit is damaged or needs to be replaced, communication is halted and so is your operation. TranSend not only solves issues resulting from traditional conduit, it also exceeds communication application expectations.
wireless load cell interface for digital scale

 Although dolphins are not considered an endangered species, marine mammal conservation efforts and research centers like Dolphins Plus aim to ensure these intelligent creatures are protected from the growing threat of natural and human endangerment. Together with the MSI-8000HD indicator and TranSend, a wireless load cell interface, the Dolphins Plus staff are able to easily monitor the weight of their residents and avoid perils common to other equipment in this corrosive environment.

Diet and weight management is another large part of Dolphins Plus’ research and observation efforts. A full staff of veterinarians with the highly skilled trainers are able to study the dolphins’ behavior and weight fluctuations to key-in on any health issues. Even with a dolphin’s extraordinary communication skills, the number on the scale can paint a better picture of the dolphin’s wellbeing. A typical adult bottlenose dolphin weighs between 330 and 445 pounds, eating five to eight times a day with a diet consisting of restaurant quality, Grade A herring, capelin, sardine and a variety of smelt. If the dolphins are overfed and inactive, they become lethargic, uncooperative and potentially aggressive. On the other hand, if they are losing weight, it could signify a health issue. A reliable scale system is critical while trainers relay weight information to the veterinarian department.

Once a week, a floor scale with TranSend attached is lowered into the lagoon where trainers prompt each dolphin, one-by-one, to slide with ease onto the platform. Another trainer stands to the side of the lagoon with the MSI-8000HD, recording the weight that is then logged into a national marine mammal database. The dolphins are signaled back into the lagoon and the process repeats with other residents. Because of the salt water, the staff at Dolphins Plus needed equipment that could withstand long periods of time in the water as well as repeated exposure to the elements.

The milled anodized aluminum, IP68-rated, full waterproof construction of the MSI-8000HD made it especially appealing to the salt water environment at Dolphins Plus. TranSend is a wireless load cell interface that communicates directly with the MSI-8000HD, eliminating the need for a homerun cable. With wireless communication and robust equipment that is less likely to be damaged, Dolphins Plus has not only saved money in repairs and service, but also saved time with equipment setup and tear down. Now, trainers and dolphins alike are able to spend more time at work and at play.

Continue reading

FC6300 Formula Control Scale Video Overview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Applications for Peak Hold Feature In Digital Scales

In today’s entry we would like to discuss the peak hold function. It’s a popular topic since we are usually asked about this capability at least every week or so. In these examples we will focus primarily on the Doran Scale product line. The Excel Series 2200, 2200CW, 4300, 7000XL, 7400, and 8000XL scales from Doran represent a scale line that you can rely on to fill a wide variety of weighing applications. From a battery powered 2200CW checkweigh scale for a food manufacturer, to an 8000XL series scale with a wireless Ethernet option for a seafood company, the flexibility of the Excel Series scales can help you achieve accurate results time after time. The Peak Hold feature is another example of how the Excel Series from Doran provides value added weighing solutions.

Doran 2200CW stainless steel checkweigher

Customers Using Peak Hold 
Many industries use Peak Hold in their quality control process. Peak Hold is when weight or force is applied to determine the highest amount of force a product can withstand. Maintaining a consistent specification in production results in cost savings, increased safety, and minimizes exposure to product liability litigation. Peak Hold allows for maximum sensitivity and accurate weight or force readings too quick for the eye to see and because it is digitally held, a displayed peak value will not decay or drift. Continue reading

Fitness Equipment Company Gives Doran Scales a Workout

Recently, a fitness equipment manufacturer was weighing a kit of parts and their current weighing system was still allowing an unacceptable quantity of quality control problems. The ideal product for the fitness company was a Doran 2200cw scale. Below is a summary of what was installed at their facility.

A system was proposed that would automate and simplify the process and retain the accumulated weight through the process of weighing several components of a parts kit. By connecting three Doran 2200CW over under accept check weigh scales together and using foot switches to activate certain push buttons, Doran was able to construct a system that allowed the employees to accurately weigh the kit of parts even though the weighing process took place across three workstations – all without pushing buttons on the scale front panel.

2200CW check weigh scaleThree 2200CW check weigh scales were set up using RS-232 cables so that scale number one sent weight data to scale two, and scale two sent weight data to scale three. The first 2200CW check weigher was set up for an over value of 1.2 lb and an under value of 0.7 lb. The employee weighs the items at the first scale and then presses the PRINT foot switch on the first scale. That weight is sent to the second 2200CW and would be automatically programmed as the tare value in the second scale.

The second 2200CW scale is set up with a target weight of 2.2 lb. A component is added to the kit of parts and would be weighed on the second scale and the GROSS/NET foot switch would be pressed to change it to gross mode. The PRINT foot switch is pressed and the total weight (including the tare value sent from scale one) is transmitted to scale three.

On the third and final 2200CW scale, another part is added to the kit. The GROSS/NET foot switch is pressed, to put the scale into gross mode. The weight of all the parts is shown on the display of scale three.

This is just one example of what is possible with Doran scales and the huge choice of available options. If you have a unique weighing application, contact us at Central Carolina Scale and we can get a Doran scale system quoted for you that will save you money and increase your efficiency.

WinVRS Vehicle Weight Recording System


Cardinal Scale’s powerful WinVRS has been a popular vehicle recording system for truck scale weighing applications many years, allowing high-traffic applications fast, accurate collection of data on vehicles, accounts, orders, and materials. The literature for this product has recently been updated.

Cardinal’s powerful WinVRS software keeps traffic moving over your scale by providing fast, accurate collection of data on vehicles, accounts, orders, and materials. Unique, user-defined fields allow you to easily configure the system to meet your needs. A wide range of reports are available to provide period histories, material totals, customer information and more. WinVRS’s convenient file utilities menu allows data to be exported to other applications such as accounting and materials control. NTEP legal-for-trade certified. WinVRS-TOUCH offers all the same great features as WinVRS, but comes with larger fonts and buttons for convenient touchscreen navigation. When a user enters into any WinVRS window with input prompts, an on-screen keyboard appears.

With 9 models of WinVRS to select from, customers oftentimes have questions about which system is right for their particular application. To help explain in an easy-to-use format, we have created the WinVRS Models Comparison Guide. The chart helps specify the differences with each particular model explaining exactly which features are included with which models and listing all of the extensive features that are offered with WinVRS.

The literature has also been updated and modernized to offer you the latest information and graphics to help understand all the features of this powerful system. Programmed completely in-house by Cardinal software programmers, WinVRS is all-Cardinal and all-USA-made. WinVRS has been time-tested and a popular add-on to Cardinal truck scale orders for many years!

CL5000 Label Printing Scale Gets Ethernet Card Upgrade

CL5000 label printing scale

CAS CL5000 Label     Printing Scale

CAS Corporation just announced effective immediately, both the CAS Wireless (PCL1) & Wired (PCL2) Ethernet Cards for the CL5000 label printing scale are being replaced by new and improved cards.

New CL5000 Wireless Ethernet Card
TCP/IP 802.11b/g (54Mbps)
CAS Part #: PCLF

The new style Wireless Ethernet Kit is designed as an improvement to the original style with increased capabilities. Protect your data with WEP64, WEP128, WPA, or WPA2 encryption. The design of the new style kit is different than the original card type. The installation of this kit requires disassembly of the CL5000 to allow proper installation.

New CL5000 Wired Ethernet Card
TCP/IP 100 Base T (10/100Mbps)
CAS Part #: PCLD

The new style Wired Ethernet Kit is designed as an improvement to the original style with increased capabilities. The design of the new style kit is different than the original card type. The installation of this kit requires disassembly of the CL5000 to allow proper installation.

Although it is not impossible to add these kits in the field, it is recommended that if either of these kits are to be used, the CL5000 should be ordered from CAS with the Wireless Ethernet Kit (#PCLF) or Wired Ethernet Kit (#PCLD) installed. The new kits require an upgrade to the firmware of the CL5000.

The CL5000 Label Printing Scale has the functions you need at an affordable price. Includes CL-Works software package. Use in supermarkets, specialty stores, deli’s and more.