To assist you in your industrial scale purchasing decision, the PCE Instruments (PCE) technical sales and support team has put together the below criteria for selecting a industrial scale. However, should you require additional assistance with finding the right industrial scale for your application, please don't hesitate to contact PCE at or +44 (0) 2380 987 035 for PCE Instruments UK , or at or +1 (561) 320-9162 for PCE Americas Inc.
When evaluating different industrial scales, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the anticipated weight of the lightest item to be weighed?
This helps you determine the minimum capacity needed for your industrial scale.
- What is the anticipated weight of the heaviest item to be weighed?
This helps you determine the maximum capacity needed for your industrial scale. Please note that typically the higher the maximum load that a scale will accommodate, the less accurate the weighing capability of the scale will become. There are high-capacity high-resolution industrial scales; however, the cost may be prohibitive.
- What are the anticipated dimensions of the items to be weighed?
This helps you determine the size of the platform or weighing pan needed for your industrial scale. The platform or pan size should relate to the maximum load and measuring accuracy of the scale, as the platform or pan should be constructed to ensure the ideal placement of the item in the center of the surface. If the load is placed outside the center of the pan, leverage can occur. While the load cells of most industrial scales can compensate for the effects of leverage up to a certain angle, samples larger than the pan size must be positioned more carefully to ensure the center of gravity falls within the center of the pan. Traditionally, the more accurate a scale is, the smaller the platform or pan size is.
In some instances, a industrial scale will feature an underfloor weighing function for weighing objects unable to be placed on the scale due to the object's size or shape. A scale with an underfloor weighing function will feature a hook on the bottom for suspending loads.
- Does the weighing procedure have to be verifiable? (law requirement)
Provided the form and design of the industrial scales have been specified in detail, further requirements are to be clarified. An important information, which influences the choice of the appropriate industrial scales a lot, is the question whether the verification is obligatory. Verifiable weighing processes must be carried out with approved verified industrial scales, otherwise, in case of violation, fines may be charged. Verified industrial scales are required there, where a price is set with the help of the determined weight.
However, if the weighing values are intended for in-house use, verification is not mandatory and should be avoided if possible. Verification restricts some functions of the industrial scales, which possibly do not conform to the regulations, but may turn out to be very helpful in the process of operation.
- What level of accuracy is required for your weighing purposes?
This helps you determine the resolution needed for your industrial scale. If the measuring accuracy of the industrial scale is not indicated separately, the basic formula to assess the accuracy of an industrial scale is that the measurement deviation is the resolution value multiplied by 3 or 4. If better accuracy is desired, consider a buffer factor of 10 for the industrial scale. For example: If a scale has a resolution 0.1 g, then a measurement uncertainty of approx. ± 0.3 g ... ± 0.4 g has to be assumed (unless otherwise described). However, if a measuring accuracy of 0.1 g is desired, then you should look for a scale with a resolution of 0.01 g (factor 10).
Depending on the application, a calibration weight set may come in handy for verifying the accuracy of the industrial scale and, if necessary, to adjust the scale accordingly. Like any piece of weighing equipment, a industrial scale can drift over time and increase the measuring error.
- What is the goal of weighing the items?
This helps you determine if advanced functionality beyond weighing is needed for your industrial scale. This question can only be answered by the scale's end user. Some examples of advanced functions include: sum, tare, recipe, piece counting, hold (animal weighing), density measuring, suspended weighing and drying (moisture content measuring). For some users, the piece counting function is essential for performing an inventory quickly. At the same time, other users need the piece counting function for checking product completeness. For the product completeness application, a light or indicator is required to confirm the desired result. While both kinds of users would like to use the piece counting function, each type of user has a different purpose. Not every industrial scale with a piece counting function will include a light or indicator. That is why the purpose of weighing should be clearly defined by the end user and only then, according to the user's specific criteria, a scale should be selected.
- What do you plan to do with the weight data after the weighing process is complete?
This helps you determine if an interface is needed to connect your industrial scale to a PC or printer. An interface allows the weighing data to be transferred. Examples enabling data transfer include USB, RS-485 and RS-232 ports, Bluetooth and WLAN interfaces, analog outputs and removable memories (like SD cards or USB sticks).
- What documentation requirements must the industrial scale meet for your organization's quality assurance program?
An optional ISO calibration certificate is available as an accessory to most PCE-branded industrial scales for an additional fee. An ISO calibration certificate is a document with a PRESET / ACTUAL comparison of your device. An ISO calibration certificate documents the measurement deviation, linearity error, repeatability and measurement error of the excessive load.
- What is your price limit?
This helps you determine if a industrial scale falls within your budget. After answering the above questions, you may have your purchasing decision narrowed down to a handful of different models of industrial scales. It should be taken into account that the appropriate industrial scale should simplify, expedite and/or make the weighing process safer or better. Therefore, it is not always worthwhile to choose the most affordable industrial scale.
Industrial crane scales
Industrial crane scales are designed for weighing the suspended loads. Due to the shackle, included into the delivery, this type of industrial scales is hanged between the available crane and the load to be lifted. Safety plays a decisive role here, that is why the quality of the industrial scales usually exceeds the standard requirements. Some industrial crane scales have a rotatable hook, with which a possible rotational movement of the weighing material can be compensated. Therefore, the user must check whether the crane's dimensions correspond to the shackles of the industrial crane scales, the lifting height is still sufficient, and whether there is a risk of a rotating load. If the load is moved through several lifting points, several industrial crane scales can be configured to a system. This type of industrial scale is mainly used where the loads are already moved with an available crane, so that the previous workflow is not interrupted. Among the advantages of these industrial scales are the relatively cheap purchase price and the possibility of weighing large and heavy objects precisely.
Industrial platform scales
Industrial platform scales consist of an evaluation unit (display) and an external platform (weighing plate). The platform is mainly mounted on or in the work table. For the industrial scales, the platform size plays a particularly important role. There are two types of platform scales, that should be used for specific applications. The more cost-efficient industrial scales have only one weighing cell (single point) in the center of the platform. This structure, however, is significantly higher in comparison to the platform with 4 weighing cells, since the struts of the construction must be more stable. The single point weighing plate is limited in size, since the leverage forces can otherwise damage the cell easily. In the industrial scales with 4 weighing cells, the platform size is more flexible, because the load is spread over 4 points and thus larger platform dimensions can be possible. The price should play a minor role in the selection of the appropriate industrial scales, since the fulfillment of the application requirements should be a priority. The industrial platform balances are differently secured against transverse and leverage forces and should be selected in accordance with the requirements at the application site, in order to ensure a long-lasting operation.
Industrial pallet scales
This form of the industrial scales is designed for pallet weighing. The loading of the industrial pallet scales can be carried out with the help of the lift trucks, industrial trucks or stackers and thus sets particular requirements to the weighing system.
If the industrial scales are to be loaded with a lift truck, this solution would help then to avoid driving on ramps. To this, we offer industrial scales in U-shape / beam form and for the floor installation. The U-shape allows driving with the lift truck between two beams and placing the pallet on the weighing beams. By pumping the lift truck, it is possible to pick up the pallet conveniently again and remove from the industrial scales. The pallet scales in U-shape are designed for EU pallets (800 x 1200 mm).
If the other pallet sizes, e.g. industrial pallets, should be weighed, the industrial scales in beam shape can be a solution. Here, the two weighing beams are connected with a cable, and thus provide a flexible distance between both weighing beams.
The most elegant solution is the installation of the industrial scales into the floor. Thus, the possible damages, that may occur during driving-up to the industrial scales, can be avoided. The platform size can be selected in such a way that all common pallet sizes are covered and the loading can be carried out conveniently with the help of the usual means. Floor scales are mainly used where stackers move the goods to be weighed.
These industrial scales are supplied ready for use and furthermore can be brought in operation by means of a stacker. As an option, an underframe can be installed to bring the industrial scales up. Due to the gap between the floor and the scales that appears after that, the loading of the industrial scales can be carried out by means of an electric lift truck.
Drive-on scales are industrial scales with at least one ramp. If the industrial scales are equipped with two drive-on ramps, they can also be used as drive-through scales. The space necessity is higher because of the drive-on ramps and certain efforts are required when loading with a hand-held lift truck. This form of industrial scales is used in places where different pallet sizes are moved with a usual lift truck or an electric one.
Lift trucks with integrated scales are a very popular type of industrial scales. Here, two useful features are compactly combined and cover a variety of applications. It must, however, be considered that the main purpose of these industrial scales is the weighing and not the transport of the pallets. If the lift truck is used as a normal lift truck, there is a certain risk that with the time the installed weighing system works with imperfections and shows measurement deviations.