CASE STUDY: In-and-Out Railroad Scale

When we read about this case study below, we felt that we just had to share it with our readers. A scale company in Iowa installed a very unique scale system which utilizes three LPRA railroad track scales. The system also utilizes Cardinal load cells, 825 digital weight indicator, SB500 Remote Display and Remote Weigh Mobile App for iPad.

The grain facility typically weighs 25 car sets of corn for ethanol or corn sweetener and 18 car sets of beans. The Cardinal railroad scale was purchased instead of an overhead load-out weighing system and offered significant savings for the customer. The way the system works is an eastbound train pulls railcars onto the scale to get the Tare weight on scale platforms #3 and #2 and then Gross and Net are determined when the train pulls forward onto scales #2 and #1 with a special tare. Custom software developed by Cardinal Scale and installed in the 825 Spectrum weight indicator allows the operator to turn scales on and off as railcars come across them to prevent weighing railcars when unnecessary. The 825 indicator’s special software also incorporates a temporary Tare weight for the operator to get a target fill weight using a fill program to fill up or top off the last part of a railroad car. Then, cars are pulled forward by a trackmobile into final weighment position to receive their Gross, Tare, and Net weights.

The USA-made 825 indicator is connected via Ethernet cable  to a wireless router which has a long-range radio (wireless access point) attached to it for Wi-Fi output. This allows the operator in the trackmobile to wirelessly control the railroad scale through an Apple iPad using Cardinal Scale’s Remote Weigh mobile app. This system replaces their old method of two-way radio communication back and forth from the scale house and allows them to use one less person for the operation. The trackmobile operator can move the railcars and see when  each car is positioned on the scale for weighing without ever leaving the cab. This efficiency allows the grain facility to reduce the amount of man power needed from five people down to four
people. Case Study (pdf file)

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Cardinal Introduces New Railroad Track Scale

Even though we mainly focus on truck scales, we thought many of our readers would appreciate the new Cardinal LPRA railroad track scale which is now available. Cardinal Scale Manufacturing low-profile LPRA railroad track scales come with either electronic or hydraulic USA-made stainless steel load cells, up to 270-ton capacity, rugged steel weighbridges, Wi-Fi and mobile app options, NTEP and Measurement Canada legal-for-trade certification, and E-80 Cooper AREMA rating. Twenty different standard models are available from Cardinal Scale in different lengths and capacities to accommodate any combination of car length, and custom applications and configurations are also readily available.

Mounted above ground in a shallow, concrete foundation, Cardinal’s LPRA rail scale is engineered to stabilize shifting ballast resulting in weight errors. Installation is rapid, simple, and can be handled locally requiring usually only about two days. Weighbridge sections arrived assembled, ready to set in, and load cell assemblies are easy to install. Grain dump grating is also available to expedite the unloading process. Accuracy is in accordance with NIST, AAR, and AREMA requirements (railcars uncoupled at both ends).

Why is My Scale Printer Not Working With My Weight Indicator?

Often end users will ask about adding a printer to their existing scale or perhaps to a new system they are requesting. And quite often the end user is under the impression that adding a printer to a scale is as simple as going to the electronics store and buying a computer printer and plugging it into the scale via USB. Unfortunately, adding a printer to a scale system is not usually a plug and play application.

So to answer the question, why is my label or ticket printer not working with my indicator? Let’s take a look at the answer provided by Cardinal Scale. Label printers come from the factory set in a graphics mode (called page mode) while Cardinal indicators send data in a line mode from the print tab setup. It is often possible to set the label printers to line mode, but this can be difficult and is ultimately the less effective option. We recommend creating a graphic-type ticket using Cardinal’s nControl software that can be used to create custom headers and set font sizes. This has been proven to work well with the label printers that Cardinal sells. Works great when designing print outs for indicators such as the 190, 205, 210, or 225.

What Should A Metal Recycling Company Ask When Purchasing a Truck Scale?

For the next few entries we are going to answer some frequently asked questions about buying a truck scale. In the first entry we answer the question below.

What exactly is the difference amongst a full-length truck scale and an axle scale? Which variety do you notice recyclers employing most frequently?

An axle scale is designed to weigh only a single individual axle of a large vehicle at one time and may possibly give an overall total gross weight at the conclusion of weighing the truck. Axle scales are frequently portable, but could also be permanent installations as well. For example, check out the video below.

On the other hand, full-length truck scales, usually 70 feet long can weigh the entire truck (all axles included) in a single weighment, so axle scales need more time to weigh up a truck than full-length weighing machines. Recyclers will normally use full-length 18 wheeler scales due to the fact axle scales will not be NTEP legal for trade, which is needed in the recycling industry.

Recycling businesses are having to pay men and women depending on the load of the timber in their particular vehicle load, so consequently it’s important for the scale to be NTEP listed for correct weighments. In brief, the process involves individuals bringing in their recycled copper, the metal recycling company compensates these individuals for it depending on the weight displayed on their truck scale, and so the recycler then usually utilizes a railcar to deliver the material to steel mills. For more information on Cardinal Truck Scales, contact authorized distributor Central Carolina Scale, located in Sanford NC.

How Do I Install a Weight Alarm Buzzer into My Indicator so I Know A Truck is on the Scale?

One of the questions that quite a few folks ask about from time to time is How do I install a weight alarm buzzer into my Cardinal Scale weight indicator to let me know when a truck is on my scale? Of course the driver could just call the scale operator using a cell phone. Or, the truck driver could lay on his horn until somebody noticed. Well, those are probably not the best choices. This installation is most commonly requested for the Cardinal 225 indicator, although a similar setup can be done on the advanced 825 from Cardinal.

For the 225, you will need to purchase Cardinal part number 6620-0016 which should mount in place of the larger gland connector in the back of the 225. The red wire for the buzzer will plug into pin 2 of the P15 connector. The black wire will plug into pin 10 of P15. Once this is connected, enable the weight alarm within the ID Storage mode of operation settings.

Get To Know The Cardinal EPR-LF Portable Vehicle Scale

Cardinal Scale’s EPR-LF series portable vehicle scales are the ideal answer when a scale is needed that can be moved from site to site. Industries such as rock quarries, sand and gravel pits, and logging companies must relocate equipment from time to time to maintain efficient product flow. The complete scale is contained in modules which are furnished with lifting eyes for easy moving. Simply lift, move, and lower the scale to its new location for weighing with minimal time and effort necessary. Optional steel ramps, guide rails, weight indicators, remote displays, and lifting kits are also available for the EPR-LF truck scale.

Standard features of the scale include Checkered Steel Deck, Durable Anti-Corrosion Powder Paint, Heavy-Duty Structural Steel Tubing, Low-Profile 16-inch Overall Height, Made in USA Quality Measurement Canada Certified, NTEP Legal for Trade, Self-Contained and Portable, and SnapStream Wireless Connection Between Scale Decks and Indicator.

Best of all, SnapStream wireless connectivity comes standard with the EPR-LF. This allows wireless communication between scale deck modules and the Cardinal Scale weight indicator for seamless integration between all scale components and alleviates the need for rewiring every time the truck scale is moved. SnapStream is a digitally controlled weighing and diagnostic system that is NTEP legal for trade and designed utilizing the Zigbee protocol for reliable and accurate weight and data transmission for truck scales.

Designed for easy transport, each completely self-contained EPRLF scale consists of 16-inch-high modules fabricated to minimize overall height and maximize strength. Heavy-duty structural tubing is placed in strategic locations to support heavy vehicle loading. Cross members and other lateral structural members provide rigid support for the heavy-duty checkered deck plate. The EPR-LF may be placed on compacted surfaces or timbers for an economical installation (applicable in states which approve temporary installations). Contact your local weights and measures office for specific
requirements in your location.

Truck Scale Cost Justification Guide

We were reading the cost justification guide from Cardinal Scale recently and they brought up a good point. It is surprising how many truck scales are manufactured by one company and use load cells from yet another company and a digital weight indicator from yet another company. So if something breaks, where does responsibility for the scale begin and end with each manufacturer? Cardinal Scale Manufacturing is one of the very few companies that manufactures not only the scale weighbridge structure but the load cells and instrumentation that go with it to complete the scale. With Cardinal you really do have single source responsibility and reliability. If you’re thinking about a Cardinal Truck Scale or better yet thinking about going with a hydraulic truck scale, read here.

◾As previously mentioned, lightning and water are the two most common sources of load cell failure. Often truck scales are placed in locations subject to flooding or are subjected to routine high-pressure washings. While digital and analog load cells are sealed against the entry of moisture, they often fail due to damage to a seal or abrasion of a cable jacket allowing entry of moisture. Analog and digital load cells are both subject to lightning damage. The extremely small strands on a strain gauge are especially sensitive to voltage surges. Hydraulic load cells have neither strain gauges nor electrical wire and are immune to damage from both water and lightning. If your scale will be in a location subject to spring time thunderstorms, you should give serious consideration to Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells.

◾Guardian hydraulic load cells operate by sensing weight via fluid pressure, which means that they require no power within the scale itself. You won’t lose any operational time when lightning or other power issues strike at the scale location. Guardian load cells carry a lifetime warranty against lightning and power surges.

◾Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that if something can be overloaded, it will. Same goes for shock loading on a truck scale. Whether you’re filling trucks with rock or ore, shock loading will take place. Both analog and digital load cells use a steel spring element to sense the load. Applying a shock load, even one less than the capacity of the load cell, can and will cause permanent damage to the load cell rendering it unusable. Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells, on the other hand, act much like a shock absorber on your automobile dissipating the shock load in the hydraulic fluid.

◾Hydraulic tubing from the load cells is terminated at the scale house by a non-conducting Goodyear rubber line. This creates an important barrier of protection, preventing lightning from traveling into the scale house where your load-sensing digital weight display is located.

◾If you’ve ever experienced costly downtime and repairs due to lightning or a power surge, the Guardian hydraulic truck scale can help you save in the future.

We can definitely confirm to you that customers are buying hydraulic truck scales. Yes, they are more expensive than traditional truck scales with analog load cells but for quite a few customers, they feel the added costs up front are worth it. Lightning and water are the two most common sources of load cell failure. Often truck scales are placed in locations subject to flooding or are subjected to routine high-pressure washings. While digital and analog load cells are sealed against the entry of moisture, they often fail due to damage to a seal or abrasion of a cable jacket allowing entry of moisture. Analog and digital load cells are both subject to lightning damage. The extremely small strands on a strain gauge are especially sensitive to voltage surges. Hydraulic load cells have neither strain gauges nor electrical wire and are immune to damage from both water and lightning. If your scale will be in a location subject to spring time thunderstorms, you should give serious consideration to Cardinal’s Guardian hydraulic load cells.

New Pathway Mobile App for Truck Weights and ID Storage Remote Control

When we saw this cool new app, we had to share it with our readers. Imagine inexpensive unattended truck scale weighing without ever even having to roll down your window! Cardinal Scale’s Pathway mobile app provides all of the standard truck scale ID storage functions that are normally performed at the weight indicator directly in the palm of your hand with your smart phone. Pathway gives you the power of the NTEP 825 Spectrum indicator’s weight display in a mobile device which allows truck drivers the efficiency and safety of remaining in their truck while weighing.

Using Cardinal Scale’s S2WIFI or a wireless network for Wi-Fi connectivity, Pathway provides your truck scale operation with unattended weighing for a very minimal cost. All transactions are recorded automatically on the legal-for-trade 825 indicator’s onboard memory and may be retrieved later with USB memory stick or by Ethernet. Additionally, these individual transactions may be e-mailed or printed directly through the mobile device at the time of weighing. Pathway places the 825 indicator’s remote keyboard and display in the cab of the truck to operate standard ID storage via Wi-Fi.

FEATURES:
•Virtually unlimited IDs and transactions.
•Greatly improves safety and efficiency by the driver never leaving their truck.
•Remote control operation of the USA-made 825 Spectrum indicator.
•E-mail or print tickets through your smart phone.
•Self-prompting truck scale IDs (enter up to 4 customized IDs).
•Interface via standard TCP/IP to a wireless router or use Cardinal’s optional S2WIFI.
•Mobile app works with a standard off-the-shelf 825 indicator (requires latest 825 update available on CardinalScale.com).
•Unattended weighing operations for minimal cost.
•Highly-efficient record of transactions e-mailed directly to anyone.
•Available on Google Play for Android® devices and the App Store for Apple® devices.

Once the truck driver pulls onto the scale, the Pathway mobile app self-prompts through four different customizable IDs such as truck number, product type, customer, job number, etc. These IDs are easily set up through the 825 indicator’s QWERTY keyboard during configuration. Pathway prompts for in-and-out, two-pass weighing with transaction tickets generated for Gross, Tare, and Net which may be printed and/or e-mailed through your Android® or Apple® mobile device. This app is available for purchase in the App Store.

What Is The General Guidelines For Ordering A Truck Scale?

This week’s question asks what sort of site preparation could be required prior to scale installment?

Site preparation will vary due to whether the set up is a new or replacement truck scale. A concrete deck truck scale will add construction time on account of pouring the concrete inside the scale deck and curing time.

For brand new installs, the common truck scale installation method is as follows. Blueprints arrive from the scale vendor. After that, scale house is built or installed on location. Next, concrete foundation and approach ramps poured by either scale service business or the consumer. And then, truck scale is delivered from the scale supplier. After that, scale service organization wires the truck scale to the scale house and links all the peripherals. At last, calibration and certification with test weights and weight cart.

Much less site prep work is needed and faster installation times can sometimes be achieved with systems like Cardinal’s SnapStream Wireless Truck Scales, which provide wireless radio frequency connection in between the truck scale and the weight indicator in the scale house. Moreover, all peripheral gear like remote displays, computers and printers could be attached wirelessly with SnapStream, which perhaps conserves a large number of bucks in installation costs. SnapStream is really a fully-integrated NTEP legal-for-trade wireless scale system for commercial recycling applications enabling connectivity up to 1 mile line of sight between the truck scale and scale house.

Cardinal’s SnapStream is a fully-integrated NTEP legal-for-trade wireless scale system for commercial applications. It’s completely proprietary to Cardinal Scale and offers a number of competitive advantages for new (or pre-existing scale installations).  SnapStream allows a scale to send weight data wirelessly to an indicator and the indicator in turn to send that data wirelessly to a host of peripheral equipment such as remote displays, printers, PC’s and networks. SnapStream is a digitally-controlled weighing and diagnostic system designed utilizing 802.15.4 Zigbee protocol for reliable and accurate weight and data transmission. SnapStream may be used with Cardinal Scale 205, 210, and 225 weight indicators, where scale diagnostics can be viewed directly on the digital weight indicator. For additional information on the products mentioned in this article contact the heavy capacity sales department at Central Carolina Scale today.

Installation Video of a Cardinal Truck Scale

Everyone knows that Cardinal Scale offers a wide variety of vehicle weighing scales. 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. Models such as the Yukon Off-Road provide high-capacity off-road vehicle weighing for use in the mining industry and other off-road applications, while the CWL-40 and 760 series axle weighers are lightweight and convenient portable scales wheel load weighing.

As the name implies, Cardinal’s ARMOR® truck scales provide customers with superior-strength, long-life steel construction for optimum vehicle weighing. The ARMOR’s durable baked-on, anti-corrosion tan powder paint stands the test of time. The NTEP legal-for-trade Armor® arrives fully-prepared for installation and includes DB75000-lb stainless steel load cells standard, which are factory assembled. A wide selection of Armor® capacities, platform sizes, and types are available. Each Armor® scale bridge features interconnecting load blocks and receivers for an efficient, no-bolt installation. Rodent protection is standard throughout the scale via conduit integral throughout each scale module. Every Armor® truck scale is 100% assembled and tested before shipping.

Wouldn’t it be great to see this scale actually being installed at a customers location? That’s just what this video below does. This video will guide you through the installation of Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company’s ARMOR® Series Model EPR Truck Scale. The legendary ARMOR® truck scale has been on the market since 1997 and undergone continuous improvement every year since. It offers the most efficient installation of any full-length Cardinal truck scale. The key installation steps covered in the video include weighbridge alignment after offloading, removal of the shipping brackets from the load cell stands, using fish tape to run the load cell wiring, drilling holes for the load cell stand bolts, dropping in the optional guide rails, and test cart calibration.

Cardinal Scale Manufacturing is headquartered in the small community of Webb City, Missouri, a city nestled on the edge of the Ozark mountains, with a population of just under 12,000. All around are wide, open prairies, hills and woods.