Weighing technology plays an important role not only in the home kitchen or at the health check. In industrial areas, for example, the technical assistants are used just as frequently and take over indispensable work steps. The requirements for industrial scales vary considerably from those for common purposes. There are also great differences between them. When selecting an industrial scale, it is therefore necessary to consider numerous criteria and to consider the characteristics of the models. Are there special weather conditions? Should the scale operate in the lower or upper weight range?
Basic features at a glance
An industrial scale is primarily characterized by a robust housing: Bracing and springs give large and small scales a high resistance factor. High-quality heavy-duty metal frames made of stainless steel and rubber coatings can even withstand loads of several thousand kilograms. But be careful: "waterproof" does not mean "waterproof" and "shockproof" is the opposite of "fall-proof". A guide to IP protection classes explains the main differences between the current directives. In the processing and food industry, hygienic factors must also be taken into account: Some industrial scales are equipped with an antibacterial protective coating. Thanks to such a protective layer, hygiene regulations are adhered to and the cleaning effort is reduced. Also of fundamental importance are the weight ranges that the scale should cover. From a few grams up to loads in the ton range (e.g., truck scales), an industrial scale can be used in a wide variety of weighing applications. Configurations can often be made in the lower and middle weight segment. Especially the weighing plate is available in different sizes.
Location-oriented features of an industrial scale
Depending on the intended purpose or location, an industrial scale can be equipped with a number of specifications. For example, if the model is to be used in legally protected areas, it must be designed to be verifiable. Often, however, a calibration function is only possible during initial commissioning, so the seller should be informed of this requirement before delivery. An alternative is offered by certificates such as those from the German Accreditation Body. So-called DAkkS certificates can also often be applied for subsequently - provided the industrial scale is designed for testing of this kind. However, regardless of whether or not an industrial scale is verifiable, with or without a calibration certificate: An industrial scale can also be very special in its form. However, the different designs are not so much due to their appearance as they are a result of their functionality. Analytical scales, for example, are often equipped with viewing boxes. This means that even in confusing situations or environments, sensitive substances, such as the smallest quantities of powder, can be stored safely and measured at leisure. Compared to analytical scales, floor scales, platform scales or drive-through scales are contrasting, but no less technically sophisticated. Special models are even available as underfloor versions. A useful extension for warehouses to weigh imports and exports without detours. Depending on the location, vibration-resistant components and particularly cold- and/or heat-resistant cladding can also be useful features.
Little extras with a big effect
Last, but not least, a wide range of additional functions can be offered. Usually industrial scales are supplied with power from the socket, but smaller models can also be used with rechargeable or standard batteries. An industrial scale almost always has a "back-up" function. This is because options such as a counting function or piece counting are configured in the memory of the scale. If the primary power connection fails, the backup power supplies will kick in and the configurations will be retained. How many initial weights can be set and how many weighing cycles can be recorded varies from model to model. In this context the display is of great importance. The era of two-colour displays is not over, but at least multi-colour displays are becoming increasingly common on industrial scales. Warnings, for example, can be visualized more clearly on multicolor displays. But the range of functions can also increase: If there is enough space for a sophisticated menu, there is a high probability that extras such as an automatic adjustment function are on board. With this input, the scale is reset at regular intervals and the measuring sensors work as precisely as on the first day.
Focus on the screen
The local touch screen trend has also found its way into the world of industrial scales. Although touch-sensitive screens are still a rare feature of industrial scales, declining prices for touchscreens, the advantages of an individual input surface and the disadvantages of mechanical keys are encouraging manufacturers to rely on touch-sensitive screens. Touch screens make menus easier to use and allow more precise input. Calculation fields, for example, are displayed to make handling easier. The elimination of keys and their indentations also makes the scale easier to clean. Grease-repellent special glasses guarantee that the contact surface remains largely germ-free.