List of Articles in the Category Digital Scales

How to Calibrate Precision Scales and Analytical Balances

Control panel for the Kern HCN Hanging Scale

Control panel for the Kern HCN Digital Hanging Scale

Before we describe how to calibrate precision scales and analytical balances we’ll tell you why you need to calibrate these precision weighing devices.  In many instances it’s required by law but in all cases calibrating these instruments, especially those used in R&D labs and other demanding applications, should be conducted on a regular basis as a part of good laboratory practices (GLP).

Calibration exercises apply to other types of scales for many of the same reasons.  Buyers and sellers of products want to get and give “fair measure.”  For the purpose of this post we’ll focus on precision scales and analytical balances where deviations between actual weight and displayed weight can be unacceptable.  Calibration exercises are aimed at making the scales as accurate as possible.  

In addition to explaining how to calibrate these weighing instruments this post first goes into detail … Read the rest

Selecting and Using Precision Scale Test Weights

Calibrating Scales with Test Weights

Weighing accuracy is a primary criterion for precision scales, analytical balances and moisture analyzers where readout (the smallest weight difference displayed) and linearity (the ± deviation from the actual weight) are governed by GLP, ISO and other standards.  Test weights have a critical role to play when scales  with capacities from milligrams to tons are not automatically internally (see below) calibrated . The type of calibration, whether internal or external, is indicated on scales’ spec sheets.

Selection Tips for Precision Digital Scales

10 Selection Tips for Precision Digital Scales

Today’s precision digital scales, also referred to as digital balances, perform a broad range of weighing-related functions in R&D, quality control, and similar applications where accuracy and precision are key criteria to meeting government, trade association, and industry-promulgated standards.  For purposes of discussion this post focuses on weighing equipment used in comparatively protected environments vs. scales found on manufacturing floors, shipping and receiving departments.  Let us hasten to add, however, that the need for precision and accuracy is important for any application, and equipment is available to meet required standards regardless of where scales are employed.

Precision and Accuracy Defined

Certain of our posts discussing precision digital scales and analytical balances harp on an important difference between precision and accuracy as selection criteria.  Allow us to cite an example:  A $5,000 wristwatch may be precise, but if the hands are set wrong it does not show the accurate time.  More … Read the rest

How to Simplify Liquor Inventory Management

How much remains in all those bottles?

How much remains in all those bottles?

A well-managed bar can often be the difference between profit and loss in a restaurant.  According to a Restaurant Resource Group posting, food and beverage inventory levels being too high relative to corresponding sales is one of 10 restaurant financial red flags.  That post provides some formulas for calculating food and beverage inventory.  Here we describe a liquor inventory management system that can be a major time saver.

Bar Inventory Management Simplified with Stocktaking Scale

Inventory management can be simplified through precision weighing systems.  An example is a scale-based inventory management system to count shipments at the receiving dock, stock in storage and stock shipped out.  Now, with the Kern SMT stock master balance available from Tovatech, keeping track of bar inventory no longer requires restaurant management to rely on eyeballing bottles and guesstimating the number of pours remaining in each.

Equipped with … Read the rest

Tips on Choosing Check Weighing Scales

The PES lab balance with check weighing capability

The PES lab balance with check weighing capability

Check weighing scales help deliver an honest measure. Check weighing benefits both buyer and seller because when properly programmed these scales help ensure buyers get what they pay for and sellers do not over or under package their products.

The importance of accurate check weighing – also called tolerance weighing – extends across virtually every market where weight (as opposed to quantity*) determines price and in most instances compliance with regulations such as promulgated by government, trade and professional associations.

Applications for check weighing scales run from the simple to the critical. Your box of breakfast cereal may say net wt 18.2 oz (why they don’t pack 19 oz is a mystery). It does not necessarily relate to volume, as many packages say “contents may settle due to handing.” At the other end, compounding pharmaceuticals calls for precise ingredient compilations within tightly … Read the rest

How Batch Weighing Scales Work

Compounding pharmaceuticals requires precise ingredient measurements

Compounding pharmaceuticals requires precise ingredient measurements

Batch weighing scales, also known as recipe scales and ingredient scales, find application across a wide spectrum of industries ranging from compounding pharmaceuticals to preparing bulk recipes for bread and other food or chemical products. Accuracy is of paramount concern when using recipe scales to compound pharmaceuticals allowing the precise weight of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and pharmaceutical excipients that together make up a dosage.

Types of Batch Weighing Systems

Batch weighing systems can be specified for virtually any application where a number of ingredients (also called components) go into a final product formula.

In a pharma lab, for example, analytical balances such as the Kern ABS-N and ABJ-NM scales available from Tovatech, all with readout of 0.1 mg, are ideal candidates for recipe weighing. The series has a dosage aid – a high-stability mode and other filter settings that contribute to accurate weighing … Read the rest

Inventory Management System Pairs Bulk Scale and Reference Balance

The Kern FKC Inventory Management System

The Kern FKC Inventory Management System

An accurate inventory management system combining a reference balance and a bulk scale speeds the flow and accuracy of product quantities from the receiving dock through inventory control and outbound shipments. The high resolution Kern FKC stocktaking counting system, available from Tovatech, quickly calculates stock quantities, which can be transferred to a PC for record keeping. A barcode scanner can be integrated with the stock keeping system to reduce errors in stock identification.

The FKC inventory management system combines a KERN KB-N reference balances and a KERN FKA bulk scale.

Inventory Management System Components

1. Reference Quantities
Reference quantities are established with the Kern KB-N reference balance, available in maximum weighing ranges of 120 (KB 120-3N) or 1200 (KB 1200-2N) grams (4.23 or 42.33 ounces) and respective readout of 0.001 and 0.01 g, also representing the minimum piece weight. Individual piece weight is established … Read the rest

Proper Use of Analytical Balances in University Laboratories

Analytical balances are among the most vital pieces of equipment in any modern university laboratory. These delicate instruments display the mass of materials with precision levels as fine as 0.0001 or 0.00001 grams. Students and researchers in fields such as materials analysis and pharmaceutical testing require high precision levels for their experiments. Analytical balances come equipped with transparent enclosures, as even the smallest dust mote or air current can adversely affect the measurements.

Analytical balances are so important to university laboratories that some facilities run daily zoomed-balance-weightscalibrations to be sure that their instruments are delivering accurate results. At the University of Connecticut, a staff member coordinates a verification routine for each balance used in advanced chemistry courses. The school’s chemistry department also arranges for a technical firm to conduct annual inspections of each balance to insure each instrument’s accuracy.

The department also arranges for an “Introductory Balance Talk”, which serves … Read the rest

Practice Makes Perfect: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Uses Precision Scales

kern-pcb-1000-2The primary measure of the effectiveness of a pharmaceutical product is how beneficial it is for the patient, while introducing minimal side effects. A vital part of the pharmaceutical manufacturing process occurs at the quality control stage. A variation of a few milligrams in a powerful drug can mean the difference between a nightmare of side effects, a harmless and ineffective placebo, or a valuable treatment method. The key to ensuring that a “wonder drug” achieves the goals that the developers set out for it is careful measurement via a laboratory scale.

Types of Laboratory Scales
Just as various types of microscopes offer the ability for researchers to see items ranging from bacteria down to molecules, different types of laboratory scales offer the ability to measure items to within very small masses. These scales carry specific names to differentiate their levels of readability:

  • Precision balances vary in resolution and some
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Dual-Range Industrial Platform Scales with Bluetooth Interface

The versatile dual-range SXS industrial platform scale

The versatile dual-range SXS industrial platform scale

Scales used in industrial locations can be exposed to a variety of contaminants as well as stresses and strains during their lifetime.

A new family of dual-range industrial platform scales with high ingress protection (IP) ratings against dust and liquids are ideal for general weighing, piece counting, tolerance weighing and filtering out vibrations in harsh operating environments.  The dual-range Kern SXS series, available from Tovatech, features an extremely rugged stainless steel platform structure resistant to bending. The silicon-coated load cell has an IP rating of 67 or totally protected against dust (6) and against temporary immersion (7).  The backlit stainless steel display connects to the weighing platform by a 2.5 m cable.  Wall-mountable, the display has an IP rating of 68 for continuous use in wet areas.

These rugged industrial scales have 2-second stabilization and can be ordered with an optional wireless Bluetooth … Read the rest