Recently, I was informed of a situation that involved a digital infant scale and a “test weight” also known as a 5 pound consumer barbell weight. Apparently, the barbell weight was used to check the digital scale and it was thought that the scale had not been calibrated correctly due to a scale readout of 5.2 lbs.
Actually, consumer barbell weights like those used in the above scenario are manufactured to tolerances between +/-1% and +/-7%, a significant range of tolerance as compared to NIST certified test weights. Using a consumer barbell weight with a wider manufacturing accepted tolerance than the scale may result in a scale display reading that seems inaccurate. A +/-5% tolerance on a 5 pound consumer barbell weight means the weight can weigh from 4.75 lb to 5.25 lb and still be sold as a 5 pound weight. Compare that to a 5 pound NIST Class F weight which is manufactured and adjusted to within +/-230 mg tolerance. In the example above, the user contesting the calibration accuracy of the digital scale checked their consumer barbell weight again, this time on a certified Legal for Trade scale and found that it weighed 5.2 pounds, meaning the digital scale was correct.
We recommend using NIST certified Class F Sealed manufactured test weights in most applications to check or calibrate medical scales and industrial scales.
Summer will be here before you know it and if you haven’t had your truck scale tested and inspected lately now is the time. The changing of the seasons brings us warm weather, but it also brings running water to truck scale pits and foundations. If left unmaintained, the mud and debris can wreak havoc on truck scale operations and accuracy. We recommend completing the following steps to ensure your scale is up and running in time for the busy summer season. You, the scale owner, can actually do quite a few of the steps below.
Take a walk around the perimeter of your scale. Examine the entire deck, scale pit, foundation and approaches for any major structural or surface problems. If you see any foundation deterioration be sure to fix it right away. Any deck and approach repair is not merely cosmetic; those issues can have a negative effect on the scales performance. Flaking rust and crumbling concrete falling into the pit will add maintenance costs now, but in the future they will reduce the scales’ usefulness.
We’ve been servicing truck scales for a long time and the most common cause of incorrect weighments is debris under the scale (or in the pit) binding movement. Clean all dirt from each component. Remember, even though most scales these days are electronic, they still have moving parts underneath. Load cells still need to be able to deflect through their capacity range.
To cut down on any future debris problems, it’s a good idea to invest in flexible T-Grip or T-Strip rubber molding. These moldings, while being flexible enough to work with the movement of the scale, will keep debris from causing problems and eventual damage to the scale. Depending on the scale design, the molding might only be necessary to cover the end gaps where the trucks enter and exit the scale. Scales weighing open trucks or messy operations will also need side molding to protect against spillage falling into the pit. Continue reading
We’ve actually covered the subject of how often to calibrate a scale before but it’s always a good idea to remind customers just how important the accuracy of their scales can be. We get this question fairly often so today with the help of Doran Scales we’ll take another look at why it’s important to have your scales calibrated on a regular basis by a trained scale technician.
What is the value of the product to be weighed on the scale?
If the product being weighed is very expensive, there is value in regular and periodic inspection and calibration. For example if the product costs $10 a pound and on an average day 1,000 pounds of product is weighed on the scale, the total value is $10,000. Let’s assume the scale is out of tolerance by 0.5%; that discrepancy would be $50 per day, $250 per week, and $1,000 per month. Obviously, eliminating this error would save a tremendous amount of money and more than pay for the calibration services.
Is it a legal-for-trade application?
If you buy or sell product based upon weight using your scale, it will need to be inspected and certified by the State or local Weights and Measures Department at the time of or shortly after installation. If a scale is tested and found to be out of tolerance or if products in the field are found to not meet the stated weight, Weights and Measure can condemn the scales so that they cannot be used until recalibrated, and literally shut your production down.
How many weighments per day and at what % of scale capacity?
Generally speaking, with time and use scales can start to lose accuracy. It may be a tiny error but over months and years it can grow to unacceptable levels. Think of it in these terms: when you buy a new car, you can expect that the wheel alignment will be exactly accurate. When this same car has 75,000 or 100,000 miles on it, the wheel alignment may need to be adjusted due to normal wear and tear. The same idea is true with your scale. Regular calibration of heavily used scales will correct any accuracy errors that will normally occur with this type of use.
Are the scales frequently moved around in your facility or from one location to another?
Doran scales are designed to be portable, in the sense that they do not require a permanent installation location. However, many times when scales are moved, they are handled incorrectly, resulting in damage that can affect the calibration and accuracy of the unit. If your scales are constantly being moved around in your facility or moved from one location to another, regular calibration will help keep them accurate and reveal any damage that may have occurred when they have been moved.
Each year customers at middle school, high schools, and colleges contact our scale company looking to purchase certified digital scales to use for their wrestling team or sometimes they just simply want to get their old scale checked and certified. Most of the time the process is pretty simple. However, occasionally the customer is not certain about what rules or regulations they need to follow to weigh a wrestler. So, before you purchase a scale or have one certified, it might be a good idea to check with your athletic conference or sanctioning body or perhaps you have some type of “rule book” to make certain what rules you need to follow. For example, one rule that we have been told is that some states require schools to use a NTEP legal for trade scale (with CoC#) for weighing wrestlers.
When it comes to actually certifying the scales, it is usually a good idea to get your wrestling scale certified annually. Generally, when we calibrate and certify the scale we normally look over the scale and make sure it appears to be functioning correctly. If something appears broken or missing such as a leveling foot, we might mention that on the paperwork or even recommend you purchase a replacement. We make sure the display is working correctly and showing all the digits and decimal point correctly. We also like to make sure the platform is solid. Also, if your scale has a rechargeable battery inside you might want to try charging it up and using it a few days before your scale check up to make sure it’s Continue reading
We were recently invited to provide a written quote on a 5’x5′ floor scale at a metal recycling center in North Carolina. When we sent the customer a quote for a quality set of floor scales, he replied back with the statement.
Do you carry any other type, that are less. In other words (brand x) scales are around 500.00 and I told (co-worker) that we could buy almost 3 for the price of 1 and if one breaks down we would have a back up.
Of course our first comment would be, it might be a good idea to buy two or three of them so you have a system that works! Seriously, if you’ve read any of our blog posts in the past, then you know our philosophy when it comes to floor scale systems. You can always find a set of scales at a cheaper price. Lets face it, in today’s world doesn’t that almost apply to just about any product? There is always somebody down the street willing to sell something a little cheaper. And often times if they can import a bunch of junk that has serious QC issues and sell them to unsuspecting customers who are simply looking to get a good deal, then that is what they will do.
That is why we focus on providing you a set of platform scales that we have confidence in. The other note worth mentioning is the scale he was “comparing” our scale to wasn’t even legal for trade. The main point of this entry is, give us a call or send us an email and we can provide you with a quote for a weighing scale that we feel will meet your needs. If you have a budgeted price in mind, be sure to let us know that too. Often times when something costs a lot less than other similar products, there is a reason.
These days everyone is looking to cut costs and find ways to raise additional revenue. One way the airlines can do this is by charging customers an additional fee if their bags weigh more than a certain weight. Unfortunately, many passengers have no real accurate way to measure the weight of their bag until they get to the airport. However, a standard bathroom scale can usually give you a pretty good idea if your bag is going to be close to the maximum weight. The link provides additional information on this story.
During the last inspection in March, Butler’s team check almost 100 scales. Thirteen failed inspection – one was 2 whole pounds off. The previous year, Butler said, ten scales had problems.
With overweight baggage fees topping out around $200, a scale’s accuracy could mean the difference between a hassle-free flight and a costly mess-up.
Butler said Burke has the right idea by weighing her luggage at home. He said anyone who believes their bag is underweight should ask to use a second scale if the bag comes up over.
“Just ask them. There are two scales side by side. If you’re over 50 pounds on that scale, ask them, ‘Do you mind checking on another scale?'” he said. “It’s your right to know because it’s big money. It’s big money.”
A couple of points that were made in this video are worth repeating. As a passenger, make sure when you place your luggage onto the weighing platform that the scale display shows 0.00 and if you are facing an overweight charge be sure to ask if you can place your bag on a different scale. Typically the baggage scales that are placed at airports are very accurate and reliable scales that are designed to meet certain standards, like NTEP approval. However, they can get out of calibration sometimes for various reasons and that is why it is a good idea for airlines to check the scales on a regular basis and have companies like ours calibrate the scales with certified test weights.
For over 3 decades, Central Carolina Scale has provided our clients with outstanding scale repair services and calibration. Over the years we have worked hard to become one of the most dependable sources of scale repair and scale calibration in the state of North Carolina. Our customer’s depend on our accurate testing and knowledgeable service department.
Our areas of expertise include Heavy Capacity Rice Lake Truck Scales, Hopper Scales, Intercomp Crane Scales, and Cardinal Axle Scales. We also have extensive experience working on Detecto Medical Scales, Pennsylvania Floor Scales and Avery Weigh-Tronix Forklift Scales. We also regularly work on Doran Wash Down Check Weighers, A&D Laboratory Balances, Digi Bench Scales, and Ohaus Analytical Balances. The majority of our scale repair and service is provided on the customers job site. Our team of factory trained scale technicians has the experience and the knowledge to fix the problem right the first time.
If you are looking to have your weighing equipment checked on a regular basis, you’ve come to the right place. Our scale service agreements reduce the overall cost of scale checks and calibration. In the long run, this saves you both time and money. In addition, these service agreements include regularly scheduled scale calibration, preventative maintenance, and NIST traceable certificates of calibration.
If you are one of our valued customers, thank you, we sincerely appreciate your business. If you aren’t currently one of our customers, we ask you to give us a chance by calling us at (919) 776-7737 or send us an email.
If your business in central North Carolina depends on pallet scales, lab balances, or weighing something, then hopefully you have some kind of calibration or scale service agreement in place to calibrate and maintain your scale equipment. If you don’t have a plan, you really need to contact Central Carolina Scale immediately for a quote. Many times when money is scarce and the economy is unsteady, the “plan” a lot of folks try to use is merely to use your scales until they need to be re-calibrated or repaired. Would you adopt this plan for your car or boat? This plan could work, but you know how it goes… if you don’t get your scale checked regularly, the one day you need it most is probably going to be the day the scale has some kind of a freak issue. Companies that can’t afford for their scales to be out of comission, usually have them calibrated and / or maintained on a regular basis. Scales that are maintained regularly last longer, work better, and break down less often. As part of your maintenance plan, it is popular for scale companies to offer a Service Contract, also known as a Service Agreement. It’s a win-win for both parties. Service Agreements can be a great value for three key reasons. Continue reading
If your Digital balance or scale breaks we can fix it. When your scale needs calibrated, we can handle that promptly & efficiently with NIST traceable standards and documentation. Emergency loaner and rental scale equipment is available to keep your operation running. Almost all scale manufacturers recommend some type of periodic calibration and maintentance routine for your digital and mechanical scales and balances. Central Carolina Scale can help you set up and maintain these Continue reading
Choosing the right scale and the right scale company for your application is extremely important. Whether you are looking for a small Ohaus balance or a large Rice Lake 80 foot long Truck Scale, you can save a lot of time and headaches by choosing the right company from the start. Even in today’s tough economy, consumers need to understand the total cost of ownership. For example, downtime often is the most significant cost incurred in industrial settings. In operations like landfills, aggregates, and quarries, many vehicle scales act as the “cash register.” If the scale isn’t Continue reading