Updated: May 22
After purchasing a scale and preparing your team for installation, the process needs to be organized and efficient to avoid hiccups and added labor costs. There are many important steps in the installation process; They require a specific order, and in some instances, they overlap.
That's why Cech Corporation has compiled these tips and best practices for getting a scale up and running without confusion or complications.
1. Figure out the logistics.
Once the location has been decided, it's time to consider logistics. Installing a scale is similar to building a house, there are many important steps in the process. We like to break these tasks down into two categories:
Customer Supplied and Scale Company Supplied
A scale company can and will provide turnkey solutions, but in some instances, safety requirements may dictate what can and cannot be done by an outside contractor. We must also consider the end users preferred contractors when working through the installation schedule.
Typical Customer Supplied Items
Excavation work for the foundation
Disposal of excavated material
Conduit and electrical work from the scale house to the scale foundation. This will include peripheral items such as remote displays, cameras, card reader, gate controls, etc.
Typical Scale Company Supplied Items
Foundation work A scale foundation is an integral part of the project - Cech Corporation has a foundation contractor that specializes in scale foundations who meets the tight tolerances required for the scale.
Crane work Overhead obstacles need to be addressed before the scale can be moved from a delivery truck to the foundation.
Scale components Such as cable, concrete anchors, surge protection, ground rod, scale terminal, printer, mounting poles, and peripherals, to name the most common items.
Installation and calibration of the scale
2. Meet the team
After determining the scale specifications, it's important a formal introduction takes place between your selected scale vendor and your general contractor. Lack of communication between contractors and vendors throughout the ENTIRE installation process can negatively affect cost, time, and the overall quality of an installation. The following are subjects that need to be discussed prior to work beginning:
The following are subjects that need to be discussed prior to work beginning:
In the beginning, the scale company, general contractor and concrete subcontractor need to discuss the tolerances required for the installation. If a subcontractor cannot perform the work to the tolerance required by the scale manufacturer, provisions should be made to have the local scale company provide the foundation work. This is an important aspect of the installation as it can be very costly to correct a foundation that doesn’t meet the specification.
The cable requirements and conduit runs need to be conveyed from the scale company to the general contractor and electrical subcontractor. A formal drawing should be created and include what the scale requires. This should include conduit runs depicting cable lengths needed and where power sources are needed for the scale peripherals.
Communicating delays on all ends is critical, all the parties involved should be informed if there is a delay in any part of the installation and changes in scheduling as a result should be communicated to avoid scheduling issues. Weather delays, for example, are common on projects.
Time needs to be allotted to inspecting and measuring the foundation before a scale arrives. Errors will need to be fixed before a scale can be installed.
3. Streamline installation
Once construction begins the following steps can be taken to streamline the installation:
The scale company should provide all necessary cabling and mounting poles prior to installation allowing for installation during road and conduit work.
Scale representatives should make periodic visits to view the work progress and answer questions. On-site presence is key to maintaining smooth progression.
While on site scale representatives should be speaking with IT and/or security personnel. If the scale is interfacing with a PC or is going to be operated by security personnel, this time can be used to gather feedback needed for final configuration of a scale terminal.
4. Set up a maintenance schedule
Maintaining a scale is equally important as properly installing one. During the final stages of an installation a calibration and service schedule should be established between the scale owner and scale service company; This can often been done with the scale representative that assists with the installation process.
Congratulations, you just installed a new truck scale!
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