Industrial Scales & Load Cells Product Research October 2007

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding industrial scales and load cells.
By Control Engineering Staff November 1, 2007

Executive Summary

• Among those who specify, recommend, or buy industrial scales or load cells, 86% do so for in-plant requirements, while 32% do this for OEM needs.
• 49% of respondents use both continuous and batch processing as their primary application for industrial scales or load cells.
• Basic weighing operations, such as shipping and receiving are performed most by respondents. Preweighing and calculation by weight are performed next most. Electronic weighing systems are by far the most common type in use. A strain gauge is the most popular way to measure the strain in the load-bearing member when using an electronic weighing system.
• The most common industrial scales in use by respondents are floor or warehouse and bench types. More than half of respondents (53%) reported the average capacity of their facilities’ industrial scales are more than 500 pounds.
• About three-fourths of respondents said accuracy and repeatability are equally important in their weighing operations. The majority of respondents (62%) require digital readout for their applications. Almost one-third require both digital and analog.
• More than two-thirds said the output from their primary scale/load cell application is used for any combination of the following: readout, process control, and data collection.
• Among those whose scales or load cells are used as part of a network, local area networks (LAN) are the most widely used network (88%). This usage has remained similar over the years. 4-20 mA/0-10 V dc is the most widely used means of network communication, with almost half selecting this.
• 40% of respondents purchased scales/load cells in the last 12 months from Mettler-Toledo; significant write-in responses are shown below. Three-quarters of respondents plan to purchase their next scales/load cells from the same weighing equipment manufacturer as used in prior purchases. The most popular amount purchased in the last 12 months was 4 scales or load cells. The average scale/load cell spending per respondent in the past year was $12,632.
• Twenty-five percent of respondents stated their spending on scales/load cells will increase in the next 12 months. 68% mentioned it will remain the same.
• Almost all respondents feel that reliability is the most important factor when deciding which weighing equipment manufacturer from which to buy.
• UL is the most required standards or certifying organization cited by companies for scale systems. Over half of respondents utilize internal personnel when performing maintenance activities on their scales.