Today, I finally received my sample of the world’s smallest wheel load scale! I’m happy to share my first impressions with you.
Made by Siyue Yiri Electric Weighting Machinery Apparatus Manufacturing Co., Ltd. from Wanxiao in China, this scale has an impressive capacity of 12t and fits easily in the palm of your hand:
Driving a vehicle onto the small raised platform can be a bit tricky. If you’re not careful, you could easily obscure or even scratch the display. The photo below shows how the tire should be positioned:
While smartphones are becoming so big that soon we’ll all be carrying a purse, this scale is a remarkable example of the miniaturization of weighing technology.
A&D has confirmed that the SJ-WP series of compact bench scales is going on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2014.
To understand what’s so ingenious about this scale, you should know that until now, compact scales were either fast or they had a high degree of ingress protection. It was not possible to have both a very short stabilization time (<1s) and resistance to dust and liquids in a compact instrument. The reason for this is that the air pressure inside the housing of the scale changes when a load is applied (or removed). For accurate measurements, the air pressure inside and outside has to be equalized. Of course, this could be achieved by simply building a few holes into the housing, but then you would allow dust and liquids to enter. The conventional solution has been to use selectively permeable membranes which let air through and block water. However, air diffusion through these membranes takes time, slowing down the measurement process.
A&D’s new approach is remarkably simple and effective: By mounting the load cell outside of the housing, the SJ-WP scale achieves a stabilization time of 0.5s or less in combination with IP67 protection (dust tight and water proof up to 1m):
Fast, compact, resistant to harsh environments and easy to clean, A&D’s SJ-WP could be a game changer in the food industry.
While I have no information on new products coming in 2014 yet, I was told that Adam is planning to add USB host functionality to a number of balances. This would allow weighing data to be written directly on a memory stick, greatly simplifying data logging and data transfer to a computer. This functionality is already available on Adam’s PMB moisture analyzer:
The first pages of the 2014 catalog show Kern’s continued focus on touchscreen scales. The new models include analytical and precision balances as well as platform scales. While Kern does not indicate who the ODM is, I’m pretty sure these devices are made by Radwag in Poland.
A cooperation between the two companies would make sense: Kern’s strengths are sales and marketing, while Radwag is good at actually developing and manufacturing weighing instruments.
The new Valor 2000 and 4000 are aimed at the food industry and are meant to improve productivity even in harsh environments. There are still some inconsistencies in the available documents but it appears that Ohaus is claiming a stabilization time of 0.5s with an IPX8 rating (no dust ingress protection; protected against submersion beyond 1m).
If you’ve read this post from the very beginning, you might be wondering how Ohaus has been able to achieve this with a load cell that’s placed inside the housing. The answer is called “Flow-Through Design” and simply means that there are indeed some holes in the housing which allow air and liquids to enter and exit relatively unhindered. The electronic components are silicon sealed to protect them from fluids and condensation:
I’m looking forward to comparing this approach with A&D’s external load cell solution.
: Ohaus has released a video featuring the new scales:
Our software is designed to make it easier to transfer measurement values from any instrument with an RS-232 interface to any application which accepts keyboard input. It receives data from a scale, balance or other device via RS-232 (COM port), extracts the numeric value, formats it and “types” it into another program (“keyboard wedge”-functionality). I’ll announce the release on this blog.
The load cell is attached to the bottom plate on one end and to the top plate on the other. It will slightly bend when a load is applied.
The deformation of the load cell is measured by tiny sensors called strain gauges. If you look closely (or click on the image to see it in full size), you can see two of them on top of the load cell while two more are located on the bottom side.
The overload stops prevent the load cell form deforming too far when a load beyond its capacity is applied. The two screws on the top are used to slightly tilt the top plate in order to adjust the overload gap between the plate and the 4 corner stops.
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to see more interactive images.
The following short video shows A&D’s new wireless UC-324NFC scale in action. It is the first scale in the world with an integrated NFC chip, making it very easy to transfer your weight to your smartphone. Currently, this only works on Android with A&D’s own WellnessConnected app: