Dangers of Buying Certain “Cheap” Scales Online

The article below is courtesy of Mr. Boon Lim who has been involved in the weighing industry for many years. It really hammers home the points that we have been trying to discuss with customers for literally decades! 

There are differences in quality between certain brands of scales. We’ve discussed this numerous times over the years either here in our learning center or on our Youtube channel or perhaps via phone or email with you. A lot of times it’s a balancing act between value & accuracy. Many customers don’t have the budget or the requirements for the top of the line most expensive scale… but they also don’t need to buy the cheapest scale under the sun either. Let’s take a look at what Boon found when he purchased some of the cheapest scales available online. We hope you enjoy the article below.

Have you noticed a quality shift in the weighing industry? Quality standards have
decreased significantly on consumer scales with “assembly only” operations making big
waves in the scale community. Large sellers are dominating the online retail space for
consumers, and this is not any different for scales. Whether you support the
unstoppable rise of these ecommerce giants or not, there is no denying the profound
impact associated with their operation.

So, we bought some of the “Best Selling”, highly rated, affordable scales and balances to test the quality.

Yes, with 2-day free shipping too.

Our discoveries were astounding… Continue reading

What Does 5000 x 1 Mean? Scale Capacity x Readability

We’re going to discuss something that many folks wonder about the first couple of times they are tasked with buying scales.

What Does it Mean when you see 5000 x 1 on a Scale?

If you’ve done any research at all online for scales, you’ve probably seen something written like 5000 x 1, or perhaps you’ve requested a quote and seen that number written. Either way, you may be wondering what these mean. 5000 x 1 lb, or it could be 60 x 0.02lb or it may have been 3000 g by 0.01g. 120,000 x 20 lb, 500 x 0.1 lb etc….

600 x 0.1 LB

 

 

But what exactly does that mean? It’s actually pretty simple.

In the case of 5000 x 1 lb, this means that the total weighing capacity of the scale is 5000 pounds and the scale increases or decreases in weight by 1 lb increments from zero all the way to 5000 lb.

Some people refer to the 1 lb in this example as the readability or the graduation size. In the 60 x 0.02 lb example, it would be as follows, 60 lb is the capacity and 0.02 lb is the graduation size that the scale increases or decreases by from zero all the way to 60 lb. Continue reading

What Does a Counting Scale Do?

When you’re seeking solutions for increased efficiency and productivity. A counting scale can be a great choice. But, what exactly does a counting scale do?

We’re going to take a look at what a counting scale actually does

First, let’s define what a counting scale is. Counting scales are used for counting the same items, like bolts for example. As for how to use a counting scale, when a group of identical items are placed on the platform of a parts counting scale, the scale can determine the average piece weight and the scale display shows how many pieces are on the platform. Consider the human effort involved to count small items like screws or washers.

With a counting scale, this task requires just a few seconds of time. This leads to highly accurate parts counting results. Compare this to counting parts out by hand, which is virtually guaranteed to include human error. Remember when you were a child sitting on the floor counting pennies? It took time, and then even more time when you lost count and had to start over again! Consider a counting scale the industrial solution for saving time while providing extremely efficient counting accuracy. Continue reading

How to use Counting Scale (Instructions)

A parts counting scale is an amazing item.  The amount of time savings that one of these devices provides end users is truly remarkable.  Most of the time when folks are using a counting scale, they have the instructions or they just know how to use the scale, since they’ve been using the scale for many years.

Regarding parts counting, we’ve written about how to buy a counting scale. But what happens if you don’t know how to actually use a counting scale?  What if you can’t find any instructions or user manual?  Well, we will try to assist you below.

how to use counting scale instructions

Simple Parts Counting Using an Electronic Scale

First, the basic way to use a counting scale for inventory is to first, make sure the scale is on 0.00.  Then count out a small sample of whatever it is that you’re trying to count. Let’s say (10) pieces. 

Remember, all the pieces have to be the same.  You can’t count resistors and bolts at the same time. 

So, you’ve counted out your (10) pieces, now look for a button on the scale that says “Sample”.  This can be very simple or this can be quite difficult depending on who manufactured the scale.  You may have to experiment to figure out which button is actually the sample key. Some scales will actually have Sample written on the button. But, we’ve seen “sample” buttons that actually said everything from “Smpl” to “Sample Set” to “PWT”.

Also, some scales can differ with the timing of whether you place the (10) pieces on the scale and then press the Sample button or do you press the Sample button first and then place your (10) pieces on the scale.  

Once you’ve figured this out and the sample works, then you should be able to place the rest of your items on the scale and get the complete count.  

We hope this helps you with how to use a counting scale. We also suggest contacting our customer service team who might be able to get you a user manual or assist you with your parts counting needs. We’ve also put together a counting scale buying guide to make purchasing a little easier.

Choosing the Right Industrial Parts Counting Scale for Inventory

Precision counting scales are essential tools for any business that manages inventory, pulls orders from a stockroom for production, creates kits of parts, or provides fulfillment services for a third party.

Any products or parts that need tracked by count…. need a rugged and reliable precision counting scale, and with hundreds of different manufacturers and counting scale combinations to choose from, you might need a little assistance in buying a counting scale.

counting scale

To make sure you select the best solution, our friends at Pennsylvania Scale Co have gathered four of the most important features to consider when choosing a precision counting scale for your company. You can see those below.

Also, in addition to accuracy, the other benefit you gain from purchasing a Pennsylvania 7500 or 7600 counting scale, is the “industrial toughness” of those products. They are the complete opposite of the plastic lightweight imported scales that you’ve probably seen before.

#1 High Internal Resolution

When a scale is in counting mode, it calculates a piece weight in order to display a count (weight on scale/piece weight = count). The piece weight is determined by the internal resolution of the scale, not by the displayed resolution. (The displayed resolution is usually a larger graduation or resolution than the piece weight.)

High internal resolution determines the lightest weight change a scale can measure. The higher the internal resolution, the more accurate the piece weight will be, which is especially critical when weighing and counting smaller pieces.

The increased performance from a high internal resolution counting scale means greater accuracy in orders and inventory management. This in turn leads to greater customer satisfaction and higher profitability. Also see: sometimes the cheapest scale can be the most expensive.



#2 Rugged, Reliable, and Built for the Real World

Accurate high internal resolution counting scales improve operations by minimizing breakdowns and delivering maximum uptime. Unlike laboratory balances or other high-precision measuring devices, counting scales are typically used in the middle of industrial environments with all of the vibration, heat or cold, rough handling, and constant use of today’s fast-paced production climate.

Selecting a counting scale that is purposefully designed to provide high accuracy while withstanding the constant use and abuse that occurs in the real world is a must to avoid inconvenient and costly downtime and repairs. Pennsylvania counting scales are designed to thrive in these types of environments and promote high-performance counting operations.

#3 Flexible and Easy to Use

A high-quality, high-precision counting scale delivers exceptional accuracy while also being flexible and easy to use within the production environment. Setting up piece weights and displaying counts in the fewest number of steps will get your counting scale up and running quickly and will instantly produce measurable improvements in accuracy and productivity.

Plus, the easier a counting scale is for your team to use, the more they will use it, resulting in higher accuracy and lower waste. Pennsylvania counting scales are renowned for this high level of intuitive operation and flexible counting modes that include: 1-step counting, 2-step counting, negative counting, top end counting, counting with a manually entered piece weight, piece weight store and recall, and auto sample to bulk counting.

#4 Connectivity of Counting Scales

Creating powerful, intuitive counting systems requires software for data collection and management to automate and validate count or weight data from the process or production line. Pennsylvania counting scales are flexible enough to work with many third-party software systems, and their application support team is ready to provide expert assistance or scale manuals to help with scale integration, including counting scale label printing systems with design services for a custom human readable or barcode label to meet a variety of requirements.

Contact our sales department today for more information and buying advice on our complete lineup of precision counting scales.

Sometimes the Cheapest Scale Can Become the Most Expensive Choice…

WHY YOUR SCALE IS COSTING YOU MORE THAN YOU THINK

B2B ecommerce sales surged past the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever a couple of years ago and online shopping continues to grow at a very fast pace. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on your perspective) weighing scales of every size and application are also selling online. We’ve seen everything from vehicle scales to laboratory balances become more widely available on the internet during the past decade.

But is that ultimately a good thing for customers?

When it comes to buying a scale online, the decision-making process often centers 90% + on price….  not necessarily what features or functions of the scale itself.

When buying a scale, you also need to consider things like:

Is it NTEP Approved, legal for trade?
Does the scale arrive calibrated?
Will the scale hold up in the environment where it’s used?
How is the scale constructed?
What is the resolution of the scale?
Who will service the scale?

What we’re saying is, the price of a scale is just one of many factors to consider. That’s where you often benefit from working with an experienced scale company who can recommend a proven product with a long track record of success.

Sometimes customers attempt to save time and perhaps some money and find their own scales online. That often sounds like a good idea. However, this is where mistakes can occur since price alone becomes the number one priority.

high resolution bench scale

SACRIFICING ACCURACY COSTS YOU MONEY

In some scenarios, buying the lowest priced scale could cost you much more in the long run. A cheaper scale rarely has the durability and longevity of a quality-made scale. Additionally, a cheaper scale often sacrifices resolution or repeatability which can lead to inconsistencies in accuracy, as the scale will not deliver consistent results. In some applications, this could result in millions of dollars of losses per year.

For example, the B-TEK High Resolution Counting Scale (HRCS) has a one billion internal count resolution thanks to the incredible accuracy of the Quartzell transducer. Additionally, the HRB Digital Bench Scale, which is mostly used in straight-weigh applications, also offers a one billion internal count resolution.

How much could such precision save your company over the course of a fiscal year?

DOES YOUR NEW SCALE COME WITH THE SUPPORT YOU NEED?

When purchasing a scale, there’s always more to consider than the hardware itself. Who will install the scale? Who will calibrate it? What is the process for registering the scale as legal for trade? How will you obtain future service, including both regular maintenance and unforeseen scale repair?

When you’re buying a new scale for your business, you’re also buying support and expertise. 

We hear stories all the time regarding online scale purchases. Over the years, we have seen few customers who purchased a scale, without consulting a salesperson, be happy with that decision years later. Many times, these customers quickly return to the buying market because they need to replace a scale that didn’t quite fit the application or function as intended.  That’s where working with an experienced scale company and/or experienced sales person is a valuable benefit for most customers.

HOW CAN CCS HELP YOU?

The bottom line in this article is, don’t choose a scale based on price alone! These days with all the overseas products available everywhere, you can likely find a scale for just about any price you need. However, the quality, durability, and accuracy of that product will be highly debatable! 

Contact us with your questions and a rough idea of what you’re looking to weigh. If you have a budget, let us know that as well. We’ve been providing customers with scales for over forty years!  Odds are that we can recommend a proven scale for your particular application. 

Let us help you find the right solution that will serve your company for many years to come. Purchasing a scale with the proper accuracy, support, and compliance is where you will truly save money. For more information, contact us online or by calling (919) 776-7737.

Finding the Right Balance Between Value & Accuracy

One of the things that we try really hard to do is provide our customers with as much value as possible. How do we do that? We do this in many ways through things like factory training, sales training, and product research. One other thing we do quite often is constantly strive to find quality products that are affordable for customers.

However, one of the really challenging things we have to deal with is striking the balance between quality and accurate products. Or, unfortunately, in some instances, good products versus junk. 

Unfortunately, the line between a good product and a not-so-good product is getting finer and finer…

count small parts easier with an electronic counting scale

I was reminded of this challenge over the past couple of weeks. Recently, I had a line of imported scales from China presented to me that seemed to have a lot of promise.  The price was attractive and the visual look of the scales was appealing.  However, once I evaluated these items, it quickly became apparent, that although these scales would please everybody’s demand for a low price… they would not meet our standards for accuracy or the demands of our customers. 

If you’re an end user, then you face a similar challenge. Perhaps you’re in the market for a counting scale. With minimal internet research, you can find prices on parts counting scales from $100 and up!  Of course, the hundred dollar scale is 99% plastic and 1% aluminum and certainly not what we would recommend for anyone looking for a durable and relatively long lasting scale.

The same thing can be said for many types of scales…

Farmers or Market Sellers searching for price computing scales are often easily fooled by the $60 produce scales they may see on popular auction sites only to find out later, (when their state inspector shuts them down), that what they really needed is what’s called a NTEP Legal for Trade certified price computing scale, which is more expensive.

Perhaps it’s a floor scale that you need to weigh pallets each day. Although many floor scales look similar in pictures online, these “pallet scales” feature various components, such as digital indicators & strain gauge load cells, which can vary greatly in quality. The product construction and durability can also vary quite a bit depending on who actually manufacturers the scale platform and how much engineering truly went into constructing it.   

So how do you find a weighing scale that meets your budget and is built to last? 

These days it’s easier than ever to just buy everything you need without the help of anyone. Just point and click. But many times when you do that, you could be missing out. How does the old saying go?  You don’t know what you don’t know… 

I recommend contacting your local scale company or a scale company that you have done business with and trust. (Hopefully, we’re included in that choice!)  It really does make the process of buying scales much easier when you have a good working relationship with your scale company.

As you work with your scale company representative, they will become a trusted partner in your business.  Your scale sales person knows what you’re weighing and the weighing needs of your business. All you need to do is mention what you’re looking to do and what type of weighing device you think that you’ll need.

Pricing and Quotes

Over the years I have seen some really nice scales and I have seen some really bad scales too! I suggest working together with your trusted scale supplier to find products that will meet your requirements while staying within your budget.

The product and sourcing experience that your scale dealer has is invaluable. Don’t forget, in addition to working with you, we also work with hundreds of other customers helping them to find the perfect weighing equipment for their needs.  So that product experience and knowledge that we gain can then be applied to your scale search as well.

I also recommend working with a scale company who’s willing to offer various brands of scales as opposed to a dealer who just pushes one brand of scales for everything… 

It’s very common for us to recommend different brands for various types of scales. For example, we might suggest CAS retail scales, B-Tek floor scales, Avery Weigh-Tronix counting scales and Cardinal truck scales. 

In other words, we base our product recommendations largely off past success and not because we’re trying reach some kind of sales quota. 

 

Final Thoughts

We realize that customers want to find a great deal on whatever it is that they need to purchase. It can be anything from scales to copy paper… everyone wants to find a cheaper alternative that is just as good as what you’ve been using. 

Unfortunately, as many of us have found out, often a product is cheaper for certain reasons. We see this all the time whether you’re talking about a portable pallet jack scale or a stationary 4×4 pallet scale. Quality and durability are often lacking with cheap scales.

Let us help you make intelligent scale purchases for your business. We can help you save money while still buying quality scales and weighing equipment. We’re just a phone call away (919) 776-7737.  If you prefer, you can also email us or complete our Request a Quote form and someone from our staff will get back to you in a timely manner. 

NEW! WiFi – Wireless Ethernet Option From Pennsylvania Scale Company

The Pennsylvania Scale Company Wi-Fi option brings power and versatility wireless networking connections to the rugged and reliable count weigh bench scales and indicators. Wi-Fi 802.11b/g Transceiver Module at 2.4GHz provides a seamless integration into your existing wireless network, with no special requirements!

A Wi-Fi enabled counting or weighing scale system allows you to collect and analyze data from a workstation, production line, shipping/receiving station or stock room, providing valuable information to help management increase accuracy, productivity and reduce costs.

wifi scales

WiFi Features and Benefits for Scales

The Pennsylvania Scale Wi-Fi option keeps your data safe and secure with configurable network security protocols (WPA1, WPA Mixed & WPA 2) supported by the wireless ethernet standard.

The Wi-Fi option saves the expense of running cables in an industrial or warehouse environment. Wi-Fi is the absolute best choice for data collection applications where the scale system is mobile or changes locations on a regular basis. Collect data with powerful and flexible data collection and control software from Pennsylvania Scale.

Initial setup and troubleshooting are easy using the innovative and built in Webserver/soft AP mode. Simply enable the soft AP mode on the option, connect to the “WiFly” SSID and open the configuration web page to setup on the wireless networking protocols or for troubleshooting. Now Available as a factory installed option on any Pennsylvania Scale Indicator or Bench Scale.

Part Number ………… Description
_WIFI       Wi-Fi Option installed: Ex: 7300-XXX WIFI, 7500-XXX WIFI, 7600-XXX WIFI 7400
WIFI, 7500/4 WIFI, 7600E WIFI, 7600/4 WIFI

57869-1    Wi-Fi Option Board Only

61301       Replacement Antenna

61300      Replacement Option Board to antenna interface cable

Buying a Scale from a Restaurant Supply Website or Material Handling Catalog…

Look we get it… you are looking for a good deal on your next scale purchase. Almost all of us do that on virtually everything that we buy these days. And thanks to the internet we have pricing at our fingertips for everything from toilet paper to masks… (A little covid-19 reference). 

However, a lot of times the pricing is only a small part of the entire picture. Often, customers will purchase a scale from some “Restaurant Supply” Warehouse website or some “Material Handling” Catalog that gets mailed to every business in the country it seems. Ordering is easy and the pricing is usually very reasonable. However, customer service and most importantly, product knowledge is often lacking.

Sometimes the purchase can be ok. The product arrives and it works out well. But what happens when you have an issue?  This is where the disadvantage of using this ordering route begins to occur. 

I was visiting one of these “mega” websites recently and the customer reviews were pretty bad for what should have been a pretty nice product. 

You see, to many of these customer service reps, your counting scale or the price computing scale that you purchased, is simply a part number or item number.  There is no “real” tech support for the most part. There is no factory trained scale technician who can diagnose what the issue is. Take a look at the “canned” response that I saw today when I looked at one product:

Thank you for your feedback! We’re sorry you did not prefer this product. For recommendations, please contact our solutions team.

This can not only be a problem after the sale, but it also can be a problem when you make the original purchase.

For example, if a customer calls or emails the sales team at Central Carolina Scale and tells us what they are looking to do, we can often point them in the right direction and recommend a proven product to them right off the bat.

Will it likely be more expensive than the Restaurant Supply or Material Handling websites?  Usually (but not always). However, in most cases you are benefiting from our years of experience and the proven performance that we have actually seen from our products. 

You see, we don’t typically just refer to our products as an item number… we have put these scales to work for many years. We have a list of proven and dependable scales that we can recommend for just about any application.  

Have a budget in mind?

Tell us ahead of time what your budget is and we can work to meet that number, assuming the budget is realistic. 

The reason I mention “realistic” is that with all the cheap products coming over from China these days, you can just about get whatever you want from China at whatever price you want.  But as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. We see A LOT of scales. It’s our business and it’s basically all we specialize in. Some of the scales that come from China are pretty good and some are complete garbage. We’ve found that most are somewhere in between. 

So when we discuss budgets… we’re not saying you have to purchase the most expensive scale ever created. We are simply saying, have a realistic budget that will allow you to get a quality product that might provide you more accurate weighing and perhaps more longevity.

Pennsylvania 7500 industrial counting scale

I’ll give you one quick example. You can buy a counting scale for about whatever price you want to pay these days.  I’ve seen them for around $100 and up. However, the odds are that $100 counting scale that is made out of 98% plastic is not going to last very long and then you will be buying another and another etc… Or, you could just purchase a proven industrial scale like the Pennsylvania 7500 counting scale and likely be using it for the next twenty years. That is an example of what I’m referring to. 

The overall point of this entry is to please contact us before you contact one of these mega websites or material handling catalogs. Often times we can beat their prices and if necessary, we can almost always provide you with an even better product.  Contact us (919) 776-7737 or complete our Request a Quote button on our website. As always, thank you for your business.  

Who Needs the Pennsylvania Scale Model 7600 Manual?

Who needs the Pennsylvania 7600 manual for how to use the counting scale when you have a video like this! Some users can read a manual and use the scale with ease, while others appreciate seeing how to use the scale on their computer screen. This is especially helpful when you see all the different ways you can count on the 7600 scale.

Since 1908 Pennsylvania scale company has been manufacturing high quality rugged and accurate industrial counting and weighing scale systems. Proudly made in the USA at the Lancaster, Pennsylvania manufacturing facility.

In a fast-paced demanding production environment you need a count scale to help you control inventory, eliminate waste and just be an efficient scale that is precise and accurate. One that’s rugged and reliable but just as important one that’s easy to use.

Pennsylvania scale has designed and manufactured easy-to-use flexible counting scale solutions when you have lots of parts to count each day and you have to count them for different purposes and with different counting methods you need a scale that’s super
flexible. Pennsylvania scale has that ideal flexible counting scale solution for you. Let’s take a look at all the different ways you can count using the Pennsylvania 7600 counting scale.

The advanced counting methods are only available on the 7600 including
auto sample update after sampling in establishing a piece weight, add parts
totaling less than the initial sample size & the scale will recalculate the piece
weight and the percentage of accuracy will increase.

Two step counting is a very versatile way to use the Pennsylvania’s 7600 counting
scale, you can grab a handful of parts and place them on the scale after pressing sample set, count the number of parts that are on the scale platform & use
the scale keyboard to enter that number and view the percentage of accuracy and if
that’s acceptable press ENTER again and now be ready for parts counting.

With the 7600 you can count using a piece weight with a tare weight. Press the piece weight button and using the scale keypad key in the APW or average piece weight, then press the keypad tare button and enter the tare value of the container the parts are in.
Now will be displayed the total count of parts that are in the container and the container has been tared off or is not a part of that calculation.

Top-end counting is an ideal way to verify inventory without having to remove all of the parts from a container and it works very simply by first of all entering the tare weight of the container, then pressing the sample set button and removing the sample quantity
from the container. Verify that you have the correct number of pieces removed and
the percentage of accuracy will be displayed on the scale. Then press the Enter button. The scale now calculates the piece weight and shows the total count of pieces in the container the container has been tared off and is not a part of that calculation.

Negative counting is designed to allow you to count out from a container of parts.
Place the full container on the scale, press the sample set button, remove the
sample from the container. Make sure that you have the quantity correct. Percentage
of accuracy will be displayed. Press the Enter button and now as parts are removed from the container, the number of parts removed shows as a negative number
on the scale display.

Auto sample to bulk is a counting method that allows you to use a light capacity
highly accurate sample scale for determining the piece weight and then automatically switch to a heavier capacity remote scale platform for counting accurately in bulk quantities.

We hope that this information has been helpful to you. At Central Carolina Scale we recommend the Pennsylvania 7600 counting scales for industrial applications due to its rugged and durable features and the ease of use. Please contact us (919) 776-7737 for purchasing information or if you would like to set up a routine service plan to keep your Pennsylvania Scale Company product working well.