External, platform-based scales (i.e. pallet scales, conveyor belt scales, truck scales, etc.) have been the conventional standard for most logistics warehouses.
However, on-board weigh scale technology has revolutionized the industry standard for warehousing operations by delivering a more convenient and streamlined weighing solution. Unlike conventional scales, on-board systems are installed on the actual vehicle or piece of equipment, delivering quick and accurate weight measurements more efficiently and fluidly (which is what any logistics or supply chain warehouse can benefit from.)
A Closer Look at On-board Weigh Scales
On-board weigh scales have been in use for several years now and they have had major use in trucks and conveyor belts. This technology has undergone a major revolution across the years and is now more efficient, accurate and simple to use. This has been achieved by the state of the art technology and features that have been put into use in these on-board weigh scales, such as those offered at Walz Scale.
Although on-board scales seem advanced and complex, the science and technology that has been put to use in these weigh scales is quite simple. On-board weigh scales have several features that allow them to perform their job as needed.
One of the components is a load cell. These load cells are similar to the ones found in the platform based weigh scales, only that they can withstand maximum load or above maximum load. The other vital component is a digital display which shows the truck driver or equipment operator the amount of weight or payload he/she has in his/her vehicle or equipment.
The display is assisted by an alarm system which sounds when the set maximum weight is exceeded. Setting of the maximum weight is done via a plug in keypad which is connected to the system. Three points indicating three different weight limits are programmed to the system and the alarm sounds off when the third limit is reached.
To get more technical, the load cells talked about before are technically referred to as the strain gauge load cells. They are placed in between the chassis of the vehicle and the body in a truck and within the conveyor belt system in a conveyor belt.
These strain gauge load cells use the change in electrical resistance to determine the weight on the truck or equipment. They relay very accurate information and have an enhanced longevity. They are very flexible in design as they can be customized for different body set-ups and adjusted for the accommodation of the entire weight of the vehicle or equipment.
From here, the system is wired to the display and in the case of a truck; the ignition switch of the vehicle. This means that any time the vehicle is on, the system is also on. For conveyor belts, microprocessors are included in the design. They monitor the weight in the destination point of the conveyor belt and if the limit is reached, the conveyor belt is shut down automatically.
Advantages of Using On-board Scale Technology
On-board scales come with a number of advantages, which explains their popularity in so many industries. In short, these scales are very cost effective. The common phrase used to explain this cost effectiveness is, "You don’t bring the load to the scale. The scale comes to you."
This implies that unlike platform-based weigh scales (such as pallet scale systems) that required one to arrive with the load to measure weight, on-board weigh scales cut on this transportation cost by offering immediate, real-time weight monitoring. For warehousing and logistics companies, this can offer incredible value.
These scales are also efficient and profitable to a business, whether it is a truck business mining business or an industry relying on conveyor belts and forklifts, as compared to the conventional platform based weigh scales. The data obtained from these scales are also very accurate, thus good enough to be within your equipment or truck.
Beyond the more traditional truck scales that we often cover here at RoadWeigh.com, in this article we depict three different types of weigh scales which contribute to greater improvements in efficiency and throughput for warehousing and distribution operations.
These weigh scale systems include: pallet scales, lift truck scales, and conveyor belt scales.
Pallet scales have undergone a lot of innovation over the years, and now these types of scales come in various types. When it comes to weighing pallets and boxes in a warehouse (some of which can be very oddly sized) pallet scales provide quick and effortless weighing solution. Since there are so many types of pallet scales that are available to you these days, one should take some time to know some things about your own requirements before you invest in pallet scales.
Pallet Beam Scales
These scales are the most commonly used type of pallet scale. They make use of easily adjustable beams to facilitate the weighing process when dealing with irregularly shaped and sized items. Strong and durable, these are the popular pallet scales of choice for usability, and a great choice is you need a general all-rounder.
Pit Mounted Pallet Weighing Scales
This type of pallet scale is installed above a pit in the ground, into which the items that need to be weighed are put before being weighed. Pallet scales such as this take up very little floor space and so are a popular choice for factories and warehouses where space is restricted.
Portable Pallet Jack Scale
As the name suggests, the main advantage of these pallet scales is that they are portable. They are usually build using lightweight, but strong, materials, and are mostly used by large-scale industrial businesses and are used to weigh extremely large loads.
Pallet scales are ideal for warehousing applications as well as smaller logistics and distribution businesses that ship goods. Since it becomes easy to weigh and move at the same time, a lot of effort on labor is also saved. The electric pallet scales are also something that one should look into as they also provide the option of using less fuel and can be used even in places where there may not be any power supply.
Lift Truck Scales
With some fork lift trucks, today there is option of buying fork lifts with built-in electronic scales. These are called "on-board scales" as the weighing system is integrated on the actual vehicle. Fork trucks or lift trucks with integrated scales are a great safety mechanism, in addition to being easy to use. The item or load can be mounted onto the fork truck and the scales will display the weight.
Advantages of Lift Truck Scales
- There are many advantages to having electronic scales for fork lifts the main one being safety. Exceeding the load capacity onto the fork lift truck can be very dangerous for the operator and for surrounding people as well, using the scales will make sure that an excessive weight will never be carried around.
- Another advantage is that the scales can be linked up to other programs. The scales can be programmed to communicate directly with a terminal or warehouse management system; this can save time and gives a whole new scope of possibilities.
- Using scales within the fork lift truck will prevent overloading lorries and vans as well which has a knock on effect, the lorries can then safely transport the loads safely, and at the other end the forklifts can unload the lorries again knowing they are the right weight.
Conveyor Belt Scales
Conveyor belt scales are an important part of many manufacturing and logistics management processes as they weigh the material being transported along a conveyor belt, whether it is raw materials such as iron ore or some other kind of product being transported on the conveyor belt. Conveyor belts can be set up outdoor or indoor in the warehouse space or the manufacturing plant. The scales are set up so that the product is weighed while it is being transported along the conveyor belt.
There are many different types of conveyor belt scales; they can be freestanding units, or integrated into the actual belt. What is chosen will depend on the type of product that must be weighed and whether the conveyor belt is external or internal. It is extremely important to choose the correct type of scales for the job, as accuracy is an important factor. If the scales do not measure with the best accuracy it can have a really huge impact on the company.
Such scales may also be referred to as a weightometer or a belt scale. But no matter what they are called, they all need to be chosen carefully and installed properly if they are to give the most accurate reading and thus save the user company money. Some of the major factors for installation are vertical alignment, the horizontal alignment and horizontal idler spacing, idler frame and roller selection and the weigh frame location.