Business owners and executives, have you ever taken a moment to think about adding an industrial weight scale to your toolbox? It may not be the most impressive tool of the bunch, but it can be useful nonetheless.
In some cases, it may be evident that a scale is required, whereas in others, not so much. Either way, they are incredibly beneficial, regardless of the industry.
The trick, as you might expect, is finding the right one for your business.
To help, we put together this guide on selecting the correct industrial weight scale for you and the factors you should consider to guarantee you find a scale that best suits your business needs.
Analog or Digital
Nowadays, this should be the easiest decision to make; you should go digital all the way. There are a few advantages of analog scales, such as they don’t require a power source. They are also good for low-weight and short-term applications. But for the most part, businesses will want to invest in digital scales.
Today’s digital scales can do far more than analog scales or even digital scales of yesteryear. Outside of rare situations, any business considering investing in an industrial weight scale will be in the market for a digital scale.
One of the most fundamental features a business will want to consider is how much weight they’re going to need to place on its scale. That means the maximum capacity needs to match all possible applications. For instance, industrial weight scales can handle items of 500 pounds or more. However, some businesses will never need to weigh anything heavier than 50 pounds, while others will never need to weigh anything heavier than five pounds.
Obviously, the capacity of the scale you choose for your business must meet your requirements. Most of the time, there will be no need to find a scale that can go far beyond your capacity needs.
Before purchasing an industrial weight scale, businesses must determine where they will place it. As we’ll see with some of the other items on our list, there are features available on digital scales that will influence how and where it’s used.
At the same time, keep in mind any size limitations for the area where you intend to place the scale. Scales, of course, come in a range of shapes and sizes. So, if you have limited space in the area you intend to place the scale, you should keep the dimensions in mind when purchasing.
Unit of Measure
Some businesses can sometimes take this factor for granted. But, it’s important nonetheless, as the unit of measure will be how the digital scale displays the weight. And depending on what units are used within your business, you’ll want to choose accordingly.
Fortunately, some scales can be switched back and forth between different units. But this is still something worth looking into before purchasing a scale. Some will give readings in pounds and ounces, while others will give them in grams and kilograms.
The preferred unit of measure can sometimes depend on capacity because companies that need to weigh smaller items may want to use grams rather than pounds because they will be more accurate on a smaller scale.
Readability is another factor that’s easy to overlook but equally important, especially for businesses that will use the industrial weight scale frequently to obtain precise measurements.
Readability typically refers to the number of spaces to the right of the decimal point on the scale. When it comes to small items and precise measurements, a business may need two or three numbers to the right of the decimal point. This isn’t always going to be important, but if it is, it’ll require a special type of digital scale.
These days, work with scales isn’t done in isolation or in a vacuum. In other words, the scale readings are connected to other systems in the workflow, demonstrating another reason digital scales outperform older analog scales.
This means that businesses need to look into how easily a digital scale can be linked to computers, printers, other devices, and software. Will this be compatible with inventory, tracking, or quality control? Of course, businesses will want to explore their connectivity and compatibility before making a purchase.
Indoor or Outdoor Use?
Another fundamental aspect of scales to consider is whether they’ll be used indoors or outdoors. Usually, if the scale will only be used indoors, any model will suffice. However, if outdoor use is envisaged or at least a possibility, businesses should exercise caution when selecting the industrial weight scale.
The scale chosen will need to be suitable for the elements while also using an LCD display as opposed to an LED display. An LCD display will function well regardless of temperature and be easier to read regardless of lighting conditions. If a business needs an outdoor scale, it must ensure it has an LCD display, among other possible features depending on the specific application.
Even if the scale is intended for indoor use, don’t discount the possible environmental conditions in the space. Even indoors, is there a chance that water or other liquids will come into contact with the scale? Will the scale be utilized in a dusty environment?
Waterproof scales are available on the market, as well as scales that can hold up well with liquids and other debris. But don’t make the mistake of purchasing a scale that isn’t built to withstand the wear and tear that’s expected of the environment in which the scale will be used.
As mentioned, one of the biggest differences between analog and digital scales is that analog scales don’t require a power supply. Obviously, this means that companies buying a digital scale will need to consider the power supply of the scale they purchase. Scales that plug into a wall will have a continuous power supply but lack easy mobility.
On the contrary, battery-powered scales can be picked up and moved with little effort. Of course, batteries can wear out over time and need to be replaced, which is something to keep in mind. But that doesn’t make one option better than the other; it’s a matter of preference and what option works best for the business.
Naturally, the application of the industrial weight scale is arguably the most vital factor to consider when purchasing for commercial use. Will only one item be weighed or a variety of objects? Will the scale be part of a conveyor belt or assembly line? Will the scale be stationary or moved frequently? Obviously, there are countless questions to be asked, which is why executives must first grasp the function of a digital scale before purchasing one.
Even if it’s not the biggest investment, you still must evaluate how the scale will be utilized to select the best one. That way, you’ll know any unique features you might need and how to prioritize them.
Nobody purchases a scale expecting it to malfunction before the warranty is up. But it’s still good to have a plan and consider what you’ll do if that happens. Will the scale be easy to troubleshoot? Is there customer service available? It may not seem like a big issue, but with more complex industrial weight scales, there is a lot going on, so they may not be so simple to fix.
Last but not least, you'll want to know the price of an industrial weight scale before making a purchase.
Naturally, the price will vary depending on your industry and scale application. For example, if you own a small business and intend to use the scale to weigh packaged goods for delivery, your requirements will certainly differ greatly from those of a farmer who has to measure food and livestock. The same is true for enterprises that require weighbridges, self-checkout stations, and so on.
So, depending on your industry and intended frequency of use, it may make more sense for your business to spend more on one and think of a scale as an investment. Of course, having a budget in mind is also a good idea. Some digital scales will come cheap, but not all of them, so factor your budget into all of the other factors and features that need to be considered when looking for the ideal scale for your business.
Want to discover the industrial weight scales we have on offer? Check out our range today! And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t fret, as we can tailor our weighing solutions to you. Reach out to us today to discuss all your scale needs.