How to Calibrate a Digital Scale

How to Calibrate a Scale

When it comes to explaining how to calibrate a digital scale, here’s a bit of reassurance:  Calibrating a digital scale is not that complicated.  While scale calibration is important, here you will learn why and how often digital scales should be calibrated.

We’re talking not only precision scales and analytical balances able to weigh in grams and milligrams but also industrial scales weighing in pounds, sales used for recipes, determining percentages, totalizing, counting and other functions used in industry today.

Why you Should Know How to Calibrate a Digital Scale

First of all, in many instances it’s required by law.  For example, calibration standards used for inspection, measuring, and test equipment shall be traceable to national or international standards.

One of these is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Weights and Measures Program Requirements, which provides detailed information on this topic.

The FDA document observes that if national … Read the rest

Analytical Balance Best Practices

It doesn’t take much to throw an analytical balance off.  What are the analytical balance best practices to keep your balance without error. The opportunities for errors to occur increase dramatically as the resolution or readout of analytical balances increases.  That’s why labs and other users of an analytical balance should establish and post a “best practices” list and remind researchers to employ them at all times.

Once again we refer to the operations manual supplied with analytical balances such as the Kern series offered by Tovatech.  These multi-page manuals, however, are not always “user friendly” although most instructions regarding to-do-or-not-to-do are published in the setup pages.  Here we provide a brief analytical balance best practices bulletin to serve as a reminder.  They are in no particular order of importance because all are important.

That said, a key point to remember is that sensitive balances are sensitive to many extraneous … Read the rest

Selecting and Using Precision Scale Test Weights

Weighing accuracy is a primary criterion for precision scales, analytical balances and moisture analyzers where readout (the smallest weight difference displayed) and linearity (the ± deviation from the actual weight) are governed by GLP, ISO and other standards.  Test weights have a critical role to play when scales  with capacities from milligrams to tons are not automatically internally (see below) calibrated . The type of calibration, whether internal or external, is indicated on scales’ spec sheets.… Read the rest

Selection Tips for Precision Digital Scales

Today’s precision digital scales, also referred to as digital balances, perform a broad range of weighing-related functions in R&D, quality control, and similar applications where accuracy and precision are key criteria to meeting government, trade association, and industry-promulgated standards.  For purposes of discussion this post focuses on weighing equipment used in comparatively protected environments vs. scales found on manufacturing floors, shipping and receiving departments.  Let us hasten to add, however, that the need for precision and accuracy is important for any application, and equipment is available to meet required standards regardless of where scales are employed.

Precision and Accuracy Defined

Certain of our posts discussing precision digital scales and analytical balances harp on an important difference between precision and accuracy as selection criteria.  Allow us to cite an example:  A $5,000 wristwatch may be precise, but if the hands are set wrong it does not show the accurate time.  More … Read the rest

How to Maintain a Digital Crane Scale

A digital crane scale, while ruggedly constructed to perform heavy lifting and weighing functions, is also a precision instrument that must be maintained on a regular basis.  While maintenance is important for any weighing instrument from an accuracy standpoint, heavy-duty crane scales must be checked regularly to avoid a mechanical failure that could cause a load to drop with potential disastrous results.

Crane scale manufacturers such as Kern, whose products are offered by Tovatech, provide maintenance instructions as part of their operations manuals.  We’ll use here as an example the Kern HTS industrial hanging scale available in four models with maximum weight capacities from 1500 to 10,000 kg (~3,300 to 22,000 pounds)  The scale is powered by a rechargeable battery and is shipped with an infrared, battery-powered remote control with a range of approximately 25 feet.

Crane Scale Maintenance Guidelines

Key lifting components on crane scales include shackles, hooks and … Read the rest

Tips on Choosing Check Weighing Scales

Check weighing scales help deliver an honest measure. Check weighing benefits both buyer and seller because when properly programmed these scales help ensure buyers get what they pay for and sellers do not over or under package their products.

The importance of accurate check weighing – also called tolerance weighing – extends across virtually every market where weight (as opposed to quantity*) determines price and in most instances compliance with regulations such as promulgated by government, trade and professional associations.

Applications for check weighing scales run from the simple to the critical. Your box of breakfast cereal may say net wt 18.2 oz (why they don’t pack 19 oz is a mystery). It does not necessarily relate to volume, as many packages say “contents may settle due to handing.” At the other end, compounding pharmaceuticals calls for precise ingredient compilations within tightly defined ± tolerances of the target weight.

Repetitive … Read the rest

Inventory Management System Pairs Scale and Balance

An accurate inventory management system combining a reference balance and a bulk scale speeds the flow and accuracy of product quantities from the receiving dock through inventory control and outbound shipments. The high resolution Kern FKC stocktaking counting system, available from Tovatech, quickly calculates stock quantities, which can be transferred to a PC for record keeping. A barcode scanner can be integrated with the stock keeping system to reduce errors in stock identification.

The FKC inventory management system combines a KERN KB-N reference balances and a KERN FKA bulk scale.

Inventory Management System Components

1. Reference Quantities
Reference quantities are established with the Kern KB-N reference balance, available in maximum weighing ranges of 120 (KB 120-3N) or 1200 (KB 1200-2N) grams (4.23 or 42.33 ounces) and respective readout of 0.001 and 0.01 g, also representing the minimum piece weight. Individual piece weight is established by weighing a quantity of product … Read the rest

How the Pharmaceutical Industry Uses Precision Scales

kern-pcb-1000-2The primary measure of the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical product is how beneficial it is for the patient, while introducing minimal side effects. A vital part of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process occurs at the quality control stage. A variation of a few milligrams in a powerful drug can mean the difference between a nightmare of side effects, a harmless and ineffective placebo, or a valuable treatment method. The key to ensuring that a “wonder drug” achieves the goals that the developers set out for it is careful measurement via a laboratory scale.

Types of Laboratory Scales
Just as various types of microscopes offer the ability for researchers to see items ranging from bacteria down to molecules, different types of laboratory scales offer the ability to measure items to within very small masses. These scales carry specific names to differentiate their levels of readability:

  • Precision balances vary in resolution and some have
Read the rest

Dual-Range Industrial Platform Scales with Bluetooth Interface

Scales used in industrial locations can be exposed to a variety of contaminants as well as stresses and strains during their lifetime.

A new family of dual-range industrial platform scales with high ingress protection (IP) ratings against dust and liquids are ideal for general weighing, piece counting, tolerance weighing and filtering out vibrations in harsh operating environments.  The dual-range Kern SXS series, available from Tovatech, features an extremely rugged stainless steel platform structure resistant to bending. The silicon-coated load cell has an IP rating of 67 or totally protected against dust (6) and against temporary immersion (7).  The backlit stainless steel display connects to the weighing platform by a 2.5 m cable.  Wall-mountable, the display has an IP rating of 68 for continuous use in wet areas.

These rugged industrial scales have 2-second stabilization and can be ordered with an optional wireless Bluetooth data interface or RS-232 and RS-485 (analog) … Read the rest

Compact Digital Crane Scale with Remote Readout

Time is money, so quickly determining or confirming the weight of products or pallets being loaded or unloaded at warehouses, transportation hubs, construction sites and similar locations is quickly accomplished using a compact Kern HFC digital crane scale with remote readout.  This allows personnel to confirm weight against manifests when they are as far as 100 meters (328 feet) away from the crane scale.

Working as a tensile force gauge, Kern HFC crane scales available from Tovatech are offered in four maximum weigh capacities: 1000, 3000, 5000 and 10,000 kg.  Respective readouts are 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000 grams.

Both the digital crane scale and remote hand-held display device are powered by rechargeable batteries for up to 30 hours of operation or by optional 3 x 1.5 volt AA batteries for up to 40 hours of operation.

The Kern digital crane scale display modules have an on-off switch and are … Read the rest