How to Prevent Damage, Downtime, and Inaccuracy.
In many instances a damaged floor scale can cost valuable time and profit. In most situations, outside of a cut cable, damaged scales will be used while it is broken without anyone being aware that there is something wrong. This can be a huge issue from a quality standpoint.
Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken to prevent damages to floor scales. Here are eight measures that can be taken to prevent costly damages.
1. Anchor heavy duty guards to the floor around a scale.
Doing this will stop a fork truck from making contact with a foot or load cell.
2. Use a locator plate that anchors to the floor to prevent a floor scale from sliding.
When you use locator plates, you typically only need two (2); one kitty-corner from the other to prevent the scale from moving in any direction. (guard the scale first before you use locator plates).
For applications where accuracy and repeatability are critical, look for a scale that has a sub-frame that can anchor to the floor. These scales have built in checking and rocker pins to support the weighbridge and don’t require locator plates. They also have a location to attach conduit to the subframe. This is the ideal long term solution for a floor scale. Floor scales with a subframe have the overall lowest cost of ownership of all floor scale designs.
3. Put the home run cable in permanent conduit.
The conduit will last for years and if the subframe, guards, or locator plates are in place, it will prevent and likely eliminate the possibility of another cut home run cable.
4. Get a floor scale that has built in overload protection and 100% end loading.
Nothing will prevent a severe shock load from damaging a scale, but if you find one that is designed with overload and end loading in mind, the chance of this happening is greatly reduced.
100% end loading means that a scale has double the load cell capacity of the published capacity of the scale. For example, a 5000 lb scale will have four (4) 2500 lb load cells if it has 100% end loading.
5. Make sure the scale has hermetically sealed load cells and a water resistant rated junction box if there is a risk of getting water on the scale.
Many manufacturers make people ask for this, do research before purchasing a scale.
6. Any plant where plastics are manufactured or assembled have a potential for static. A good grounding scheme will need to be employed to prevent damage to the scale.
Cech technicians have been trained to ground scales correctly as to not damage components.
7. Not all scales are created equal, so if the deal seems too good to be true, it is. Cheap scales have poor welds, cheap electronic components, and off brand load cells.
If the scale will be used heavily, plan on replacing the scale frequently.
Weigh the cost of the scale to the number of times it will need to be replaced. It is better to invest in a better quality scale that can be serviced and protected than continuously buying and replacing cheap scales.
Also consider that because it’s an off brand scale, load cells and related components are likely not stocked by a local scale company. Expect downtime if one fails.
8. Work with a reputable service company that takes customers’ scales and their performance seriously.
A good service company like Cech will tailor a program to meet the customer’s usage needs and help set the frequency of service.
Predictive maintenance is a legitimate money saver. By inspecting all the components on a scale down time between visits can be prevented.
A scales performance can be impacted by things that test weights won’t show with a one time test. Use a company that will look at everything while they are there testing a scale.
In summary, it is important to make the initial investment in a floor scale, and take care of it like any other device you rely on. Make the decision based on both immediate needs and future ones. If you consider the items listed above and discuss your needs with a Cech sales professional, you will have a reliable system that will last for many years with little trouble.
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