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.

Truck Scale Manufacturers in the USA

Quite often readers will ask who are some of the top truck scale manufacturers in the United States? So in today’s entry we wanted to provide you a list of a few of the top truck scale designers and builders in the U.S. This is just a partial list of manufacturers. There are others but our experiences with many of the others are either limited or non-existent so we decided to just list the ones that we had experiences with.

Cardinal Scale offers vehicle weighing technology and applications and was the first company to produce an all-steel truck scale. Cardinal’s wide variety of USA-made truck scales includes options for every type of weighing need, including electronic and hydraulic truck scales with concrete, steel, and pit type decks. Wireless truck scales are a convenient way to wirelessly transmit data from the scale to the indicator to peripheral equipment like printers, PCs, remote displays, and networks.

Avery Weigh-Tronix truck scales weigh trucks and other vehicles dependably and accurately, even in tough industrial environments. These truck scales and motor-vehicle scales are manufactured to last with a rugged design, robust weight sensors and are all backed by industry-leading warranty options. The truck scales come in either steel or concrete to suit your application and they can be either surface or pit mounted, depending on the location and use of the scale. Each vehicle scale is fully factory assembled and performance tested to NIST, NTEP, and ISO specifications, prior to shipment.

B-TEK Scales, LLC was started in 1995 by the third generation of the Brechbuhler family, originally the objective was to have a manufacturing arm to supply Brechbuhler Scales and their offices. Since that time, B-TEK has grown and now boasts a distribution network of over 100 independently owned companies. The company’s corporate headquarters still remain in Canton, Ohio and the Brechbuhler family stays actively involved with the business.

Rice Lake Weighing Systems is an international leader in the manufacture and distribution of weight-related products and process-control equipment. The company roots are planted firmly in the principles of quality and customer service. Through three generations of family ownership these ideals remain unchanged. Today, Rice Lake Weighing Systems is world renowned for delivering the highest standard of product and the best service in the weighing industry. Rice Lake Weighing Systems’ SURVIVOR® truck scales are known as the Toughest Scales on Earth®. Designed to provide reliable performance under the most demanding conditions, SURVIVOR truck scales are built with more structural steel, a superior support structure and innovative design features that provide consistent accuracy, less downtime and longer scale life. Each SURVIVOR is built with our exclusive five-step finishing process, and guaranteed with a five-year lightning protection warranty.

Since 1918, Thurman Scales has been providing top quality weighing equipment for industries including Agricultural, Mining, Timber, and Steel. Thurman Scale specializes in off-road type vehicle scales. Thurman Scales are built to the highest standards in the industry as a direct result of years of truck-weighing experience in demanding workplace environments. The Double-Ended Shear beam design helps set Thurman industrial scales apart from the competition. Its design is self-restoring, providing users with one of the most reliable, durable, and forgiving scales in the industry.

Keys To Success For Your Truck Scale

Cardinal Armor Truck ScaleIf you think about it, maintaining your truck scale calibration, keeping your truck scale clean and in good working order and watching out for any operational errors can help ensure that you keep your vehicle scale on track for a solid year of great weighing and perhaps a great year of profits for your business. As you can see from Steve Langford’s  article, a lot of this just makes sense. In some businesses a truck scale is the device that ultimately enables you get what you pay for when buying raw materials as well as making sure that you receive proper payment for your products. An accurate scale is not only necessary to maintain profitability but to comply with applicable local and state weights and measures laws. For most of us, the purchase of a truck scale is a major investment and, when you consider its use, it only makes sense to make sure the scale continues to do its job and to help maximize your profits for many years to come.  Let’s take a look at some of the ways to do just that.

Perhaps the best advice to ensure that your truck scales continue to meet your expectations is to be proactive. Don’t wait until your scale is out of calibration before calling your service company. Have your scale’s calibration checked at regular intervals. How often? How long can you go with an inaccurate scale causing you to pay for material you don’t get or to give product away? At a minimum, a truck scale’s calibration should be checked by a reputable scale service company at least once every six months. Between calibration checks, keep an eye on the readings to make sure that the readings stay within the ballpark and are not obviously wrong. If there’s any question, call your scale service company. It’s better to spend a few dollars verifying the calibration of your scale than to loose thousands or more with an inaccurate scale.

Truck scales are designed to maintain calibration, within predefined limits, over a range of temperatures but calibration can vary from winter to summer. If you are in an area subject to temperature extremes, it is a good idea to schedule the calibration of your scale to coincide with the temperature extremes. Granted, the scale may still be in calibration and only slightly high or low but, the greater the number of weighing operations, the greater the influence on your bottom line. Keep in mind that you are obligated to keep the calibration as close to a zero error as reasonably possible so that the scale favors neither the buyer nor the seller. Why would an honest business owner want it any other way? Continue reading

Product Spotlight: Rice Lake Survivor Truck Scale

Rice Lake Weighing Systems SURVIVOR® truck scales are commonly referred to as the Toughest Scales on Earth®. They are designed to provide reliable performance under the most demanding conditions. SURVIVOR truck scales are built with more structural steel, a superior support structure and innovative design features that provide consistent accuracy, less downtime and longer scale life. Each SURVIVOR is built with the exclusive five-step finishing process. Take a look at some of the different Rice Lake Survivor truck scale models below.

SURVIVOR® OTR
The SURVIVOR OTR Series truck scale is an outstanding design that incorporates the most advanced engineering and production technology to manufacture the highest quality vehicle weighing system in the marketplace.

SURVIVOR® ATV
The ATV is rigidly constructed for heavy-duty weighing, yet lightweight and compact for convenient portability. The pre-assembled modules (available in lengths from 10 – 30 ft.) and unique self-seating hinge connectors provide easy installation, expansion and relocation for your growing business.

SURVIVOR® SR
The SR concrete or steel deck modes are ruggedly designed with massive outboard beams available in a bolted or welded design. Load cells and mounting assemblies are easily accessed in the rugged, reinforced load cell pocket, through side access.

SURVIVOR® PT
The PT Series truck scale is available in many standard sizes to satisfy most requirements, but we also understand that pit-type installations often involve replacing and existing mechanical or electronic scale.

SURVIVOR® M-Series
SURVIVOR® M Series Levertronic Scales combine innovative features with time-proven durability that only a mechanical scale can deliver. In a market crowded with scales manufactured to compete on price alone, SURVIVOR M Series Scales are built from the ground up for lasting performance under the most extreme conditions.

SURVIVOR® Rail Scales
SURVIVOR railroad track scales incorporate Rice Lake’s best-in-class weighbridge design to create a rugged, accurate heavy duty weighing system. Used in static weighing operations, the SURVIVOR RT Pit Type railroad track scale and the SURVIVOR PL Modular Type railroad track scale excel in high-accuracy, legal-for-trade weighing and meet AREMA and Cooper E-80 design specifications.

SURVIVOR® Livestock Solutions
Rice Lake’s livestock scales are built from the ground up for lasting performance under the most severe circumstances. Whether you choose the RoughDeck™ SLV for single animal weighing or the SURVIVOR® AG, LV or LS, you’re getting the Toughest Scale on Earth®.

Take a look below at “Six Facts” regarding heavy capacity solutions from Rice Lake. Did you know for applications where steel is preferred or downtime is critical, a great choice would be the SURVIVOR® OTR Steel Deck. Operational within a day, this easy-to-install steel deck scale sets the standard for truck scale design and performance, keeping downtime to a minimum. Tightly spaced wide flange I-beams form the industry’s strongest weighbridge design, weighing as many as 250 trucks per day for 25 years without a trace of weighbridge fatigue.

Built to Withstand Extreme Use
Weighbridge design and the weight of structural steel used directly affect the life of a truck scale. Many 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® series 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.

Ultra Load Cell Protection
Load cell pockets that are welded or bolted to exterior I-beams allow excessive bending and flexing, causing damage to the weighbridge. Bumper bolts loosen and break. Check rods bind. Rice Lake’s SURVIVOR® series truck scales are designed with the load cell pocket integrated into the steel structure of the scale. The pocket is built inside the outer I-beam, offering a more durable, long-lasting load cell pocket. The SURVIVOR® series scales feature the G-Force™ self-checking mounting system, eliminating the need for check rods or bumper bolts.

Breathing Room Below
Closed-bottom weighbridge designs with both top and bottom plates, typically using lighter weight components, create cavities that tend to hold moisture causing rusting of internal components. Rice Lake’s SURVIVOR® steel deck truck scales feature an open-bottom design providing unrestricted airflow eliminating rust causing moisture buildup, which accelerates rusting of internal steel and imminent scale failure.

Tough, Start to Finish
Harsh environments and corrosive materials can quickly deteriorate improperly finished truck scale components. Rice Lake’s SURVIVOR® series truck scales are steel shot blasted according to the highest industry standards to remove mill scale and surface imperfections. An asphalt emulsion undercoating is applied to all non-visible steel surfaces on all steel deck models to protect against moisture damage. High-performance epoxy primer and specialized hard-coat alkyd enamel is applied to all visible steel surfaces for a car-like finish that protects the scale from the elements.

Custom Sizes are Customary
Replacing truck scales on existing foundations or fitting truck scales to unique locations or space limitations need not incur extra design fees. Rice Lake’s SURVIVOR® series truck scales can be custom-built to fit almost any application.

A Complete Solution for Any Application
These truck scales are only a part of the equation. Rice Lake offers not only the scale, but also the complete solution for your weighing application. From automated ticketing and truck transaction data collection systems to intelligent controllers like the 920i, to advanced cell diagnostics. And of course no truck scale is complete without a Ticketpress ticket printer and Laserlight Remote Display.

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

EPR Plus Now Available

Cardinal already had a good truck scale with the EPR. Now they’ve improved it with the new EPR Plus Truck Scale.

Engineered with state-of-the-art robotics, Cardinal’s EPR+ Plus Truck Scale represents the culmination of 60 years of scale manufacturing experience. Available in impervious hydraulic or electronic load cell types, the EPR+ Plus’ durable baked-on, anti-corrosion powder paint stands the test of time. The legal-for-trade NTEP EPR+ Plus 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

Weighbridge for Truck Scales

Closed-bottom weighbridge designs with both top and bottom plates, typically using lighter weight components, create cavities that tend to hold moisture causing rusting of internal components. Rice Lake’s SURVIVOR® steel deck truck scales feature an open-bottom design providing unrestricted airflow eliminating rust causing moisture buildup which accelerates rusting of internal steel and imminent scale failure. For more truck scale information, contact Central Carolina Scale for a quote today.