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.  Because scale calibration is important – required by law in many instances – we offer these instructions on 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, as noted above,  in many instances it’s required by law.  Another source is the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Weights and Measures Program Requirements, which provides detailed information on this topic.

Why Calibrated Scales are Important

All of us are familiar with transactions where scale accuracy … Read the rest

How Counting Scales Count

Counting Scales

Counting scales are great time savers that also improve the accuracy of counts when the objective is to ship or receive X numbers of widgets. They are also great for inventory management because they allow you to quickly determine how many widgets are in stock and when it is time to order more.

How do Piece Counting Scales Count?

Keep in mind that a piece counting scale can be programmed to determine the count of a number of products that are kept in the scale’s internal memory but each product must be the same. You must separate bolts from nuts, (and lock washers while we’re at it) not combine them unless you are counting assembled nuts, bolts and lock washers. And all bolt, nut and lock washer assemblies being counted must be the same. A counting scale with an internal memory of 100 items can store data for up to … 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

Tips for Analytical Balance Weighing Accuracy

Accuracy is a prime if not the prime criterion for analytical balances used in industries such as researching and compounding pharmaceuticals. Analytical balance weighing accuracy is a measure of how close the displayed weight is to the actual weight of samples on the weighing pan.

Two terms apply here. The first is readout, which is the smallest difference in weight that can be read and displayed by the unit. For an analytical balance it is typically 0.1 milligram or 0.001 g. Micro and ultra microbalances can weigh lighter samples.

Accuracy is sometimes confused with precision but it is an incorrect assumption. Precise means that results are consistent. However they may be consistently wrong, and therefore not accurate.

Instead, the second term or criterion to look for is linearity. Linearity is the maximum ± deviation of the displayed sample weight vs. the actual sample weight over the weighing range of the … Read the rest

Dual-Range Industrial Platform Scales with Bluetooth Interface

The versatile dual-range SXS industrial platform scale
The versatile dual-range SXS industrial platform scale

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 … Read the rest

Tips on Selecting a Laboratory Balance

A lot goes into selecting a laboratory balance. Let’s start with weight.  You’ll need to select a balance that displays sample weight to the resolution desired.  This is described as readout.  Readout can be to several decimal places presented in grams or milligrams.

Select a balance with a weighing capacity in excess of the samples you plan to weigh.  Some balances also specify the minimum load that can be placed on the weighing plate.

Why is this you ask?  If the sample weight is not much larger than the expected weighing error, the measured value will be neither accurate nor repeatable.  For this reason the spec sheet for laboratory balances may specify a minimum load.  For the Kern ABT 0.1 mg readout balances available with maximum loads of 120, 220 and 320 grams the minimum load is 10 mg.  But if you want to weigh samples less than 10 mg … Read the rest

New Digital Platform Scale Performs Multiple Functions

Kern IKT platform scale in a counting app.
Kern IKT platform scale in a counting app.

A newly released family of Kern IKT digital touch screen platform scales now available from Tovatech performs multiple measuring and weighing functions in a single package. This versatile tool allows companies to reduce their scale “inventory” and associated maintenance costs by consolidating diverse measuring and weighing functions from recipe to animal weighing on a single unit.   Fully 9 operating modes are accommodated.  

Ease of use is another feature of the IKT digital platform scales, all equipped with stainless steel weighing plates, one of which can be used for suspending weighing.  Maximum weighing capacity ranges from 3,100 to 151,000 grams. An intuitive backlit LCD digital touch screen measures 5.8 inches on the diagonal to clearly display the functions being performed.  Examples include:

  • A large keypad for easy input of text and values, also displaying the operator’s name
  • A clear menu structure with keys
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How to Choose Platform Scales

A Digital Platform Scale

Precision platform scales are widely used in laboratory, industrial, and related applications where a high degree of weighing accuracy is required.  In addition to weighing mundane items such as packages a platform scale is used for piece counting, net-total recipe weighing, and percentage determination that shows the deviation from a reference weight. 

Platform balances such as the Kern DE series available from Tovatech are available in a variety of models, enabling users to specify the correct scale based on their requirements.   These scales have maximum weighing capacities from 6 kilograms to 300 kilograms (approximately 13 to 660 pounds).  Other models weigh up to 600 kilograms.

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Internal vs External Analytical Balance Calibration

The Kern ABJ analytical balance features automatic calibration. The companion ABS balance is calibrated externally.
The Kern ABJ analytical balance features automatic calibration. The companion ABS balance is calibrated externally.

Calibration is a procedure intimately associated with analytical balances.  Calibration determines the relationship between the displayed value and true mass by comparison with a known mass.  In other words, calibration determines the accuracy of an analytical balance or precision scale.

Suppliers of analytical balances and precision scales such as Tovatech have sources that provide calibration services and certificates for newly purchased equipment.  Good laboratory practices, good manufacturing practices as well as conformance to several published regulations call for regular recalibration of these instruments and adjusting them if required.  To accommodate this manufacturers such as Kern offer analytical balances and precision scales with automatic internal calibration and adjustment (if needed) or external calibration and manual adjustment.… Read the rest

How to Use a Precision Scale for Check Weighing

“Net weight one pound” it says on a bag of potato chips.  You used to be able to buy a pound of coffee but now while the cans look the same the weights vary.  One brand notes 11.5 ounces, another 10.3 ounces.  Why is this? More than that, how do we know the can really contains 10.3 ounces of java?  It is a conundrum we have to tolerate.

Joking aside, accuracy in weighing or in counting is no laughing matter when it comes to complying with rules governing net content and average weights.  It is also important from a cost management perspective. While variances in potato chip and coffee weight is not a serious safety concern, putting more in the bag or can than called for is a cost management issue.  Accuracy is a safety issue when it comes to pharmaceutical dosages and similar critical applications.  Here is how precision … Read the rest