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laboratory testing

5 Laboratory Scale Accessories to Optimise Your Lab

While your laboratory scale is designed to work well on its own, incorporating laboratory scale accessories will help boost their productivity. From calibration weights to data collection software, these 5 accessories will see your lab running smoothly.

1.    Calibration Weights

One of the most crucial laboratory scale accessories are calibration weights. Over time, your lab balance may begin to provide results that drift or aren’t consistent when weighing the same item twice. These are indications that your scale needs to be calibrated.

Calibration weights, also known as test weights, are finely crafted metal blocks that represent specific weights. The lightest weight on Inscale is 1 milligram, while our heaviest is 50 kilograms. In the UK, they’re certified by the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML). This means they’re guaranteed to accurately reflect the correct weight.

Test weights are separated into classes: E1, E2, F1, F2 and M1. If you’re working with semi-micro or analytical balances that display four decimals or more, class E1 or E2 will be ideal. F1 suffice for analytical and precision balances that display two or three decimals, while F2 are sufficient for precision balances. For less precise scales, M1 weights are common. To learn more about which calibration weight class is right for your laboratory scale, read our blog here.

Calibration weight set from Adam Equipment

Here at Inscale, we supply both individual calibration weights as well as calibration weight sets, which include multiple weights across a specific range. This allows you to test up to your balance’s full capacity or test multiple balances of differing capacities at the same time. To optimise your laboratory scale to the best of its ability, it’s critical to calibrate them regularly, at least once a month. This way, your results are never in jeopardy of errors.

However, you may experience inconsistent weighing results even when you’ve just calibrated. In this case, you should consider your environment.

2.    Anti-Vibration Tables

Precision, semi-micro and analytical balances can be so precise that they become inconveniently sensitive to environmental influences, especially vibrations. Your coworker’s footsteps, the construction down the street, the air conditioning rumbling on and off all cause vibrations that can impact your results.

Anti-vibration tables neutralise vibrations and prevent them from causing a nuisance while you're working.  Heavy blocks of granite or marble as well as shock-absorbing rubber mounts safeguard against vibrations. The block sits on a frame independent from the rest of the table. The rest of the space you can use as a work surface. 

Adam Equipment AVT Anti-Vibration Table Accessory
Kern YPS-03 Anti-Vibration Table Accessory

Your balance gives you highly precise results – but you need to provide some help. We offer two anti-vibration tables, the AVT from Adam Equipment and the YPS-03 from Kern. The major difference between the two is not only the price, but the size of the granite slab. For those who use balances of varying widths, the AVT’s 400x450mm granite slab allows for a bit more wiggle room, while the YPS-03’s smaller 270x410mm slab allows for more room around the block for storage and workspace.  

3.    Ionisers

Just like vibrations, electrical static may impact your weighing results on highly sensitive laboratory scales. This can happen when weighing fabrics or other metals that rub against the pan, causing friction. To prevent this, some semi-micro balances like the A&D BM or Kern’s ABP have a built-in fan-less ioniser to nullify static charges. For those without that feature, portable ionisers such as Kern’s YBI-01 and Adam Equipment’s ABI-1 make excellent laboratory scale accessories. Simply turn them on and place them facing your balance so you can weigh without worry.

Adam Equipment ABI-1 Ioniser

4.    Printers

All laboratories should strive to comply with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) standards for data collection. Data records should include notes about the time and date the data was collected as well as the ID of the weighing device used. This ensures complete traceability. Luckily, many balances, when connected to a printer, include settings to automatically print the data with that information included.

Kern YKE-01 Label Printing Thermal Printer

Whenever you’re performing an experiment with your laboratory scale, press the print button on your printer when the weighing result stabilises. You’ll have a thoroughly compliant record of data with just the press of a button. This prevents errors caused by copying the data down manually, whether it’s by hand or typed in an online document. Even if you need to re-record the data elsewhere later, you have a fallback record to double check in case you notice inconsistencies.

Most printers from Inscale provide data on regular paper, though others, like Kern’s YKE-01, can print on labels instead. Printing on labels allows you to stick them directly on samples or sets of samples for easy identification. It's more convenient to reference the samples directly and compare them over time as well. 

5.    Data Management Software

Weight analysis is an important part of laboratory work, but not everyone is a statistical genius. Data management software, such as Adam Equipment’s Adam DU program, allows you to capture and perform analysis on your weight data. Able to support up to 8 laboratory scales simultaneously, Adam DU can provide you the minimum, maximum, median, mean, variance and standard deviation of your results in real time. Fully customise your experience with this laboratory scale accessory, and you’ll optimise your operations in no time.  

Adam Equipment AdamDU Data Collection Software

Whether you’re using just one of these laboratory scale accessories or all at the same time, you’re sure to improve the efficiency and productivity of your lab for years to come. For questions on how our accessories can help optimise your laboratory, contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

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