How to Use Washdown Scales
When you’re talking about scales used for messy applications or in dirty, damp locations, the ability to thoroughly wash a scale is imperative. That's why scale manufacturers provide washdown scales.
What is a washdown scale?
A washdown scale is outfitted with IP-rated stainless steel construction and thorough sealing, enabling it to withstand thorough, frequent cleaning with a high-pressure washer or a hose. Washdown scales rated IP68 or above can be considered fully waterproof, while scales IP67-rated and lower offer advanced protection against water when compared with non-IP rated scales.
Washdown scales are used because they allow for the easy removal of any residual particles after weighing, which minimises the possibility of cross-contamination, removes dirt build-up and helps eliminate the growth of bacteria, mould or other toxins.
Using a washdown scale
A washdown scale is used within a variety of industries from food and catering to industrial and pharmaceutical. They are purpose made for wet environments and come with robust stainless steel pans that allow them to be washed without the risk of damaging the internal components of the scale. The fishing industry in particular use washdown waterproof scales for handling and weighing hauls of fish, large stainless steel platforms are often used to weigh fish in bulk, whilst fishmongers use trade approved washdown scales with price calculation features in order to buy and sell fish products by weight.
Why you should use a washdown scale for weighing food
Washdown scales can be used by markets for food weighing applications including the weighing of fruit, vegetables and produce. For example, sacks of potatoes are both heavy and likely to accrue dirt on a weighing scale over time. Therefore, it is essential that you use weighing equipment that is robust, convenient and easy to clean.
Let's take the potatoes example above to show how a washdown scale is ideal for food weighing:
- Firstly, a bag of potatoes is likely to weigh enough to make lifting a challenge, the washdown scale features a low weighing pan that is convenient for placing heavy and bulky loads without the need for extended lifting.
- Secondly, the scale can withstand heavy-duty weighing up to a 32kg capacity due to its stainless steel construction.
- Lastly, weighing vegetables like potatoes or carrots is guaranteed to produce dirt and bacteria, the stainless steel pan is combined with a protected loadcell chamber which allows you to extensively clean the scale without the risk of internal damage and ensuring food hygiene standards.
Using washdown scales for building work
Due to its versatile design, the washdown scale is ideal for building and industrial jobs from general construction work to mining. The scale’s stainless steel pan is useful for weighing building materials such as slate, limestone or brick for houses due to its robust material composition and easy-to-wash properties. For example, the scale can use checkweighing features for calculating the weight of tile shipments precisely, ensuring you have an ample amount of materials on-site for work to begin. The same checkweighing features can be used for weighing coal for local distribution and selling when using a trade approved washdown scale.
IP ratings for weighing scales
Manufacturers produce scales with a variety of ingress protection ratings, or IP ratings. These ratings are given to devices based on their level of protection against intrusion of dust and water. By industry definition, washdown scales must have at least an IP65 rating.
|1||Protected against solid objects greater than 50mm|
|2||Protected against solid objects greater than 12mm|
|3||Protected against solid objects greater than 2.5mm|
|4||Protected against solid objects greater than 1.0mm|
|5||Dust protected (small quantities OK)|
|0||No special protection|
|1||Water dripping/falling vertically|
|2||Water sprayed at an angle (up to 15º degrees from the vertical)|
|3||Spray water (any direction up to 60º degrees from the vertical)|
|4||Spray water from all directions (limited ingress OK)|
|5||Low-pressure water jets from all directions (limited ingress OK)|
|6||High-pressure jets from all directions (limited ingress OK)|
|7||Protection against strong water jets and waves.|
|8||Protected against temporary immersion.|
|9||Protected against prolonged effects of high-pressure immersion|
What does an IP rating mean?
The International Electrotechnical Commission sets and regulates the standards for defining the type of protection. The IEC is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.
What does this mean for someone who’s shopping for a washdown scale? When the internal mechanisms of these devices offer protection against dust and water, they are assigned an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. The IP rating is a number that corresponds with the level of protection. The degrees of ingress protection are expressed as “IP” followed by a two-digit number, such as IP65, IP66 and IP67. The numbers vary depending on the amount of protection provided.
The first digit in the IP rating designates how well the product is protected against particulate matter, such as dust. As the number increases, so does the amount of protection.
The second digit in the IP rating indicates how well the equipment is protected against water. Just as with the dust figure, a higher number means greater protection.
Inscale offers a selection of washdown scales that feature IP ratings of IP65, IP66, IP68 and IP69.
IWS Waterproof Scale - Inscale
Our own IWS waterproof scales features, durable stainless steel housing that has been completely sealed for ultimate water and dust protection. The IWS has built-in checkweighing applications with adjustable high and low limits as well as a vibrant LED display. This scale can easily fit on a worktop or workbench surface and is perfect for food production and general warehouse use.
With an IP65 rating, the kern SFB stainless steel platform scale is a good option for damp environments, such as those found in the food industry. The scale is made entirely from stainless steel and has a stainless steel load cell.
Adam Equipment Warrior Washdown Scale - Adam Equipment
The Adam Equipment Warrior washdown scale offers an IP66 rating and is well-suited for harsh settings. Featuring a fully welded grade 304 stainless steel base, top pan, pillar and indicator, the Warrior can be washed thoroughly with water during or after a task without the risk of damage. A sealed load cell and load cell protection chamber complete the protection of the product.
An IP68 rating means the A&D SE high-performance washdown scale is dustproof, waterproof, and even submersible in water. Affordably priced, the SE features a n epoxy-treated, corrosion-resistant load cell that is waterproof. Painted mild steel basework and a stainless steel platform mean the SE can withstand demanding industrial settings where frequent cleaning is needed.
The popular SW high-pressure washdown scale series comprises of a basework, indicator and complete scale range containing an IP69 protection level. Ideally suited for food-related weighing tasks, the SW can withstand regular cleaning with high-pressure hosing and hot water. A hermetically sealed stainless steel load cell offers premium protection against water intrusion. The polycarbonate/ABS head casing solves condensation issues that occur when stainless steel scales are used in humid locations or areas with a wide temperature range.