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

Advice For Keeping your Ticket & Thermal Printers in Good Shape

Often customers who have printers connected to their scales will ask us about preventive maintenance for keeping their ticket and thermal printers in good working order.  Below are a few tips to consider.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to keeping your scale printer in good working order. Some of the key factors to consider include the type of print mechanism, volume of use, environment and paper stock used.

Ticket Printers
First type of printer we’ll look at is the ticket printer. You often see these connected to a truck scale digital weight indicator. These printers seem to have a more opened up layout which means that ticket printers will require more frequent cleaning than other types of printers.

A slide-in ticket printer, for example the Rice Lake TicketPress printer in an air-conditioned office may need cleaning a couple of times a year. That same printer in a more dusty environment such as a feed mill or gravel pit may be exposed to more airborne dust and need a quick cleaning each week. In those especially nasty environments, the operator should be trained to do minor cleaning at the start of each week.

scale printer maintentance for printhead

Dirt on the print head is easy for an operator to handle with a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol. You’ll know when it’s time for cleaning when you start to notice poor print quality.

The head shaft, drive gears and belts are more critical and require professional attention from the service team at Central Carolina Scale. Dirt buildup on these moving parts creates drag, causing extra current draw for the motor, which often leads to a burned out motor or drive transistors. A visual inspection by a professional scale technician during regular preventive maintenance visits is your best guide to prevention. Another great reason to setup a scale check with us on a regular basis.

Thermal Label Printers
This type of printer is usually more protected from airborne dust, but have special needs due to generally higher usage. In addition to the print head, the drive rollers, bearings and clutches sometimes require attention in high-volume applications.

Because they do not use a ribbon, print heads of direct thermal printers can easily pick up debris and should be cleaned regularly. Light streaks in the same place on each label are an indication of a dirty head. On the other hand, thermal transfer printers—with direct ribbon contact—stay relatively clean and can normally go three to four rolls of labels stock between cleanings.

If major adjustments are needed to maintain print quality, it should be your red flag to check bearings and rollers in high-volume label printers. Clean rollers first with alcohol, or even acetone, if they are badly gummed up. If you’re still adjusting frequently, disassemble the label drive mechanism and check the drive roller bearings, replacing if necessary.

Some label printers use felt disks for clutches. A few drops of SAE 5 light machine oil at each cleaning will keep these printers operating quietly.

Quick Maintenance
One of the easiest ways to cut down on required maintenance is to use a dust cover which you can obtain from Central Carolina Scale for most current printers. These heavy, clear plastic covers are custom-made for most popular printers. Not only do they protect from airborne dust during the hours when printers are idle, but some models can be left on during actual use for 24-hour dust protection.