The Importance of Calibrating Industrial Scales
For many industries across the world, a reliable and accurate industrial scale is at the heart of everyday operations. From weighing large pallets in a shipyard to counting nuts and bolts in a factory, potential uses for industrial weighing scales vary widely and offer a variety of benefits.
Because of their importance, you really need to look after your devices and provide a regular scale care routine to ensure optimal performance. One of the most fundamental ways to do this is to calibrate your industrial scale to ensure a high accuracy. Some scales can do this internally, although for some you will require calibration weights to do this manually.
For more information on internal or external calibration, please see our blog: Internal or External Calibration: Which is Right for You?
Why do you need to calibrate a scale?
First and foremost, scale calibration is essential to providing accurate weighing results with every use. Working with an industrial scale that has not been correctly calibrated is ill-advised and can cost time and money, as well as potentially impacting your business’ reputation. Reduced quality of your goods or product recalls are just two potentially harmful results that can stem from having non-calibrated weighing equipment.
Over time your scale will lose accuracy – it happens! General day-to-day use combined with inevitable mishaps such as spillages or knocks eventually take their toll. Luckily, setting up a calibration schedule for your scales and balances will increase their longevity and ensure that they remain accurate for longer.
Benefits of calibration
Having correctly calibrated industrial scales ensures that your equipment is ready to go and accurate at all times. Here are eight reasons why calibration is so crucial:
- Accuracy - Sustaining a high level of accuracy for all weight measurements. Obvious, but completely fundamental for all industries that rely on weighing equipment. This could be anything from accurate parts counting to recipe-based industries such as food production or industrial mixing processes.
- Avoiding legal concerns - Potential legal issues could arise from incorrectly weighed produce, including anything from customer complaints all the way to fines or even legal action. Many different legal processes must be adhered to, such as using trade approved scales when selling a product based on its weight, or complying with shipping regulations.
- Customer confidence - It is obviously essential that your customers know exactly what to expect and having a calibrated industrial scale or balance helps guarantee that you maintain a strong level of customer confidence.
- Save money - The correct calibration of a balance or scale for industrial use helps to avoid potential issues that could cost money, such as product recalls or wastage. It may also help bypass any shipping and transit issues that could occur as a result of a box or pallet being incorrectly weighed.
- Keep track of aging equipment - Identify any signs of deteriorating equipment. Keeping a regular calibration routine for your scales or balances allows you to spot any signs that they are aging. You are then able to make an informed decision to either repair or replace your instrument.
- Compatibility and uniformity - If you use more than one industrial weighing scale or balance, you will want them to provide the exact same results to avoid inaccurate data and confusion.
- Safety – Your products or produce must remain safe to use for customers. It’s as simple as that. For food production, it could be putting too much salt into a mixture as a result of poorly calibrated scales and breaches food safety guidelines. In industrial mixing such as concrete production, too much or too little of an ingredient could cause the solution to be overly brittle or soft. Safety is an issue that may come in a number of different forms depending on your industry, so you should be up to date with relevant health and safety regulations.
- Save time - Time is always of the essence for any business, so it’s crucial that your industrial scales are ready to go and accurate. If they are not, you risk product recalls or having your produce reweighed whilst in transit.
How often should weighing scales be calibrated?
This really depends on you and how you are using your industrial scale. There are a few key factors that can determine the frequency of your calibration: how often you weigh, the required degree of accuracy (also known as readability) and the environment in which you use the equipment.
How often you use your industrial scale should give you a good indication of how often you should be calibrating. Obviously if your device is used daily, it will generally be subject to more stress and strain than an instrument that is used once a month. For a device that requires a high level of accuracy on a consistent basis (such as an analytical balance for pharmaceutical use, for example), daily calibration or calibration before use is suggested. For something larger where exact accuracy is not as crucial, once a year is often seen as being a suitable guideline.
Lastly, scales and balances can be sensitive to their environments. If your device is located in a harsh environment, such as a warehouse or factory, they will be exposed to more knocks, potential hazards, temperature changes, liquid or dust ingress and more. Your scale or balance could need calibrating if it changes location often or even if it is moved to a greater height. This mainly affects instruments with exceptionally high readabilities such as analytical balances, but it is good practise to calibrate after moving your scale or balance regardless.
Remember, it is up to you to ensure that your weighing scales and balances are correctly calibrated and any issues that arise as a result of poor or no calibration will reflect poorly on you and your business.
For more information on weighing scale calibration, please contact us on 01908972660 or Get In Touch.