Inventory management is a humdrum process but very crucial to your manufacturing business. Especially if much of your inventory contains many small parts, you must keep accurate records to avoid costly inventory discrepancies.
However, counting your inventory by hand is unworkable and out of the question. Using an inventory scale is the more reliable and efficient way to count your bulk supplies without errors.
Knowing how critical inventory management is in manufacturing, you will find that you have no room for errors, even the minutest ones. Fortunately, counting scales offer a reliable, efficient, and accurate way of counting all the small parts in your large supply.
Let’s explore how inventory scales work and the first-hand benefits of using them in your manufacturing business.
How an Inventory Scale Works
Inventory scales, also called counting scales, count and weigh small parts simultaneously, making it easier to quantify pieces that have identical weights. Piece counting is the most dependable counting system for common small parts such as pins, bolts, clips, screws, and nuts, but how do you use an inventory scale to measure such small pieces in bulk? Here’s the step-by-step process:
- Step 1: Make sure the counting scale has zero readings.
- Step 2: Place the container for holding parts on the scale’s load cell and tare it out by placing the tare button on the scale.
- Step 3: Add a specific number of sample parts in the container (say, five).
- Step 4: On the scale’s numeric keypad, press the number of sample parts (five, in this case) that you’ve added and press the sample button.
- Step 5: The inventory scale will display the total weight, piece weight, and the total number of pieces on the scale.
- Step 6: Add as many parts as you need or that the container can hold. The scale will calculate and display the exact number of pieces you’ve added.
You can add or subtract as many pieces as you want, and the counting scale will display the correct number of pieces in the container each time by dividing the total weight by the weight of individual components. However, you must only weigh parts with identical weights. You likely can’t count pins and bolts in one go.
The Benefits of Using Counting Scales in Manufacturing
Inventory scales have the following advantages:
Portability and Ease of Use
Sometimes, particularly during your business’s peak season, you may have massive inventory in your warehouse that eats up operating space. Such a scenario may force your warehouse staff to work in smaller spaces than usual. Your team can move a portable inventory scale and find space to operate instead of moving bulkier inventory.
Additionally, an inventory scale is user-friendly, and it doesn’t take long for a worker to learn how to use it effectively. This makes it quicker and easier to train and onboard new employees in your warehouse without risking inventory discrepancies.
Longer Service Life
Quality inventory scales are made using heavy-duty material. All scales have a recommended maximum capacity, but heavy-duty scales can often withstand a significant load without snapping or malfunctioning.
A scale’s capability to withstand shock is an essential quality in the manufacturing industry, as it’s not uncommon for workers to overload scales or packages when piece counting. Also, some workers may load parts on the scale quite forcibly, potentially by accident when parts slip from their hands.
Regardless of the cause of the incident, heavy-duty inventory scales withstand wear and tear better and serve you reliably for a longer time.
Reduces Inventory Miscounts
Counting small parts of your bulk supply manually is laborious and a significant source of fatigue for workers. Unfortunately, exhausted workers are most likely to make errors when counting inventory. Worse still, manual counting uses up time you could channel into other more productive activities.
Luckily, when you invest in inventory scales, you can engage in more accurate piece counting, and your workers use less time and energy to complete inventory counts. You would be hard-pressed to find another counting method that can deliver more accurate results in less time than an inventory scale.
Improves Inventory Data Analysis and Archiving
You can custom-order an inventory scale with your desired connectivity features, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet. With these connectivity options, you can connect your counting scale to your company network to transmit inventory data synchronously. This creates an updated data archive, enabling fast access and analysis when you need to review inventory levels.
4 Factors to Consider Before Purchasing an Inventory Scale
Before shopping for a counting scale, you need to know what will best suit your business. Here are four factors to consider when purchasing a counting scale:
Internal Resolution of the Scale
If you need high piece-counting accuracy, consider buying an inventory scale with a high internal resolution. The internal resolution of a scale determines the piece weight of the small parts you’re weighing and counting. A higher internal resolution gives a more accurate piece weight, which yields a more precise piece count.
Maximum Load Capacity of the Counting Scale
Each inventory scale has a limit relating to the weight it can measure at a particular time. It may be 10 lbs, 20 lbs, 50 lbs, 100 lbs, or more. Weighing a load that goes beyond the recommended weight capacity may lower the internal resolution of your inventory scale, leading to a less accurate piece count.
Besides the load capacity, consider the measuring range of the inventory scale. If you plan to count heavier parts, select a scale with a higher measuring range that includes essential features such as:
- Total weight
- Piece count
- Unit count
- Tare weight
These features enhance ease of use and ensure you get accurate piece counts.
The Immediate Working Environment
The work environment where you’ll position the counting scale matters greatly because external factors can influence the scale’s accuracy. For instance, if you operate the counting scale in an area with heavy vibrating machinery or cooling systems, the scale might shake, and this could tamper with the readings.
Before purchasing your inventory scale, you may want to invite the scale manufacturers or sellers to survey your workplace. If you are in a manufacturing environment, sometimes, there’s little you can do to control noise or traffic. On the plus side, scale manufacturers can customize your inventory scale to operate optimally in your work environment or recommend suitable solutions.
Map out how your inventory scale will be used in your factory. Consider whether you’ll need to move the scale around or if it can operate from a permanent position. This will help you decide whether to buy a battery-powered or a plug-in counting scale. If you settle for a battery-powered scale, consider how long the battery lasts and how long it takes to recharge.
Useful Scale Features that Help with Inventory Tracking
Inventory scales are not limited to counting large supplies with many small parts. You can also leverage them to fulfill inventory management and tracking functions.
These are some of the critical scale features that boost inventory tracking:
The accumulation feature allows you to count and weigh different batches of the same parts incrementally. It shows you the gross weight of the batches and the total count of the pieces in the separate containers you used to weigh the parts.
When parts are packaged in batches, this feature helps you know the total number of pieces in each batch by converting the weight of the batch into the number of pieces.
This feature allows you to connect your inventory scale to your computer or a remote scale. Connectivity options smooth out your factory operations by reducing manual tasks.
Why You Should Trust American Scale To Supply Your Inventory Scales
Counting scales keep your manufacturing operations running smoothly by helping you to accurately track and manage your inventory. Taking stock in any busy manufacturing business would be far more hectic and unfeasible without inventory scales.
Given the significant impact of counting scales in your day-to-day factory operations, you must ensure you buy the best quality scale from a reputable manufacturer like American Scale. When you trust American Scale to furnish your company with the inventory scales you need, you can rest assured you’ll get top-quality and fit-for-purpose scales.
Since 1985, we’ve been supplying all types of scales and calibration services to manufacturing entities. With decades of experience, we’re exceptionally qualified to supply customized weighing solutions, including counting scales. Contact us today, and let us get you an inventory scale tailored to meet your company’s counting and weighing needs.