Scale Terminology

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Scale Terminology

We understand some of the Jargon we use can be lost on those who may not be as familiar with the metrology (the scientific study of measurement) terminology. That’s why we’ve compiled a pretty simple list of scale terminology to help you understand the scientific aspects of this study of measurement.

Accuracy– The ability of the weighing system to repeat with each weighment and weight display of the reading compared to known weights repeated. 

Ambient Conditions– The environmental conditions (humidity, air pressure, temperature, etc.) of the surroundings of the load cell.

Calibration – The comparison of load cell voltage outputs against standard test loads.

Capacity– Maximum amount of weight the scale is capable of weighing accurately.

Check Weighing– The process of verifying the quality of an end product by its weight

Corner load– differences displayed on an instrument’s weight readings on a given object when placed on the corners of the weighing pan.

Divisions– The number of increments viewable on a scale.

Drift– A continuously change in the numbers displayed on the digital readout, either upward or downward. Commonly caused by temperature, static electricity or radio frequency interference.

Factory Mutual (FM) System Approved– The symbol stating that products are approved for use in classified/hazardous locations when following the proper installation procedures and utilizing intrinsic safety barriers.

Hermetically Sealed– Load cells protected for use in harsh chemical or wash-down environments. These load cells have a metallic protective cover welded or soldered in place to protect the strain gauge cavity. Some cells of this type have additional protection at the cable entry such as a glass-to-metal seal.

Interface– A device or circuit that allows two units to communicate. Some of the standard interfaces used in the scale industry are 20 mA current loop RS-232 ID NET.

Intrinsically Safe System- equipment which is incapable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy under normal or abnormal conditions to cause ignition of a specific hazardous atmospheric mixture in its most easily ignited concentration.

IP Ratings (Ingress Protection)- The degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures as defined in international standard IEC 60529.

J-BOX (Junction Box)- A box or enclosure used to join different runs of cable. These contain space and terminals for connecting and branching the enclosed conductors and adjustments to provide load cell trimming. Can often retain moisture, dirt, and debris which will affect weighing of the scale.

Linearity– Refers to the quality of delivering identical sensitivity throughout the weighing capacity of a scale or balance.

Load– The weight or force applied to the load cell.

Load Cell– A device which produces an electrical output signal proportional to the applied weight or force of an object.

Mass – The amount of matter in an object. Big things are generally more massive than small ones.

Measurement Uncertainty – The rounding error, unable to be displayed, in any value attributed to a measured quantity.

NTEP (National Type Evaluation Program)- A partnership program between the National Conference On Weights & Measures, NIST, state weights and measures officials and the private sector for determining conformance of weighing equipment with the provisions of Handbook-44.

Overload Ratings- The maximum load which can be applied without producing a permanent shift in the device’s performance.

Repeatability– The weighing system’s ability to display a consistent weight reaching each and every time.  

Resolution– The smallest incremental change in weight that can be displayed by a weighing system

Scale– A device for weighing, comparing and determining weight or mass.

Tare– The weight of an empty container or vehicle. Often deduction from the gross weight.

Tolerance– The amount of error that is allowed in a weighing.

Weight– The force or amount of gravitational pull by which an object is attracted toward the center of the earth.

TraceabilityThe property of a measurement result relative to suitable nationally or internationally applicable standards. Often in reference to the unbroken chain of comparative measurements with specified measurement uncertainties.

See More Scale Terminology We May Have Missed From Our Friends At Hammel Scales!


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