Load Cell Blog

How To Choose The Best Load Cell Type For Your Business

February 4, 2019

Access to accurate weight information is vital in industries as wide-ranging as logistics and mining, food production and pharmaceuticals. Weight and loading information is critical for many reasons, from ensuring load safety to verifying manifest accuracy through truck scales and everything in between.

In most of these instances, organizations in southern Texas turn to load cells – a transducer that converts force into an electrical output that can be measured. However, there are different types of load cell on the market, and they are not all created equal. Choosing the correct type for your application is vital. Let’s take a look at 3 types.

1. Analog Weighing Systems

Analog scales can be equipped with electronic load cells that translate the amount of load force placed on them into a weight measurement. These are also called strain-gage load cells because they technically measure the amount of strain placed on the scale by the load. The amount of bend is measured, and the load cell then emits a voltage to reference the measure.

However, analog electric load cells do have their shortcomings. For instance, they can suffer from drift, which means they regularly need to be recalibrated to ensure that they’re legal for trade. Multiple cells are tied together within the system, as well. If a single cell fails, the entire system must be tested to determine which one is faulty. Finally, virtually any sort of noise can cause weight irregularities, from radio interference to solar flares.

2. Digital Weighing Systems

A digital scale system can offer an alternative to businesses in need of greater accuracy and fewer potential issues. Plus, a digital weighing system can deliver several advantages over analog-electric load cells. One of those is that digital load cells do not suffer from noise-related irregularities. Additionally, if a digital load cell fails, it can be identified individually, which ensures quick, accurate repairs or replacements, leading to less downtime for your business.

There is also the fact that digital systems require far fewer junction boxes, meaning there are fewer components and less chance of failure in general. Interestingly, some advanced digital load cells can also transmit status information online, alerting you to potential problems immediately.

3. Hydraulic Weighing Systems

Hydraulic load cells are ideal for demanding situations and instances where you need robust protection against common threats. Hydraulic scale systems are impervious to lightning, as the mechanism itself is hydraulic and requires no electricity. Additionally, they are impervious to flood-related damage. Even pest-related threats are no issue – rodents that might gnaw through outdoor electric cables on an analog or digital system will find that the copper and steel lines with a hydraulic weighing system are impervious to their teeth.

Finally, a hydraulic load cell-based system can offer peace of mind. Cardinal Scale offers a 100% lifetime warranty on a truck scale load cell. Finally, because these are closed systems, they require very little in the way of ongoing maintenance. With that being said, hydraulic load cells are up to 30% more expensive than other options.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Your company must choose the right load cell technology for their specific needs and budget, while still considering ongoing maintenance.

Have questions about load cells and what type of weighing system is right for your business? Fill out the contact form below or give us a call at (956) 335-5911.

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Texas Measurement & Calibration Solutions, LLC