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Apr 30, 2013

In-Motion (Dynamic) Checkweighers vs. In-Motion (Dynamic) Flow Scales

Two Scales, Two Purposes: In-Motion (Dynamic) Checkweighers VS. In-Motion (Dynamic) Flow Scales

We talk regularly about our in-motion flow scales and checkweigher scales, but the difference between them isn’t always clear.

Though they may look similar, the difference is rather simple. Both products make use of conveyors and load cells in a similar fashion, but they have very different applications.

Conveyor Scale

Flow” usually describes something transient (over time), and that is where the flow scale gets it’s name and function.

A flow scale accumulates the weight of products passing over it in a given period of time, whereas in-motion checkweighers and in-motion conveyor scales weigh individual products giving a separate individual weight for each item that crosses the scale.

A plant might use an In-motion Flow Scale to see the gross amount of product that they go through in a set time span (day/hour/minute), which can be helpful for plant management by ensuring that your processes are running as smoothly as possible.

Flow scales are very helpful in applications that weigh a small product in bulk like nuts, grains, meat scraps, vegetables, etc.

On the other hand, an in-motion checkweigher motion conveyor scale is meant to weigh a single product at a time. This is particularly effective for weigh price labeling, net container content verification, box labeling, packing, or anything that demands precision measurements on a single item.

See our complete line of in-motion conveyor scales

in motion checkweigher

In-motion Checkweigher with Draft Shield and Reject Mechanism

For these reasons, our in-motion checkweighers / in-motion conveyor scales are often NTEP certified while our flow scales are not.

Flow scales can’t be certified because the data that they provide is not used to price goods.

Rather, they provide useful information on large flow of batches of goods.

Another difference between in motion checkweighers and flow scales is that in-motion checkweighers often employ diverts/rejects, while this is not common with flow scales. This is due to the fact that in-motion checkweighers can individually reject and sort different products, while that isn’t a possibility in most flow scale applications.

Checkweighers and flow scales are quite different machines, so make sure that you have the right type of conveyor scale to match your operation.


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Apr 29, 2013

The Proper Size of Aperture for Metal Detectors

In today’s production environment, versatility of equipment is extremely important; your metal detector should be as well!

Fresh or frozen, dry or wet, your product needs to be inspected.

metal detector with divert

How do you get the most out of your metal detector and still maintain good detection levels?

The proper size will make a difference:

  • Size: your smallest and largest product width, length, height
  • Know product flow dimension to determine belt width
  • Know shortest & tallest product height

How to size an aperture of a metal detector:

  • Add 1” (25-mm) on each side of the width of the conveyor belt (clears the side of the conveyor)
  • Add 1” (25-mm) to the tallest a product height (product must clear the aperture opening without being too far away)
  • Add 1” (25-mm) to the bottom of the product (below the product you must allow room for the conveyor belt and conveyor belt bed)

You now have the basic information to size the aperture of a metal detector.

For example, a maximum product height of 4” and belt width of 12”, your best metal detector aperture will be 14” (350mm) wide x 6” (150mm) high.

There are other determining factors that may affect aperture sizing, but armed with this rule of thumb, you are able to open conversations with your metal detector representative!

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Download our Metal Detector PDF

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Apr 28, 2013

Truck Scales and T-Strip Moisture Prevention

Rubber T-strip can be very helpful in keeping moisture and debris out of your scale pit.

But what is it keeping in your pit? The answer is moisture!

truck scale

In-ground Truck Scale

In the spring and summer months, it is very important to keep the side gap of your scale open to allow ventilation of the pit so moisture can be removed.

If you have ever been in a sealed scale pit with water on the floor on a warm day, and believe me we have, it looks like a tropical rain forest down there.

As neat as that sounds, it is not a good thing for the metal and electronics in your scale.

Other questions on truck scale maintenance? Contact our service team!

Water is literally dripping off of the underside of the scale as it tries to evaporate to the warmer temperature outside.

With the t-strip in, evaporating water has nowhere to go and condenses resulting in moisture in the pit.

On a 70 foot truck scale there is nearly 6 square feet of ventilation with the side strips removed!

That is a lot of air exchanged to dry out your scale!

You can still leave the end pieces in to keep traffic mud out.

truck scale

Above-Ground Truck Scale

By simply doing a few simple maintenance procedures, keeping your sump pump operational for when heavy rains add water to your pit, and cleaning the pit on a bi-annual basis will add years of service to your scale.

Also, don’t forget to pump all of the water out in the fall before it freezes!

A drained pit will help the pit dry out quicker when the nice spring weather comes around again.

Then you will have more time to worry about more important things.

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Apr 27, 2013

Common Sense For Sensitive Equipment In Harsh Environments

There are several considerations when it comes to enclosing a video display or monitors for harsh environment usage.

Although you may have some older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) video displays, and would like to utilize them in a production environment, this is probably not an economical solution.

You need to consider that a CRT monitor is going to generate a considerable amount of heat.

SDS HMI washdown computer

SDS HMI Controller

Consequently an enclosure for a CRT is going to require good deal of cooling or ventilation.

cooler (using compressed air from your supplied system) and a filter dryer (to remove moisture from air) are additional expenses that may well be dictated by a sealed enclosure.

The size and weight of a CRT will drive up the cost of an enclosure as well.

Obviously, size does matter in the cost of materials, installation time, and space consideration.

Keep in mind that a CRT monitor may not be efficient in the world of electronics today.

stainless steel enclosures

With these things in mind, consider the suggestion to cut to the chase and buy high quality, Stainless Steel NEMA 4X Enclosures to protect newly purchased LCD Flat Screen Monitors.

Some people flinch at the suggestion of such new purchases, but savings in enclosure costs can often outweigh the cost of the LCD monitor!

Most often an enclosure is desired for continuous environmental protection and clean up activities for protection from harsh environments.

Although it may be considered expensive by some people, the durability and practicality of a stainless steel enclosure will be your most cost efficient decision in the long run!

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Apr 26, 2013

3-Dimensional Design Software VS. 2-Dimensional Design Software

The use of 3 dimensional software in the Engineering Design field has greatly improved the overall ease of drafting compared to using 2 dimensional.

By using 3D software, we are able to easily construct a model of what we build, whether it be an enclosure or the various conveyor systems we design. This enables us to better inform you on the products you’re buying!

stainless steel enclosures

We generally design in 3D, so we can see how everything will fit together and to make sure there will be no major problems. Using 3D to produce drawings for the production floor, gives us the added advantage of making bends and cuts for fitting before any actual cuts are made. Once we are pleased with how the parts fit together, we make a flat drawing.

This procedure has come in very handy when creating enclosures with access doors. We are able to change bend radiuses and lengths along with cuts to get a perfect fitting gutter for the door.

The 3D software is also helpful when working on conveyor scales. We are able to place holes for mounting the conveyors to the frames more accurately.

And since the implementation of our waterjet cutting table, we are able exhibit a much cleaner look.

Additionally, 3D design software helps to make sure the conveyor beds line up for smooth belt travel. Being able to do this helps in making pieces on the production floor fit together better and therefore helps your job to move along and be produced quicker!

The use of 2D is more time consuming to create a “3d” version. You must draw lines that correspond to other lines to add the depth look. Most of our 2D is done for sending signoff drawings to customers to approve or make changes to our designs.

We use both 2D and 3D design software. However, the use of 3D software has benefited us to better create custom enclosures and conveyor systems for our customers to meet their specifications.

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