What are the Advantages of a Digital Truck Scale versus a Digital Conversion Box?

Digital truck scales and digital conversion boxes both provide distinct advantages that increase efficiency, calibration, and diagnostic information communication. The following is just a portion of the information contained in this article which highlights the advantages for both and how they provide more value for those willing to make the switch to these invaluable truck scale technologies.

Cardinal Scale Digital Truck Scales

What are the advantages of a digital truck scale vs. a digital conversion box?

Digital truck scales offer many more diagnostic options regarding weight offset, maximum weight, cell capacity, calibration within the cell, hot and cold temperature compensation values, and temperature offsets for external temperatures. Digital truck scales feature internal calibration and all truck scale diagnostics originate from within the digital load cell itself. Digital truck scales feature load cells and load cell cables that are plug-and-play to simplify the connection process and reduce time spent terminating wiring connections. Load cells can be very easily and quickly replaced to save time and effort. Since the cell circuitry is internal to the cell, the need for a junction box and all of the accompanying wiring is eliminated. Digital truck scales also have the added benefit of remote digital monitoring, which can monitor the digital truck scale system in real time.

Digital conversion boxes have the capability of updating an analog load cell system to a digital version. If the scale owner already has an existing analog scale, then upgrading to a digital conversion system might make sense. Digital conversion boxes tend to be used more often with multiple scale systems to maximize utility of the digital conversion box system. They can be configured to a remote digital monitoring system, so they can view multiple locations at a time.

How do digital truck scales and digital conversion boxes increase efficiency over an analog system?

Digital truck scales greatly decrease the time and effort needed in diagnosing potential failures and, in turn, decreasing downtime due to cell failure. Since digital load cells are calibrated to the system before shipment, set-up time is minimal. The quick and exact digital diagnosis from remote diagnostic software reduces guesswork and time needed to find the root cause of the load cell failure. Since the system is completely digital, there is little chance of loss of signal resolution due to an analog signal. Digital truck scales feature a much simpler daisy-chain design regarding load cell wiring and load cells, and load cell cables can be replaced much quicker.

Digital conversion boxes expedite the conversion of analog information into a more manageable signal and can make diagnosing cell problems easier to detect when compared to an analog system.

A digital conversion box begins the diagnostic process within the conversion box. The digital conversion box gathers analog signals that are converted to digital signals and diagnoses cell failures when summing signals within the conversion box. Digital conversion boxes provide a panel of diagnostic attributes when checking for cell viability. The cell failure will be isolated to the faulty load cell section that includes the load cell, load cell cable, or analog section. This means less specific information is provided to the digital conversion box due to limitations within this type of system. When a cell fails, the replacement cell will be calibrated to the existing system.

Digital truck scale systems are monitored through remote software. Digital conversion boxes have the capability of being remotely monitored to diagnose problems as well. Any digital system will have an immediate advantage when giving the end user the capability of receiving alerts through the indicator and/or remote monitoring software when an issue arises.

What is required to replace a digital load cell vs. an analog load cell working in conjunction with a digital conversion box? How long does it typically take?

Since digital conversion occurs within the load cell in a digital truck scale system, digital load cells can be replaced quickly and easily. The scale corner must be lifted, bolts holding the load cell in place must be loosened, and the load cell cable connector must be uncoupled. Once the faulty cell has been taken out, the replacement cell will be connected to the load cell cable, bolted back into place, and then the digital load cell is back in full operation. This whole process takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Digital conversion boxes monitor a system of load cells from within the conversion box. Once a load cell has been shown to possess an error, errors will be checked for the cell. The scale corner is lifted and the junction box will be opened to disconnect the five-wire cable from the load cell that must be pulled through the conduit. Then the load cell cable must be pulled back through the conduit to connect the new load cell. The wiring is then connected to the digital conversion box. After this, the junction box must be re-sealed. Special attention must be paid to prevent moisture or sediment from gathering or entering the junction box enclosure, due to the increased likelihood of leaks from within the junction box, leaks from gland connectors, and exposure from wiring load cells onto the board inside the junction box. On average, replacing an analog cell through a digital conversion box will take roughly an hour or more.

What are the connection differences between digital truck scales and analog truck scales with digital conversion boxes?

Digital load cells are daisy-chained through load cell cables linked by cable connectors. The need for wiring back to a junction box is not necessary, since the digital load cells communicate directly with the indicator. If the cables are damaged connecting to the load cell, they can be replaced without having to replace the load cell.

Digital conversion boxes are wired from the analog load cell to the junction box. Once there, each of the load cells are wired directly to a digital conversion board, secured through gland connectors on the junction box, and adjusted to calibrate the analog load cell. Analog load cell cables do not have the advantage of being monitored as they are permanently linked to the load cell. If a section of the wiring to a load cell is damaged, the load cell will have to be replaced.

Ultimately, whether you’re purchasing a brand new digital truck scale or you’re updating your traditional analog truck scale to digital, one of the most important benefits to end users is the ability to keep their scale operating for longer, with less interruptions and smaller intervals of downtime. If you need additional information on this information, please contact the sales team at Central Carolina Scale.

New Digital Truck Scales With SmartCell Now Available

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing recently announced the official launch of the new ARMOR® series digital truck scales with SmartCell® load cells that offer unmatched performance built to last a lifetime of heavy-duty weighing use. Every facet of the digital truck scale weighbridge and electronics have been specifically built for long-lasting endurance, minimal upkeep, and IoT monitoring convenience. Deliveries are scheduled to start in January 2018.

ARMOR® truck scales feature a heavyweight 50-ton CLC, no moving parts below the scale deck (including the load cells), more structural steel than the competition, SmartCell® stainless steel waterproof digital load cells, and IoT-enabled iSite remote monitoring software.

The state-of-the-art, debris-inhibiting axis load cell stand design limits obstructions to the scale’s performance with the digital load cells mounted high within the stand near the scale deck. The load cell stands are fabricated from one-inch-thick steel to minimize rust and corrosion damage and ensure long-term strength and durability. The long-lasting baked-on tan powder coat paint finish ensures a lifetime of trouble-free protection. The Cloud-based iSite remote monitoring software offers e-mail and/or text alerts to ensure your scale is performing at all times.

cardinal scale smartcell digital load cells

ARMOR® steel deck weighbridges utilize a tight concentration of 7.5-inch I-beam spacing which minimizes unsupported deck plate area and ensures that truck tire contact patches are always directly supported by one I-beam. Four rows of welded stiffeners provide maximum structural rigidity and safeguard against I-beam deflection under loads for optimal strength and longevity.

Cardinal Scale’s SmartCell® digital load cells are the newest solution in advanced load cell technology. Messy, time-consuming wiring is no longer necessary, since cables connect plug-and-play to the cell through metal braided rodent-proof cables. Internal cell circuitry eliminates the need for a junction box.

The ARMOR’s SmartCell® load cell pockets are surrounded on both sides by I-beams which run the entire length of the weighbridge. This alleviates any potential structural weakness around the load cell region like in competitors’ truck scales. The no-bolt bridge connections feature interconnecting load blocks and receivers welded directly to the I-beams for strength and durability.

Contact your local Cardinal Scale dealer today to begin taking advantage of the entire gamut of new features and functions of the Cardinal ARMOR® digital truck scale!

Cardinal Pit-Mounted Truck Scales Provide Port of Miami Ability to Weigh Greater Volume of Freight

Two Additional Cardinal Scale Pit-Mounted EPR Truck Scales Provide Terminal the Ability to Weigh Greater Volumes of Freight. Major ocean transport company adds more Cardinal EPR truck scales and 210 indicators to expedite traffic flow for 600 truck weighments per day at busy Port of Miami.

Traffic congestion was becoming a major issue at the Port of Miami with a steady increase in export freight volumes over the last several years and the completion of a new underground truck tunnel leading into the port. A lengthy line of trucks were typically waiting to be weighed before entering the freight terminals at the port.

It became apparent that a solution was needed to be able to move this increased traffic through the port more quickly and efficiently.

 

Cardinal Scale Pit Type Truck Scale

One of the largest ocean transport companies at the Port of Miami rearranged their container yard and came to Cardinal Scale seeking a solution for its truck scale needs.

Cardinal Scale had several meetings with Port of Miami officials and the ocean transport company’s personnel during which various yard and scale layouts were considered, including above or below ground scales, steel or concrete decks, network connectivity, and weight documentation.

It was ultimately decided that there would be two new inbound steel deck truck scales installed below grade in deep pits. The deep pit request presented an important challenge: How to ensure that a 4 1/2 foot deep pit would remain dry at just above sea level on an island?

Cardinal Scale had stressed the importance of keeping the pit dry during the design process.

Therefore, the ocean transport company contracted with an engineering company that designed and built an elaborate self-contained underground pump station, which was built adjacent to both scale pits to prevent the pits from flooding.

The ocean transport company decided to purchase two new 13570-EPR truck scales from Cardinal Scale, which were slightly modified to be installed in the pits. The pit design was chosen to save yard space, as well as, producing an easier and safer method for drivers and other personnel to move in and around the trucks. A steel deck was chosen over a concrete deck to avoid delays associated with the curing time of a concrete deck.

The scales were connected to Cardinal Scale model 210 weight indicators fitted with 10/100 Ethernet cards and attached to P500 receipt printers, which were installed in two separate scale houses. The Ethernet cards allow them to communicate the weight data to their remote server and the ticket printers allow them to produce a hard copy for the truck drivers, which not only includes their truck ID, but the time and date of weighment as well.

The ocean transport company’s freight terminal at the Port of Miami operates 24/7, 365 days a year.

It can now weigh more than 600 trucks per day with the addition of the two pit-mounted Cardinal truck scales. The ocean transport company has substantially reduced the weigh-in time for each truck, which in turn allows them to load the freight containers on the cargo ships more efficiently.

The additional truck weighing scales have led to shorter lines of trucks, thus improving the overall traffic congestion at the Port of Miami as well.

You can read more about the case study by clicking the link.

What Type Of Scale Should A Metal Recycler Buy?

Another popular question we are asked is: How many types of 70 foot truck scales exist (low-profile, pit style, full electronic, concrete deck, steel deck)? Is there one particular type you would recommend over another for use within the recycling business? What benefit does it present to pick one over the other?

Truck scales come in numerous sizes and types. Truck scales could be portable axle, weigh-in-motion, self-contained transportable, electro-mechanical, electronic, and hydraulic versions. In a traditional truck scale you would need to choose either an above ground or pit style scale. Then, a painted steel deck or concrete deck that you would pour on location.

For the recycling business, generally the most effective choice will be the steel deck electronic truck scale because it provides the fastest setting up time and if you’re replacing an existing scale, the lowest down-time in swapping out a pre-existing truck scale. If the metal recycling company is replacing an older truck scale installed inside a pit that is experiencing water damage concerns, a hydraulic truck scale could be a good decision to think about for an advancement. The load cells within a hydraulic truck scale have excellent defense to water and lightning issues.

As with any big decision like this, we recommend that you contact your local scale company to provide you with a recommendation and truck scale price quote. It could be that your best choice might be a pit style scale. Or maybe a hydraulic scale would work best for you.  A local scale dealer should be able to provide that recommendation to you and present you with several buying options to consider.

It’s What’s Inside That Counts

Cardinal EPR What are some other features metal recyclers need to look for inside a truck scale?

There are several attributes recyclers ought to take into account when making the decision to purchase a 70 foot long truck scale, which includes deck plate thickness. Recyclers are normally handling a high traffic frequency daily on their truck scales, so weighing machine strength becomes a important aspect. For instance, Cardinal Scale produces truck scales with 3/8″ thick steel decks for maximum strength and resiliency to handle hefty loads over the long haul for exceptional overall performance. An additional quality element to look for is factory-assembled load cells secured in the truck scale. Every Cardinal truck scale is 100 percent factory assembled and examined prior to shipping to a job location. This requires calibrating the whole 60 foot long truck scale to make sure appropriate set-up before shipping for exceptional accuracy. Usually, a 70-foot-long truck scale dimensions are sought after in the recycling business to be in a position to allow for weighing semi-tractor trailers. Stainless steel, USA-made load cells and a NEMA 4X stainless steel junction box for load cell wiring can also be important to check for when making the decision to buy a vehicle scale.

Survivor OTR

Rice Lake SURVIVOR® OTR vehicle scales are heavy-duty, top access, low profile concrete or steel deck scales. These heavy-duty, top access, low profile concrete or steel deck scales have an outstanding design that incorporates the most advanced engineering and production technology to produce the highest quality vehicle weighing system in the marketplace. The Rice Lake Survivor OTR truck scales don’t sacrifice quality for price. Both the OTR concrete and steel deck models boast wide flange I-beam construction. The wide flange beam construction helps minimize span deflection and lengthens the life of your truck scale. Both the concrete and steel deck models are built to be the “Toughest Truck Scales on Earth”®

It is Important To Learn As Much As You Can During The Initial Buying Stage

Built to Withstand Extreme Use
Weighbridge design and the overall weight of structural steel used directly affect the performance life of a truck scale. Many “economical” truck scale designs incorporate low grade, non-certified steel and an inferior design to reduce the cost and decrease production time. These reductions also reduce the life of the scale. Rice Lake SURVIVOR® OTR truck scales utilize up to 30% more steel than most competitive models and incorporate a longitudinal highway bridge design. More I-beams are strategically placed longitudinally with the traffic flow to ensure tire support regardless of truck position. Continue reading

Summer is almost here, Truck Scale Maintenance Ideas

We’re just about ready to head into the busy summer months. In a lot of cases, it is also a busy time for your truck scales. Spring is the best time to get the following maintenace done, because all the melting snow (in some areas) creating running water, mud and muck can wreak havoc on your truck scale operations; washing debris into pits and foundations, and damaging equipment. Not to mention the critters who have taken up residence over the long winter. We recommend completing the following steps in late spring to ensure you are up and running in time for the busy summer season. Continue reading

New Truck Scales versus Used Truck Scales

You don’t have to look at too many truck scale brochures to become thoroughly confused about what’s available and what is and isn’t important to you.
Full-length truck scales may be of either portable or permanent installation.  Portable truck scales include a lower framework that is placed on a prepared surface (either a concrete slab, wooden beams, or even dirt) and ramps are placed at either end for access. Portable scales are generally more expensive because of the lower framework but are much easier to move from site to site and are ideal for contractors or road builders. Scales that are permanently mounted may be mounted either in a pit (like the basement of a home) or of an above-ground low profile design where the scale is mounted on a concrete slab with ramps at either end. The advantages of a pit type scale Continue reading

Typical Installation Time for a OTR Survivor

When scheduling and planning installation for a typical three-module, 70′ Rice Lake Survivor OTR truck scale, plan for a minimum two-hour crane rental to place the modules into position. A two-man crew, aided by a crane operator, can usually unload modules from the freight truck and place them into position in approximately 1 hour.  Mount and load cell installation will require approximately 3 – 4 hours.  Electrical wiring is run through conduit and can be done in approximately 2 – 3 hours. Continue reading