There are plenty of reasons you might need to add or replace floor scales for your business. You could be looking for newer styles that are more accurate and versatile. If you’re not using a floor scale, you might be interested in improving your processing and getting precise measurements for inventory. Whatever your reason for seeking a floor scale is, you should know the basics before getting one for your company.
Here’s everything you need to know about floor scales.
What Is a Floor Scale?
A floor scale is an industrial scale that sits on the floor and weighs palettes, heavy equipment, and other goods at floor level. Floor scales are sometimes referred to as “Pallet scales” or “platform scales,” because they’re often used for weighing pallets for shipping, receiving, inventory, and other purposes.
Some industries that use these scales include:
- Food production
You can set your floor scale to measure in pounds or kilograms depending on where you operate or which industry you’re in. For example, companies specializing in manufacturing for medical and science-oriented businesses will likely configure their floor scales to the metric system to stay compliant with regulations for these industries.
Why You Might Need a Floor Scale
There are many ways a floor scale can benefit your business. Using the right technology can help you accurately measure palettes and shipments, reducing your processing time and making the whole system more efficient.
Accurate weights can impact other parts of your business. A recycling company in the United Kingdom found that its system of weighing waste materials was producing inadequate data. The company had a system of loads rounding to the nearest 20kg. These estimates, though, could throw off the total weight of a load of waste by up to 60kg.
In this case, the weight measurements impact everything from purchasing forklifts to budgeting for fuel for the recycling trucks. Oftentimes, the company also earns revenue based on load weight.
Using a floor scale, the company was able to better measure its waste loads, making processing more efficient and permitting better revenue estimates.
How to Choose the Right Floor Scale
Getting the right floor scale for your business isn’t as simple as opening a catalog and choosing any random model. Before you start shopping for a floor scale, consider the following:
- How durable is it?
- How much weight can it handle?
- What size is your space for the floor scale?
- How much will it take to maintain?
- How accurate is it?
These questions will give you a starting point when you’re looking for floor scales in a catalog or when you want a custom model for your business. Think about what you’ll be weighing. You might frequently weigh goods that aren’t a standard shape. Make sure you pick a model that will hold these items while letting you measure them.
Before you buy a scale, talk to a sales representative or a technician who usually works on the scale to see how often you need to perform routine maintenance. Your floor scale will need to be calibrated at set intervals to help ensure that its measurements are accurate.
Governments like the State of Kentucky may also check your industrial scale to make sure your business complies with state regulations. Keeping up with maintenance will help ensure that you pass inspections.
Ask yourself questions about regular maintenance tasks and what you can do to keep your floor scale in good condition. You might need to follow certain storage, maintenance, and cleaning procedures to keep your scale in good shape and under warranty. Look through your user manual to see how to arrange the scale when it’s not in use. You may need to remove or disengage certain parts when storing the scale for it to run properly.
Next, consider which type of scale you need. You might need one that is permanently fastened to the floor, or your operation might require more flexibility.
Types of Floor Scales
Floor scales come in many shapes and sizes, and the right one for you depends on your needs. Common models include:
A platform scale consists of a platform that is slightly raised off the floor that is attached to a digital display. Platform scales aren’t fixed to the floor. They come in multiple sizes, and you can use them to weigh large and smaller objects.
Some models feature a reader attached to a pole while others use a reader that is attached with a cable or a cord. You can find heavy-duty models for large palettes accommodating weights of up to 10,000 lbs. in some cases. Platform scales are often low to the ground. You can even find ultra-low-profile models for minimal lifting.
When you need to put your floor scale in a high traffic environment, a deck scale is your best bet for minimizing damage. These scales are bolted to the floor, so they won’t move while you’re taking measurements even if people are moving around in the warehouse.
The top deck often features texture to keep people and palettes from slipping off the scale while it’s in use. The decks also protect internal wiring and mechanical structures from being damaged by moving palettes and other objects on and off the scale.
You can find deck scales built for multiple weighing capacities, even up to 50,000 lbs. These scales come in handy for heavy loads since they’re fixed to the floor.
If you work in an industry using drums to store liquids, fuel, food, and even hazardous materials, you may be interested in a drum scale. A drum scale has a low profile with lifted sides. Since it’s relatively flat, you can easily roll drums onto the scale for accurate measurement without moving its contents.
You can also use drum scales to weigh items on dollies and other wheeled carts. These scales can handle weights up to 2,500 lbs.
If you’re often weighing loads in various parts of your warehouse, consider a portable scale. These scales don’t have the same capacity as a deck scale, for example, but you can roll them around the area to weigh pallets and other items without moving them all to a central weighing station.
You can fix the weighing platform when you need to use it and loosen it when you need to wheel the scale to another part of the room. These scales are also easy to wash, which makes them great for weighing food and other perishable inventory items.
When you’re working with chemicals, medical supplies, and other hazardous materials, it’s important to keep a clean workspace. Lift scales have a platform that you can lift to clean under it once you’re done taking your measurements. Since the scales themselves are heavy, the platform usually comes with a remote control or another electronic device that helps you lift it.
Lift scales are usually made of stainless steel since they’re most often used in sterile environments.
Features to Look For When Using a Floor Scale
Once you’ve considered how you’re going to use your floor scale and the type that is right for you, look for these features to find one that meets your needs:
Not all scales can handle the same load level. If you’re using a floor scale to weigh 55-gallon drums, you will probably be okay with a drum scale that can handle a load up to 2,500 lbs. However, if you’re weighing heavier items like cable and other dense inventory, you might need a scale that can take loads of 50,000 lbs. or more.
Look through your historical data to see the average weights for your loads and take note of any excessively heavy or light items.
Load Cells and Protective Components
A load cell measures mechanical force and converts this into the weight that you read on the scale’s display. Look for scales designed to protect the load cells. Most scales feature load cell cables that are protected by their placement underneath a platform. You will want a scale with structure and support to keep the load cells from being damaged.
Your plans for using your floor scale will help you decide which model to use. If you need a scale that doesn’t move when you’re weighing items, look for a deck scale and make sure your floor surface is compatible. If you’re working with hazardous chemicals, look for a lift scale that you can clean thoroughly after each use.
Your budget is a factor when buying a floor scale, but consider the scale’s durability and predicted maintenance schedule when calculating the cost. You might be tempted to go with the cheapest model on the market, but if you have to replace it once a year, you will be saving money in the long run by opting for a more durable product instead.
Also, consider special regulations in your industry. Whether you work in agriculture, waste management, pharmaceuticals, retail, or other special industries, you are likely required to comply with regulations. Check state regulations for your industry for weighing and measurements so you can find a model that meets these guidelines.
Where to Find Floor Scales
If you’re wondering “Where do I find floor scales near me?” American Scale has you covered. We offer industrial scales, customized floor scales, and calibration services. We work with multiple major manufacturers, so you can rest assured that we have a scale that suits your needs.
We have over 30 years of experience in industrial scales and are eager to answer your questions and help you find the right product for you.
How to Use a Floor Scale
First, you need to assemble the scale. Depending on which model you’ve chosen, you may need to attach the feet and the pole that houses the display. If you’ve chosen a deck scale, you will need to fasten the scale to the floor using the instructions provided in the manual.
After you’ve assembled the scale, put it on a flat surface. The best place to place your scale for accurate readings is a concrete, level floor. If you don’t have a concrete floor, still try to choose a smooth, level surface for the best measurements.
Next, put the load you intend to weigh on your floor scale. Depending on its weight, you can either lift the load onto the scale in sections by hand, or you might use a hand cart to place your items on the scale. For very heavy loads, consider a palette scale or a u-scale. These scales can be attached to the front of a forklift and placed under palettes. You would like the palette with the forklift itself and record the reading from a wireless or attached display.
Look at your display monitor and record your readings. Some floor scales can store data and you can send it to your computer to input into reports.
Sometimes, your scale won’t give you accurate readings, or you might see an error code when you try to get a weight. In this case, start by checking under the platform for debris. Any dirt or debris under the platform will shift the scale causing inaccurate measurements.
Your scale may also need to be calibrated. If you haven’t recalibrated your scale in a while, do it and see if that corrects the error. If not, check the wires to make sure they’re in good shape and connected to the scale.
Other factors that can disrupt your scale include static electricity and high voltage wiring. Keep your scale in a clean area that’s free of other mechanical equipment for the most accurate readings.
Find a Floor Scale Near You Today
If you’re ready to get a new floor scale to improve your processes and make your business more efficient, contact us to discuss your scale needs..