5 Floor Scale Buying Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

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Repairs + Downtime = Loss of Productivity and $$$.

The wrong scale for your specific environment can produce unwanted, negative impacts on your business and will cost you money, time and headaches in the future. Acme/Empire Scale have of seasoned experts who have helped countless customers make educated decisions. The result? More productivity and cost savings. Our customers have saved thousands of dollars in maintenance/replacement costs and fines. These experts are available to guide you with a FREE consultation. (888) 638-5040

Mistake #1: Buying the wrong scale for the environment or application.

mistake_1There are many choices of floor scales designed for specific environments. For instance, food processors tend to use stainless steel/washdown scales. They are water resistant and easy to clean when food is present.

 

Painted Mild Steel Scale (General Purpose)

paint_mild_steelMild steel scales are commonly used in dry/warehouse environments that have low traffic. At times, we find customers using these general purpose scales in washdown or food environments. In this environment, these scales will not be easy to clean and may even rust! Mold and other unwanted bacteria tend to grow and lead to very serious issues. At that point, your repair costs will go up, not to mention what the FDA inspector will find and what course of action will be taken.

scales_1Solution: For food and washdown environments, use a Stainless Steel Scale with stainless, hermetically sealed loadcells. The scale will be easier to clean and will last for years to come.

 

 

 

 

What are the real causes of forklift accidents?

forklift_1Although driver error accounts for a portion of forklift accidents, roughly 25% of accidents include causative factors like: poor lighting, high noise levels, poor pedestrian traffic control, high speeds, poor safety aids on equipment, dangerous driving conditions, and insufficient aisle space – all of which can be resolved through corrective action before an accident occurs.

Every year, our technicians repair scales found in high traffic areas where careless or inexperienced forklift drivers are carrying loads that are too high, too heavy, poorly balanced. Excessive horsing around or even stunt driving, can lead to damage of scales.

As a result, they have rammed the forks into the scale, hit the scale with their tires, run over the scale, or they slam their forks down onto the scale pushing the pallet forward producing horizontal forces that snap the loadcells.

Solution: Explore the idea of purchasing scales designed for high traffic areas that have a heavy duty design, overload protection, and are able to withstand some abuse and horizontal force. Have a complimentary consult with an Acme/Empire Scale Sales Engineer who will talk to you about your environment. They will ask you the right questions to guide you to the right equipment for your environment and situation.

Mistake #2: Buying the Wrong Weight Indicator/Display

weight_indicatorTime and time again we see customers using indicators that put strain on the employee to do their job.

Two key factors:

1. Visibility from a distance and

2. Environment.

Can you see the weight from a distance? If the weight digits are too small or hard to read while sitting on forklift, the driver has to stop the forklift, come down and walk to the scale to read the display. This can disrupt work flow and negatively affects productivity.

We have seen customers use weight indicators with LED (Red Light Emitting Diodes) to display the weight. As a result, weigh values are very difficult to decipher when scales are used outdoors. The model below has a plastic enclosure. (Also, notice the scale’s cable is seen jammed into the bracket.) Environments where water, moisture, powders or ingredients are present, will make this indicator vulnerable to damage. It is highly recommended to use an indicator with a stainless steel, washdown safe enclosure.

LCD_screenAn even better choice is a large LCD (liquid crystal display) outdoors like the ones below that have 1.5” high digits and can be seen from a distance. Since these are backlit LCD units, they work perfectly for indoor applications as well.

Other things to consider: Communication options to a printer, Ethernet or data collection software.

Mistake #3: Buying from the internet or online catalog.

If there is a problem when the scale arrives, who fixes it? Who is responsible for supporting you? Who carries the burden of the manufacturer’s warranty? An online catalog company across the country is not going to be able to help you. If you call them for help, they will turn you over to the manufacturer and you may have to send the unit back for evaluation and/or repair. You may have to contact a local scale technician to come out at your own expense. If the technician doesn’t have the parts in his possession to fix the scale, your scale will be inoperable for even more time. Down time can have negative impacts your business. You will not have saved your company the money you thought you would by buying from the internet.

calibrationSolution: Setup and Calibration on Onsite. Acme/Empire Scale offers a service to have a technician come to your facility to properly setup and calibrate the scale in its new home. The technician carries extra materials to ensure your scale is sitting solid on the ground, calibrated with certified test weights and tested. In some cases, floor scales with frames are bolted the ground. If your scale is installed for commercial use, for freight, trade of money, the technician will setup and calibrate for “Legal for Trade” regulations. By law, he is to report the scale and its location to the County of Weights and Measures within 24 hours of install. A county inspector will come to your facility to check our work and seal the scale with the same yellow seal you see on the gas pumps.

These are some things you will not get if you buy from an online catalog site!

Mistake #4: Pallet jacks and scales have led to hardship and even injury.

pallet_jackSituation #1: Your scale has a 3 foot long ramp which is creating a challenge for employees who use pallet jacks. The angle results in more effort to push that loaded pallet jack up on to the scale.

Solution #1: Use a 4 foot long ramp which has a lower angle to make it easier to push the pallet jack onto the scale. You do not want to put needless strain on the employee. Safety is critical and should always come first!

Situation #2: Scale size is important to consider as well when using pallet jacks. Some pallet jacks have extra-long forks such that a 4’ x 4’ floor scale may not be able to accommodate the pallet jack. As a result, you will get false weight readings which can affect management decisions.

Solution #2: Use a 4’ x 5’ scale. The longer side will accommodate the extra-long pallet jack.

Mistake #5: Failing to Document the Weight

“If you do not measure a process, you cannot properly manage it. Likewise, if you cannot manage it, you cannot improve it.”

Questions:

How do you know the operator weighed the shipment?

How do you know the operator wrote down the true weight value?

customer_serviceWe offer our customers printers to print the weight so there is recorded proof the transaction. We can also send weight values to your PC via Ethernet. Using these tools we provide you the power to manage your process. Call to speak with one of our Sales Engineers about how we can help manage your data and documentation (888) 638-5040.

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