Popular Truck Scale Accessories to Consider

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Truck Scale Accessories

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Truck Scale Calibration Overview

Since 1980, Central Carolina Scale has been providing outstanding weighing equipment and scale repair service for our customers. Our truck scale calibration and inspection service is what our customers depend on to keep their scales accurate and dependable year round.

Most customers choose to have their truck scales checked and calibrated at several predetermined points during the year. We can customize your service based on your needs and requirements. And, by choosing this method of periodic scheduled service; the customer benefits by receiving priority scheduling, reduced labor rates, and discounted parts.

Before our factory trained, state certified scale technicians hit the road, they perform all mandated DOT vehicle inspections. Safety has always been a top priority.

Once our scale technician reaches the job site, the technician will notify the customer. Then the technician blocks off the scale to keep trucks from entering during the inspection and adjustment period. Keep in mind, Central Carolina Scale works with our customers truck traffic to be as accommodating as possible.

truck scale technician

BUILDUP UNDER THE TRUCK SCALE

The next step in a truck scale inspection is to inspect all critical components. Depending on the scale, the technician checks for buildup of dirt, sand, mud and debris underneath the scale. Dirt buildup under the scale platform is often one of the top reasons for scale inaccuracy.

If the scale has bumper bolts, the technician will examine these and adjust if necessary. It’s also a good time to look at any other areas that may need to be addressed periodically such as junction boxes, grounding, rubber t-grip molding, load cell caps, pit cleanliness and more depending on the type of scale. The technician also checks cabling, structural steel, and concrete approach pads.

scale calibration test truck

Next, the scale technician will drive the fully loaded test truck across the scale and check the sections for consistency and accuracy. Weights are recorded and used to assist with adjusting.

certified weight cart

Next, the technician unloads all the certified test weights into a specialized weight cart. This cart is also certified by the state weights and measures department and is traceable to NIST. Then, the technician checks each section of the motor truck scale.

When we mention the word “section” we’re referring to an area of weighbridge which bears on two supporting platform points. Once the section testing of the motor truck scale has been completed, the scale can be adjusted and calibrated if needed.

scale test truck on platform

The technician can once again drive across the sections with the fully loaded test truck which includes the certified weights and certified weight cart. The section weights and the overall weights should be consistent and accurate. The calibration and inspection is now complete.

The technician loads his vehicle and reopens the scale for traffic. Once the technician has moved off the scale and the scale has reopened, the technician completes all the necessary paperwork. The inspection detail report shows both the condition of the scale and components, as well as the as found and as left test results.

Central Carolina Scale has the factory trained technicians, certified test weights, and certified test carts to accurately and thoroughly check your vehicle scales. Give us a call today (919) 776-7737 and we can work with you to customize a service plan that will improve your accuracy and limit downtime.

Impacts That Factor in the Price of a Truck Scale?

A couple of years ago we discussed the ever popular how much does a truck scale cost? Today, we answer a similar question. What factors impact the price of a truck scale?

When purchasing a large piece of equipment, such as a truck scale, it can be hard to look past the price tag. However, to ensure you are investing in quality equipment that will last your business a generation or more, it is important to understand the factors impacting total purchase price. Elements such as design, craftsmanship, components and foundation of a truck scale all impact the final purchase price.

Truck Scale Design

Although the weighbridge (the structural body of a truck scale) can have varying designs depending on the manufacturer, it performs the same basic function across all brands and models: weighing trucks. Manufacturers who use a wide flange I-beam weighbridge design often have a higher steel content in their truck scales than manufacturers who utilize bent plate or steel tubing designs.

The number and size of beams in a weighbridge can also impact steel content. Designs that place larger beams closer together offer more support for vehicles than designs with smaller beams placed further apart. The support from larger beams means the deck won’t bend as easily, so the truck scale will provide accurate weighments for a longer time.

To better understand the cost of the truck scale steel content, divide the cost of the scale by its shipping weight to get the price per pound of the scale. This can be used to compare the price per pound of similar scales from different manufacturers. You may find the scale with higher steel content actually costs less on a price-per-pound basis.

Value in Scale Quality

Quality craftsmanship also contributes to a truck scale’s integrity. Purchasing from a company that invests in engineering and manufacturing ensures that there is a highly skilled team behind each and every truck scale.

The components that make up a truck scale are just as important as the team behind it. Companies who take the time to source high-quality load cells, steel, cables and other components often have a higher quality product.

Truck Scale Installation

The installation of the truck scale will also impact the final price. Installation includes excavation, the cost to pour the concrete foundation, off-loading and positioning the scale, installing electronic components and performing the initial calibration of the scale.

The truck scale installation should be performed by professional scale technicians who have experience working with scales from the manufacturer you chose. This expert installation will ensure proper scale operation and reliable weighments over the life of the scale.

A truck scale is a significant investment, and design, quality and installation all impact the final price of a truck scale. Choosing a truck scale with a heavy-duty design, superior engineering and components backed by industry experts gives you a scale that will last for a generation or more.

For more information on purchasing a truck scale, please contact the Central Carolina Scale heavy capacity sales department by calling (919) 776-7737.

Top 35 Questions To Ask When Looking to Buy a Truck Scale

No two truck scale projects are exactly alike, so a great place to start is to provide an outline of what you would like to have installed at your facility. You might obtain this information from talking with colleagues, etc…

Then, ask lots of questions, and listen carefully to the answers. Sometimes things are pretty straightforward and other times…. not so much. Listen to your experienced scale sales person in order to fully understand the unique application requirements that usually exist when you are looking to install a certain truck scale in a certain location. We touched on the subject of truck scale prices a few months back.

steel deck above ground truck scale

The following list will help to ensure that you have a very good understanding of what is involved in choosing the right truck scale, along with all the site particulars.

Some “Site and Installation” considerations to look at when it comes to choosing a truck scale.

1. What is the soil’s bearing capacity?
2. Is there adequate drainage for excessive storm water and if applicable, flow of snow melting? (critical consideration, especially for scales installed in a pit foundation)
3. Are there any natural sub-surface obstructions to deal with such as bedrock, sink holes, boulders, high water tables?
4. Are there any man-made obstructions to consider such as gas lines, power lines, water lines, sewers and drains?
5. If applicable, what is the frost line?
6. Where will the scale house or unattended kiosk be located?
7. Have local authorities approved plans for the foundation and approaches (and ramps if above grade)?
8. How will vehicle speeds be controlled when entering and exiting the scale?
9. Are there any concerns with vehicles backing up onto public streets or highways during peak periods of scale usage?
10. Does there need to be a staging/parking area during peak scale usage periods?
11. Is there sufficient area for a bypass around the scale(s)?
12. What is the turning radius of the largest vehicles that will access the scale?
13. Are there any plans for overhead filling of vehicles while parked on the scale?
14. What if plant capacity increases and a single truck scale becomes an operational bottleneck?
15. Does the location offer enough room to expand with another scale?
16. How will you address the effects of heavy rainfalls or snowfalls?
17. Are there provisions to deal with downtime for scale maintenance or repair?

Below are some “Truck Scale” Product impacting considerations to look at.

1. Steel deck or concrete deck?
2. Platform length and width needed to accommodate vehicles that will use the scale? (go out and measure the trucks, just to be certain)
3. How many vehicles will be weighed per day, per month, per year?
4. Will they be weighed both empty and loaded?
5. Anticipated dual tandem axle (DTA) weights?
6. List of all vehicle types that will use the scale?
7. Are all axle loads legal for highway travel or are there some heavier axle loads such as found on some yard-only vehicles?
8. Will tag/pusher axles be lowered or raised when vehicles are crossing the scale?
9. Will the scale be used in both directions or one direction only?
10. How much scale under-clearance is required by local weights and measures?
11. If the scale is going to be above ground, are there requirements for a guide rail system that is attached to the platform?
12. Do you have involvement with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)?
13. If the scale is going into a pit foundation, how will the pit be accessed?
14. If manholes are required in the scale platform, are there specific locations where they need to be to line up with drains or sump pits?
15. Are there any corrosive chemicals that the scale will be exposed to?
16. Do you have any special paint requirements? (custom color or coating system with enhanced protection?)
17. Will the scale surface typically have gravel/sand/debris sitting on it or will it be kept reasonably clean?
18. How long do you expect the scale to last?

By answering these questions and listening carefully to your scale professional, you can gain a clear understanding as to what type of truck scale you need along with any features or upgrades that may be recommended.

Our experienced staff can provide some examples of do’s and don’ts from other projects along with many success stories. With any large vehicle scale purchase, you will want to factor in the other costs as well when comparing products. Things to consider include; lead time, freight costs, installation and calibration costs.

In addition to standard payment choices, we also have some lease programs available as well. Call (919) 776-7737 or fill out our Request a Quote form on our website.

Weighing Trucks at the Weigh Station

Let’s see how a truck scale weigh station generally operates. In many states all across the United States, Weigh Stations are an important part of truck size and weight enforcement efforts. They help protect DOT investments in road and bridge infrastructure by identifying overweight violators. State DOT’s typically own and maintain multiple weigh stations around your state and usually the State Patrol, or some other related state agency, is responsible for their operation.

In addition to catching trucks that are overweight.  Another purpose of weigh stations is to increase highway safety by identifying defective vehicles and unqualified drivers. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles are weighed at the various weigh stations each year. For many years, the standard weigh station consisted of a small structure on each side of the interstate. Beside each structure was usually a couple of large truck scales. Depending on the number of vehicles that travel that particular road, some weigh stations might have many more truck scales on each side of the road.

In today’s modern world, some weigh stations even utilize weigh-in motion technology in addition to the stationary deck scale. As a truck goes by, usually there will be a lighting system and that will tell the truck which direction to go and if it gives them a green light to go to the by-pass lane. If it gives them a different signal, then they need to approach the actual truck scale. Then at that time, they will drive over the scales.

Many weigh stations have locations on each side of the road, so they are able weigh trucks going in each direction. Law enforcement usually watches as the trucks come through and are usually looking to see if there’s any weigh violations. Then after that they are also looking at the equipment to make sure a truck is in compliance with proper names on the side of the doors, DOT numbers, annual inspections that have been done on the equipment as well and making sure that everything is working as it should, as they drive over the scale.

If law enforcement find any violations, they will interact with the truck driver and collect some information. Then, sometimes the truck is pulled to the side and an inspection is conducted. DMV officers are not only looking for weight, but they are also looking for vehicle violations; such as headlights, flat tires and so on. Inspectors also look at permits, making sure that they’re in compliance within the State. Officers also monitor watching the traffic as it’s coming up to the scale. As it’s coming up to the scale, if it starts backing up where it’s backing up out onto the roadway, they can shut the scale down so they are not causing any issues on the road itself.

When a truck actually drives on the scale it usually goes something like this. You enter the lane where the scale is located. Now you need to wait for the truck ahead of you to clear the scale. The truck ahead of you is okay to go as the sign indicates. Now the sign says, pull on to scale or perhaps you see a green light. Now you will slowly drive on to the scale and the system will automatically position the driver to stop at the correct location. The sign usually says, stop or displays a red dot. The truck stops and the weight of the truck is examined. If everything is good, the driver will be given the green light from the inspector and allowed to drive off.

truck scales for weigh station

Weigh stations help to make the roads safe for all users. Weigh stations help accomplish this by creating a level playing field holding all trucking companies accountable for the same vehicle and driver regulations. And these inspection results, in turn, help trucking companies improve safety and performance. States must remain committed to providing facilities and equipment that easily and efficiently identify violators of size and weight requirements. Preserving and maintaining a states infrastructure as well as providing a safe roadway and bridge system is important for every state.

And finally, it’s important that states commitment continues regarding data collection and technology as well as investment in important weigh scale system. As many state leaders have seen, weigh stations are an important part of the overall truck size and weight compliance program. State DOT programs need to remain committed to working with partner agencies and other stakeholders in developing effective truck size and weight compliance strategies.

Central Carolina Scale, located in Sanford, North Carolina has provided truck scale sales and service for these types of scales for decades. The company understands that high quality weighing equipment is paramount when you are weighing the quantity of trucks often seen at a weigh station. For additional service or sales information, call (919) 776-7737 or visit the company website and complete the Request for Quote button.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems Expands Alabama Truck Scale Manufacturing Capability

Rice Lake Weighing Systems, maker of the popular Survivor line of truck scales, has been manufacturing a portion of those scales in Alabama for many years. However, due to increased demand, an additional manufacturing facility in Jasper, Alabama has been acquired which will allow Rice Lake to expand manufacturing capabilities. In an effort to expand manufacturing capacity and provide additional support to their customers, Rice Lake is expanding their presence in Walker County with the purchase of an additional manufacturing building located in Bevill industrial park.

This additional facility will increase manufacturing capacity for the company, where employees will produce Rice Lake SURVIVOR® truck scales among other product lines as production comes online. Rice Lake Weighing Systems is looking forward to the facility becoming operational as soon as possible by hiring skilled employees and procuring advanced manufacturing equipment.

President of Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Mark Johnson, Jr. remarks about the company’s increased manufacturing in Alabama, “Rice Lake Weighing Systems plans to maintain production at our existing facility in Curry and we will be hiring additional staff for the new Jasper location.”

rice lake survivor truck scale

Rice Lake Weighing Systems and previously as Powell All Steel Scales has enjoyed more than 30 years of manufacturing in Jasper, Alabama and is grateful and proud of the Jasper community and those who have helped the company succeed.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a family-owned, ISO 9001 certified corporation, and has been manufacturing and distributing weight-related products and supplies since 1946. Today, Rice Lake Weighing Systems is a global leader in measurement and automated process control with a dealer network covering over 85 countries. Headquartered in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Rice Lake Weighing Systems has additional facilities in North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Customers interested in purchasing Rice Lake scales and weighing equipment can contact authorized distributor, Central Carolina Scale located in Sanford, North Carolina.

You can call the sales department at (919) 776-7737. Central Carolina Scale has sold and installed numerous Rice Lake scales and weighing systems. The company also provides calibration services for Rice Lake products as well.

Answering Your Questions About Truck Scale Load Cells & Mounting Systems

The majority of this article is provided by Rice Lake Weighing Systems. We have also added a few insights and thoughts of our own as well.

What is a Load Cell?

A load cell, also commonly referred to as a transducer, converts a mechanical force into an electrical signal. Basically, the load cell bends slightly when weight is applied.

In a compression mounted load cell where the load cell is beneath the weighing vessel, like a truck scale, the load cell compresses when a load is applied. This would apply to scales like the Cardinal PRC which has the SCA load cells.

The load cell produces an analog output signal that is proportional to the applied weight or force. The load cell transmits this signal to a digital weight indicator that converts the signal into a digital weight measurement.

When an application requires multiple load cells, each load cell should measure the same proportion of the total load. So in a four load cell system, each load cell should measure exactly one quarter of the load.

Many load cells are proprietary to a specific manufacturer, and may require additional maintenance and costs of ownership. Carefully discuss with your scale supplier all options for load cell systems.

replacement rl75058-75k truck scale load cells

Analog Load Cells
The most common load cells on the market work on the strain gauge principle. All load cells need to convert their analog values to digital before the load’s weight reading can be displayed on an indicator.

Some load cells are directly cabled to the digital weight indicator where the translation occurs. Other cells are connected to summing junction boxes on the scale where the box sums analog readings from multiple load cells, converts it to a digital signal and sends that signal to the digital weight indicator.

Hydraulic Load Cells (pressure transmitters)
Unlike most other load cells, hydraulic load cells do not use strain gauges or internal circuitry. Instead, hydraulic load cells contain hydraulic fluid, and during compression, a change in pressure is created and transmitted via tubing to a summing system where the pressure is applied to an analog load cell to determine weight.

The advantages of the hydraulic load cell typically relate to being resistant to lightning damage. The disadvantage of this type of scale and replacement load cell is the cost.

Analog-to-Digital Load Cells
Some analog load cells perform the analog-to-digital signal conversion within the load cell housing. Although sometimes referred to as digital load cells, the cell still measures in analog. Making the conversion from an analog signal to a digital signal in the load cell allows the system to compare the output of individual load cells and perform a diagnostic analysis based on that information.

Some would say that because the conversion happens in the load cell, sensitive electronic components are increased throughout the scale system, making them susceptible to damage from vibration, moisture and increased solder joints.

Types of Load Cells Found in Truck Scales

Double Ended Shear Beam
This is the most widely used vehicle scale load cell configuration in North America. A double-ended shear beam load cell is a compression load cell that offers a large capacity range from 1,000 to 200,000 pounds.

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.

The load cell also has the advantages of being less expensive in high capacity applications than the canister load cell because it does not require checking, making it virtually a maintenance free solution.

Canister
A canister load cell is the oldest load cell type. Also a compression device, it is shaped like a vertical canister and can handle loads from 100 to 1,000,000 pounds.

It is either hermetically sealed or welded to protect the gauges. This load cell’s drawbacks include the fact that it requires checking — installing check or stay rods to hold the weighing vessel in place on the load cell’s top plate during weighing.

For these reasons, many canister load cells on the market today are used to replace older canister load cells on existing weighing systems.

Rocker Column
Some manufacturers prefer rocker column load cells because they are inexpensive. However, they require check rods and bumper bolts that require maintenance, increasing your cost of ownership. The cost saved by the manufacturer on the raw material is passed down the line to the end user in the form of additional maintenance.

Load Cells Are Usually Manufactured as either Alloy Steel or Stainless Steel 

Truck scale load cells are generally made of stainless steel or alloy steel, but most manufacturers offer a variety of load cell solutions that best fit your application needs.

Alloy Steel Load Cells
Load cells manufactured from tool alloy steel elements are by far the most popular cells in use today. The cost to performance ratio is better compared to either aluminum or stainless steel designs. The most popular alloys are 4330 and 4340 because they have low creep (the change in load cell output over time while under load) and low hysteresis (the difference between load cell output readings for the same applied load).

Stainless Steel Load Cells
Stainless steel cells are more expensive than tool alloy steel load cells. They are sometimes fitted with hermetically sealed web cavities, which make 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 alloy steel, other than a higher resistance to corrosion.

We hope you enjoyed learning more about the different load cells found in the average truck scale. Since 1980 we have been providing customers throughout the central part of North Carolina with truck scale inspections, scale repair and calibration services. Our test weights and weight cart are certified by the state of North Carolina for accuracy. Our scale technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable when it comes to checking and installing various brands of truck scales.

If you need your existing scale checked or perhaps you’re in the market for a new truck scale, please give us a call today (919) 776-7737.

 

Maintenance and Cleaning Requirements for a Truck Scale Weighbridge

Keeping your Truck Scale well maintained and clean is an important part of truck scale ownership. Not only is it good practice to keep your weighbridge clean, it also contributes to a pro active scale maintenance plan and can significantly reduce the risk of equipment downtime and inaccurate weighing.

Before we get very far with this entry, lets clarify one thing… When we say to clean your truck scale, we are typically referring to the areas where mud and dirt can build up and cause weighing errors. Having a pristine scale diamond tread platform is great but that is not what we are referring to when we ask, is your scale clean?

You can see in the picture below an example. The photo on the left shows the scale before cleaning. Notice all the dirt on top of the concrete, especially between the approach ramp and the scale? Now look at the photo on the right after cleaning. You can see the concrete and very little dirt is left at all.

truck scale dirt buildup causing errors

Over time, the build-up of mud and debris can have a negative impact on a weighbridge performance. Compacted mud can set hard and reduce the movement of the weighbridge. This in turn causes reduced accuracy in weighing. Certain types of site environment will suffer more with mud and related issues and weather conditions can also play a part.

Keep in mind, weighbridge cleaning can be a balancing act. You need to remove the mud and buildup so the scale platform can perform correctly. However, the water jet force required to remove dirt and debris from around a weighbridge’s critical weighing points can, if not performed correctly, damage load cells, cables, junction boxes, and summing boards.

When cleaning the scale, the lightest amount of water pressure you can use and still get adequate cleaning, the better.

Weighbridge maintenance should take place as part of a daily or weekly routine depending on the type of site. The build-up of debris and water should be monitored and obstructions should be removed from beneath the scale to provide clearance between the weighbridge and the ground. Otherwise, your scale accuracy will suffer.

Pit weighbridges should be checked to make sure clearances are clean and the correct gap between the deck and pit wall are in place. ‘T’ section rubber can be used to help maintain gaps and should be replaced if worn or damaged. Regular end-middle-end tests with a loaded truck should be carried out to review the accuracy of the scale to see if there are any buildup issues. This basic cleaning and maintenance can be carried out by a site foreman or truck scale weighbridge operator.

If you are a current customer and you are curious about cleaning your truck scale, contact us and we can discuss this further or we can show you the key areas during our next scheduled maintenance visit. If you’re interested in our services, please contact us at (919) 776-7737.

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.