Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Thames Side VC3500/LA3500 Weighing Assembly gains EN1090 Approval

Thames Side Sensors Ltd (UK) – Thames Side is pleased to announce that a special version of the popular VC3500/LA3500 weighing assembly at 50.000kg, 75.000kg and 100.000kg (50, 75 and 100 metric tonnes) capacity is available with CE marking and approval according to EN 1090 and the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 305/2011.

Silo/Tank manufacturers and process engineers are responsible for ensuring that the used materials and components comply with the latest directives.

Load cells and fabricated (welded) mounting accessories used for the weighing of silos and tanks bear a static load and they could be considered within the scope of the European norm EN 1090 and the Construction Products Regulation. The interpretation and implementation of these documents will vary from country to country and the client must individually examine their individual requirements.

The special optional version of the VC3500/LA3500 weighing assembly from Thames Side utilises a galvanised mounting accessory. The product will give customers additional security of performance and will also save the time and costs of third party verification of its static strength.

The Factory Production Control certificate has been issued by Bureau Veritas.

It is important to note that for load cell capacities up to 30.000kg (30 metric tonnes) Thames Side Sensors unique MasterMount® weighing assembly can be used without the need for CE marking, because it is a cast weighing module / weighing assembly and ‘castings’ are exempt from the scope of EN 1090.

For more information about the VC3500/LA3500 Weighing Assembly from Thames Side Sensors click here.

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Adam Equipment launched a New Blog

Adam Equipment (UK) - Adam Equipment, a leading provider of weighing instruments worldwide, announces the publication of a new blog on its website.

The blog, called Adam’s Weigh, features posts about the numerous topics related to metrology. Subjects range from simple weighing to more complex methods of measurement, such as density determination and moisture analysis. The blog’s contents are informative, with relevant terminology and thorough explanations.

Balances and scales are some of the most widely used tools in the world. They are used in almost every industry — food, agriculture, science education, veterinary, pharmaceutical, materials handling, mining, health care, and in research laboratories. By creating a blog on the Adam website, the company is able to share technical knowledge and relevant news with distributors, professionals and consumers in an easy-to-read format, according to Tom Storey, Adam Equipment marketing director.

“Our goal is to be a source of educational and pertinent information related to weighing and mass measurement, enhancing Adam’s current and potential product user experience,” Storey said. “I encourage everyone with an interest in scales and balances to visit the Adam blog.”

Readers can gather reliable information on selecting a scale, get tips on how to optimize a weighing device, learn about calibrating a balance, and discover why approvals are required for retail scales.

For more information about the New Blog from Adam Equipment click here.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Gaylin Installs 600t Load Cell Calibration Machine in Singapore

Gaylin (Singapore) – Gaylin, a specialist supplier of lifting, rigging and marine equipment, has recently built and installed a custom 600t calibration machine at Singapore headquarters that calibrates tension and compression load cells to its full capacity.

Integral to the Gaylin Group of companies’ (of which Rigmarine is part) below-the-hook offering to offshore oil and gas, renewables, construction, break bulk, shipping and maritime industries, is a full range of force measurement, load monitoring and suspended weighing load cell equipment sourced from UK manufacturer Straightpoint.

In addition to Singapore, Gaylin has facilities in Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. Rigmarine hubs, meanwhile, can be found at its most recently opened site in Aberdeen, in addition to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the Middle East. Most of these sites have calibration machines ranging between 50t and 300t depending on the location.

In simple terms, calibration matches the readings of a load monitoring device, or other machine, with those of a standard to determine accuracy.

There are a variety of purposes and requirements for calibration of load cells beyond standard process upon completion of manufacture. Companies may choose to calibrate as they receive stock, while some countries or regions insist that calibration takes place as they arrive in certain geographies or onsite. Load cells are also calibrated as they return from projects or during service procedures.

Mike Duncan, managing director at Gaylin, said: “Rentals are a key focus for Gaylin [and Rigmarine] with over 150 tension load cell units alone available for hire across the group, with capacities of up to 1,000t. We also have a project currently in the engineering phase that may see us increase this to 1,500t. While the technology is impressive in its own right, it’s the after-sale service and support, including local calibration, we can provide in partnership with Straightpoint that separates us [from competition].”

A number of recent projects prove the point. Notably, Rigmarine recently delivered eight 52mm Running Line Dynamometers from Straightpoint, which measure tension on mooring lines, for a long-term rental on an offshore construction vessel. Given the short lead-time, it had to rely on 24-hour operation at Straightpoint in the UK, combined with airfreighting of equipment and onsite calibration to fulfill the commitment. Meanwhile, after an 18-month project in the Caspian, Rigmarine’s 1,800t, six-point centre of gravity weighing system (also from Straightpoint) has returned to the Middle East, where it will be held until its next assignment.

Duncan said: “It seems like 500t load cells are another order of the day with simultaneous rentals in Aberdeen, Dubai and South Korea all forming part of load test or heavy lift configurations. The overall success rate in Korea has encouraged us to build another high capacity calibration frame to serve the region, which will probably be 500t capacity and similar to the new Singapore unit.”

He added: “Day to day sales of standard products are picking up as our brand is being further exposed and we continue to deliver good results.

After a solid 2016 in the Middle East market, where we picked up several high value contracts in the offshore and construction sectors, we have increased our stock holdings of on-the-shelf, new products and are now by far the largest stockist of load monitoring equipment in the region.”

For more information about the Weighing Products and Services from Gaylin click here.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

BLH Nobel Announces G5 Series Panel Mount Measurement Amplifiers Now Available with Legal-for-Trade Certification

BLH Nobel (USA) – The BLH Nobel brand of Vishay Precision Group, experts in standard and custom process weighing and force measurement solutions, including high-quality and high-accuracy weighing and control systems, announced that its G5 Series panel mount measurement amplifiers (G5 PM Series) are now certified “legal-for-trade” via firmware upgrade, as per the very latest standards set forth by EN45501:2015 and the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML).

In global commercial applications where product is sold by weight, a legal requirement exists for all associated weighing equipment, whether individual scales or a full pre-pack line, to be “legal-for-trade” certified. Such certifications confirm that associated instrumentation has undergone the necessary stringent testing to ensure its total conformance to uniform global accreditation standards. This further ensures that it is sufficiently accurate for its intended commercial weighing purpose.

With the BLH Nobel “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade, the G5 PM Series can now support all non-automatic weighing applications, in full compliance with EN 45501 and OIML R76 Class III or IIII single-interval industrial use criteria (NTEP approvals pending). The measurement amplifier offers secondary functionality as a long-term onboard data storage device, without the need for a stand-alone printer. Units can accept any traditional load cell input signal with a 0.4 μV minimum verification scale interval, and with maximum potential intervals set at 10,000. Initial device storage capacity exists for up to 50,000 individual text records, allowing for up to 500 separate files of 100 records each. Each file name is assigned a unique identification number for tracking purposes.

Other new functions afforded by the BLH Nobel G5 PM Series “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade include full language support in both English and Swedish, along with a modern and user-friendly visual indicator, audit trail counter, legal lock function, easy calibration, remote access with common field buses (setup via browser or keyboard), and associated trade and management task functions. The firmware upgrade also allows the G5 PM Series to serve as a next generation drop-in replacement for the now-obsolete Model TAD3. Model TAD3 was the brand’s previous indicator solution for legal weighing applications, with new G5 PM Series units occupying an identical footprint to that of the legacy model. The G5 PM Series is available with a full complement of standard and custom load cells from the BLH Nobel portfolio, along with full applications engineering and troubleshooting support. To obtain a copy of the correct firmware upgrade version for “legal-for-trade” compliance, please contact BLH Nobel.

Originally launched in February 2016, the G5 Series measurement amplifier combines standard interfaces, a modular design, and onboard integral web servers. It offers streamlined commissioning and calibration; reduced operations and maintenance costs; and advanced communication protocols for optimized system efficiencies, including remote diagnostics, parameterization, backup and maintenance functions. A recently released firmware upgrade (v1.3.0) added new capabilities such as flow rate calculation, enhanced diagnostics, excitation current measurement and supervision, updated Fieldbus data mapping, and an EtherNet/IP interface.

The G5 Series is just one in a family of advanced process control instruments from BLH Nobel, designed to support the measurement requirements of comprehensive weighing systems.

Typical applications for the BLH Nobel G5 PM Series include process weighing and control, weighing force measurements, high-speed dynamic measurements, and factory automation. Expanded applications now afforded by the “legal-for-trade” firmware upgrade include coil weighing; steel plate commercial weighing; offshore fish farm pellet weighing; fine-grained concentrates weighing for the mining industry; and virtually any other commercial weighing application requiring EN45501:2015 and OIML certifications. Units are also fully CE marked.

About BLH Nobel:
For more than 40 years, the BLH Nobel brand of VPG has specialized in the design, development and manufacture of high-quality and high-accuracy process weighing and force measurement technologies and related control systems. BLH Nobel load cells maximize accuracy and minimize the effects of mixing, agitation, and temperature changes within critical process stages.

BLH Nobel products and customized solutions are designed to comply with stringent requirements in the food and beverage, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical manufacturing, medical equipment, process, mining, steel, and offshore industries. The brand further offers a wide variety of communication protocols for seamless integration within complex production lines. It also supplies system solutions, products, and services in more than 100 countries worldwide. Each BLH Nobel custom solution is derived from more than 40 years of engineering expertise, gained from across thousands of successful applications.

For more information about the G5 Series Panel Mount Measurement Amplifiers from BLH Nobel click here.

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What is a load Cell? And how does it work?

HBM - Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (Germany) – By Stefan Schmidt, Product Manager for bending beam rocker pin load cells and weighing modules at HBM.

Design and function of a load cell:
Load cells are used to measure weight. They are an integral part of our daily life. "In your car or at the cheese counter in the supermarket – we encounter load cells everywhere," says HBM Product Manager Stefan Schmidt. Of course they are usually not immediately recognizable, because they are hidden in the inner workings of instruments.

Load cells generally consist of a spring element on which strain gauges have been placed. The spring element is usually made of steel or aluminum. That means it is very sturdy, but also minimally elastic. As the name "spring element" suggests, the steel is slightly deformed under load, but then returns to its starting position, responding elastically to every load. These extremely small changes can be acquired with strain gauges. Then finally the deformation of the strain gauge is interpreted by analysis electronics to determine the weight.

To understand this last point, let us consider strain gauges in more detail: They are electrical conductors firmly attached to a film in a meandering pattern. When this film is pulled, it – and the conductors – get longer. When it is contracted, it gets shorter. This causes the resistance in the electrical conductors to change. The strain can be determined on this basis, as resistance increases with strain and diminishes with contraction.

The strain gauges are firmly attached to the spring element, and therefore undergo the same movements it does. These strain gauges are arranged in what is called a bridge circuit, or more precisely a Wheatstone bridge circuit (see diagram). This means that four SGs are connected "in a ring" and the measuring grid of the force being measured is aligned accordingly.

If an object is placed on the load cell or suspended from it, the object's weight can be determined. The intended load for a load cell is always aligned in the direction of the center of the earth, in other words in the direction of gravity. Only that force component of the load should be acquired. That is not the case for force sensors, which are similar in design, and are also frequently specified as "load cells": They are usually designed to acquire loads that occur in all directions. The direction of the earth's gravitational force is not relevant to how they are installed.

The diagram shows what a possible Wheatstone bridge circuit looks like: Here, four strain gauges are connected "in a ring".

Types of load cells:
There are different types of load cells for different applications. Commonly used ones include:
  • Single point load cells: a load cell is located under a platform that is loaded with a weight from above
  • Bending beam load cells: several load cells are positioned under a steel structure and are loaded with a weight from above
  • Compressive force load cells: several high-capacity load cells are positioned under a steel structure that is loaded with a weight from above
  • Tensile load cells: a weight is suspended from one or more load cells
Many load cells also feature special properties such as a special design or material properties. That may be important depending on the application, for example if systems need to be thoroughly cleaned every day. Some load cells can withstand this type of stress without difficulty, others cannot.

Load cells can also be categorized based on the type of signal transmission: Digital load cells have built-in electronics used to process the measurement results and present them in prepared format. For analog load cells, an additional device – a measuring amplifier – is required.

Four strain gauges are positioned on the load cells below at the point where the greatest deformation occurs when force is applied. The arrow is pointing the direction of force application.

Compressive force load cell.

Bending beam load cell.

Single point load cell.

Tensile load cell.

Environmental effects on load cells:
One special feature of load cells is that the environment in which they are used plays a decisive role – in a number of ways.

Ambient temperatures:
Every material changes with temperature, expanding in response to heat and contracting in response to cold. Of course the same applies to load cells and their strain gauges. This also changes the electrical resistance of the conductor. Yet load cells must measure the correct weight everywhere in the world, regardless of the ambient temperature. To achieve this, a sophisticated temperature compensation mechanism is built into every HBM load cell.

Load cells must be able to withstand various effects. "Consider a truck scale: These scales are exposed to the elements: rain, dirt or heat – they have to be able to withstand outdoor ambient conditions. And we are talking world-wide: A truck scale in Siberia, for example, is exposed to different effects than one in South Africa. But they do have one thing in common: They must be designed for environments with severe weather and must therefore be correspondingly rugged," says Stefan Schmidt.

A truck scale fitted with HBM load cells.

Application of force in other directions ("parasitic forces"):
Depending on the technical environment in which a load cell is installed – for example in a system for weighing containers or in a weighing cell under a conveyor belt – other loads in addition to the weight may occur. "Parasitic forces" are forces acting on the load cell not only in the desired principal direction, but also from the side, from below or in some other way. The load cell was not developed for this purpose and the measurement results may be inaccurate or simply wrong. Care must therefore be taken during installation to ensure that there are no parasitic forces, or as few as possible. HBM load cell fittings and weighing modules help users minimize these parasitic forces and achieve precise measurement results.

Using load cells:
Of course load cells are often installed in scales. But there are also many other applications. Think of bottling plants or systems for filling bottles and cans by weight – with a load cell under every one. Or sorting systems for distributing candies or potatoes into bags so that they all have the same weight at the end of the process.

"It's astonishing how many applications require load measurements." - Stefan Schmidt.

And there are also unusual uses for load cells, as Schmidt points out: "For example, our PW15iA single point load cell is used in the development of high-performance triathlon apparel and swim wear: It measures the water resistance of suits for world class swimmers."

As part of its current research to demonstrate the effect of water resistance on various suits for world class swimmers, Huub Ltd. is introducing its new M16 system for measuring water resistance to the market. The system uses load cells type PW15iA from HBM.

Accuracy of load cells:
No matter what application a load cell is used in, accuracy plays an extremely important role. Load cells are available with different maximum capacities (the maximum capacity designates the maximum intended load) and accuracy classes. Strain gauge technology is primarily used to achieve classes C and D. Strain gauge load cells with electronic correction are used in some weighers in higher accuracy classes.

"Weight plays a leading role in industry because goods are sold primarily by weight." - Stefan Schmidt.

Because of this, weighing is strictly regulated. Use of different scales is permitted depending on the goods: For goods with low value (such as sand or gravel), the weigher does not need to be extremely precise – accuracy class D is sufficient. For pharmaceutical products, on the other hand, the highest accuracy classes A or B are required. The most common consumer goods such as meat, fruit and vegetables are weighed with accuracy class C, which already places high requirements on the accuracy of the weighing system that is used. But accuracy class C is also required in mechanical engineering or for building materials scale.

The strict rules and standards for weighing continually present new challenges to load cell developers. For load cells in the higher OIML accuracy class, a deviation in accuracy of only a few ppm (parts per million) of the measuring range of the load cell is permitted.

"It's impressive how accurately you can measure with a piece of steel and a strain gauge glued onto it," notes Stefan Schmidt. "But it can't be done without the necessary know-how. In recent years HBM has systematically achieved to increase the accuracy reached by many load cells. A continuing development process that never ends."

Adjustment, calibration and legal verification:
To ensure that a load cell works on site the way it actually should, it is usually not only adjusted and calibrated in the factory, but also verified at the installation location. Calibration and legal verification are processes in which the load cell is loaded with known weights for control purposes. If a kilo is resting on the load cell or weigher, then depending on the accuracy class, the indicated weight should also be one kilo, not 857 grams, for example. In this way, undesirable effects such as parasitic forces can also be detected.

Trends in load cell technology:
Load cells based on strain gauges can be used for a wide variety of applications and feature high accuracy. This precision can only be achieved with the appropriate know-how, which is based in turn on experience. HBM looks back on over 65 years of experience in the development of load cells and is continually working on new solutions to meet the requirements of tomorrow.

"Ten years ago customers often asked us what would come after strain gauge technology, since this proven technology was now being fully exploited. Of course we asked ourselves the same question," continues Stefan Schmidt. "But we determined in the course of our examinations that strain gauge technology is far from being fully exploited and there are still countless other possibilities for decisively improving our sensors and with them our customer's products." More precise, more rugged, faster, more intelligent – thus there is no foreseeable end to the technological development of load cells.

Stefan Schmidt, Product Manager for bending beam rocker pin load cells and weighing modules at HBM.

For more information about the Load Cell from HBM click here.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Scotload launches Zone 1 Hazardous Area SmartLoad® Products

Scotload Ltd. (UK) - Scotload delivers improved operational safety with the launch of zone 1 hazardous area SmartLoad® products.

Scotload, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, announced the launch of the newly certified SmartLoad 1Ex® wireless product range. Incorporating the innovative and award-winning SmartLoad® wireless technology, the newly extended suite of hazardous area products features advanced functionality which benefits clients across a range of safety critical industries.

The newly ATEX and IECEx certified zone 1 products include the SmartLoad® handset and wireless transmitter, which have been approved for use with Scotload's load cells, load pins load links, load shackles and line tension monitors.

The ATEX and IECEx certification also includes three standard battery sizes, meaning users are able to change batteries directly within zone 1 and 2 hazardous environments, significantly increasing usability and driving operational efficiency. Scotload is the first company to ever provide this functionality for customers operating in hazardous environments.

Describing the benefits of SmartLoad®, Simon Everett, managing director of Scotload says: "The exciting addition of SmartLoad 1Ex to our already extensive portfolio of hazardous area products enables us to increase safety and efficiency for our customers operating in a number of critical work areas. By eliminating cables from critical work areas, we can help to reduce the maintenance costs associated with cable damage and improve the overall operational safety."

SmartLoad® includes numerous hazardous area display options including the ergonomically designed SmartLoad® handset featuring an intuitive menu driven display with individual load cell naming facility. Requiring only one handset to connect to any sensor, these simple plug and play products automatically detect all cells in range with a live simultaneous display of multiple cell data.

Adrian Coventry, engineering director at Scotload, explains the unique functionality of SmartLoad®: "We have designed the hazardous area Smartload to combine the latest wireless technology with ease of use and is fully compatible with existing equipment so it can be easily retrofitted, removing the need for expensive system upgrades. Being able to replace standard batteries in the hazardous area also ensures uninterrupted operation."

Working in partnership with sister company Strainstall, Scotload delivers improved operational safety to an array of complex load monitoring environments with its globally approved hazardous area product range.

"Our entire product range is fully compatible with ATEX and IECEx certifications for zone 1 and 2 classifications, with the North American certification pending. Once achieved, Scotload will be the only company to have gained certification for all three types of hazardous area legislation for its load monitoring products", Everett concludes.

For more information about New Producs from Scotload click here.

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New Stainless Steel Hardy HI 6020IT and HI 6020JB Summing Box Models with Hazardous Area Certifications

Hardy Process Solutions (USA) - Hardy Process Solutions announces new stainless steel models in its HI 6020 Summing Box line with hazardous area certifications. Summing boxes are a critical weighing system component that distributes excitation voltage from up to four load cells, and transfers each load cell’s performance characteristics and weight signals to a Hardy weighing instrument.

The HI 6020 Junction Box is UL, CE, RoHS2 and REACH compliant and now is rated for installation in hazardous locations:
  • HI6020IT-SSX-Y and HI6020JB-SSX-Y models include : USL/CNL Class I, II, III, Div 1 Groups ABCDEFG intrinsically safe per Hardy drawings 0594-0007 and 0594-0008 (Drawings are available for download on the Hardy website)
  • HI6020JB-SSX-Y-EX and HI6020IT-SSX-Y-EX models: ATEX & IECEx Ex ia IIC T4 intrinsically safe per Hardy drawings 0594-0011 and 0594-0012 ATEX Certificate No. DEMKO 17 ATEX 1819; IECEx Certificate No. IECEx UL 17.0009
  • All HI6020IT and HI6020JB also meet: USL/CNL Class I, II, III, Div 2, Groups ABCDFG (except -EX versions). Fiberglass, painted steel and summing card options only carry the Class I, II, III, Div. 2 hazardous area certifications.
Hardy HI 6020 models use two core Hardy technologies: C2® electronic calibration and Integrated Technician® (IT). (C2® allows electronic calibration without test weights. IT offers complete weighing system monitoring and troubleshooting.)

Weighing applications include:
Batching/blending, filling/dispensing, level-by-weight, inventory management and product inspection.

The HI 6020 Summing Box is available with a variety of options, including:
IT, trim pots (for non-Hardy load cells), and a NEMA 4X enclosure in stainless steel, painted steel, or fiberglass. A single HI 6020 Summing Box supports up to 4 load cells. To connect two HI 6020 Summing Boxes together to support between 5 and 8 load cells, Hardy supplies a TB6 Auxiliary connection between boxes. To support this feature, Stainless Steel summing boxes are available predrilled with six holes instead of the standard five holes.

For more information about the New Summing Box Models from Hardy Process Solutions click here.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Passing the Audit Risk-Based Process Verification with Mettler Toledo’s Good Weighing Practice

METTLER TOLEDO (Germany) - Do you have an informed response when an auditor asks, “Why are you using this weight to calibrate the scale?” Klosterfrau Healthcare Group always has a competent answer regarding their routine balance testing and weighing processes, making it easier for them to pass audits in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry.

For more than 200 years, the German-based company Klosterfrau Healthcare Group has been developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceutical products. Its portfolio combines traditional remedies with modern drug therapies and encompasses more than 30 brands and nearly 220 over-the-counter products.

At its Berlin site, the company runs state-of-the-art production lines. Scales and balances, whether in quality control or production, are an integral part of the process. Every piece of weighing equipment in use must be regularly calibrated and qualified to ensure regulatory compliance.

The challenge for Claudia Brostmeyer, Head of Quality Control at the Berlin site, is to ensure that all workplaces with their variety of processes and responsibilities calibrate and qualify weighing equipment according to stringent Good Manufacturing Practice and Good Laboratory Practice standards.

Running a compliant weighing station is more complex than it may seem. In addition to making sure that a scale or balance is suitable for the application, sound documentation must prove that suitability to auditors. Operators also must be trained according to valid standard operating procedures to ensure periodic equipment testing, calibration and qualification is done accurately.

When Brostmeyer learned about Good Weighing Practice™ (GWP®) Verification from METTLER TOLEDO, she immediately recognized that this approach would make her life easier. “GWP is a well thought-out and accepted concept that provides a scientific basis for our weighing equipment verification needs,” she says.

After METTLER TOLEDO conducted a GWP Verification assessment at Klosterfrau’s Berlin site, Brostmeyer received a risk-based assessment and testing recommendations for each scale and balance.

“What I like about the verification document is that it clearly states whether the equipment is suitable for the given process. It also provides recommendations on which tests should be conducted at which intervals with which test weights,” says Brostmeyer. “That makes it easy for me to instruct operators and maintenance personnel on appropriate testing procedures.”

Shortly after METTLER TOLEDO verified the weighing equipment, a production audit put the new process to the test, leaving no questions unanswered.

About Klosterfrau Healthcare Group:
The Klosterfrau Healthcare Group is one of the most important German pharmaceutical companies and has almost 200 years of history. From the company center in Cologne, the production and distribution of over 220 products are directed.

For more information about the Good Weighing Practice from Mettler Toledo click here.

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New C500 Series Indicators from Rinstrum

Rinstrum Europe (Germany) - Rinstrum announced the launch of the new C500 Series instrument family which is the culmination of 25 years of weighing design experience; bringing together the best of their indicator ranges into a compact weighing processor platform.

The C520 is a direct drop in replacement for instruments like the RANGER 5000, 5200, AND AD44XX, Mettler Toledo IND331 and HBM WE2110, WE2111.

With embedded Linux, Ethernet, USB Host, USB Device and 2 expansion slots for analogue output, isolated serial or direct I/O control, the C500 is designed to bridge traditional industrial control and modern IT communications.

Industrial protocols:
The C500 includes HBM AED, Rinstrum rinCMD, Modbus RTU, ASCII and TCP/IP.

With the Ethernet connection comes remote access capabilities through serial sockets, and an on-board embedded web server. Configure graphical application specific user interfaces to connect to any standard web browser.

User Programmable:
Unprecedented at this price point for trade certified weighing instruments is access to full application programmability. Custom applications are written in the scripting language Lua which is familiar to programmers used to mobile app develop, web apps and gaming platforms like Minecraft.

LUA-MAX fixed priced app development:
Rinstrum also offers fixed price application development on this platform through their LUA-MAX program. They take the design risk so the customer can quote custom applications with confidence that they won’t end up with a surprise development bill at the end.

  • The C520 has a high intensity 14-segment LED display and comes with integrated panel mount brackets and a desk stand
  • Multiple instruments can be locked together using the supplied brackets or you can fit an optional dust cover for desk mounting
  • Connect to industrial control networks via I/O, Analogue, Serial or Ethernet
  • Unmatched price point: List price 680€

For more information about the New C500 Series Indicators from Rinstrum click here.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ishida delivers total solution for Crisp Packing

Ishida Europe Ltd. (Czech Republic) – Ishida installed a complete potato crisp packing line at leading Czech manufacturer Petr Hobža, at its factory in Strážnice in the Czech Republic.

The fully integrated line comprises a 16-head Ishida CCW-RS-216B multihead weigher, and two Astro bagmakers, TSC-RS seal testers and DACS-G checkweighers incorporating Ishida’s unique IDCS data capture and production monitoring software.

The 16 head multihead weigher is operating in twin mode, with eight weigh and booster hoppers feeding each of the two Astro bagmakers. Handling two bag sizes of 60g and 175g, the line is achieving speeds of 180 and 110 packs per minute respectively, delivering pinpoint accuracy to within 0.1g of the target weight, with overall efficiency levels close to 100%.

While ensuring effective quality control monitoring for the integrity of each sealed bag, the Ishida seal tester also provides valuable feedback for the overall production of the potato crisps. A sudden difference in the amount of seal rejects may indicate that the tube size of the batch of potatoes has changed producing larger potato chips that can directly impact on the performance of a packaging system, and action can be taken immediately to adjust production accordingly.

This high level of monitoring is further supported by the Ishida Data Capture System (IDCS) which records and analyses data from every pack that goes across each checkweigher to provide fully customisable real-time production information and displays the line’s Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) in terms of availability, performance and quality.

The installed Ishida multihead weigher and bagmaker combination has been specifically designed for snacks applications. As well as the proven high accuracy of Ishida’s multihead weighing technology, the Astro bagmaker features servo-motors and software controlled variable seal time, jaw temperature and pressure for the effective sealing of each pack. In particular, stripping plates clear the seal area before sealing which ensures the highest pack quality, while servo driven and vacuum assisted pull down belts enable accurate and consistent bag lengths to optimise film use and pack presentation.

A user-friendly colour touch screen allows easy operation, self-diagnostics and simple and rapid transfers between bag types and film, all of which help to minimise the system’s downtime.

Ishida was always the first choice supplier for Petr Hobža.

“Ishida’s reputation for world-class snacks packing solutions is well established,” explains director Petr Hobža.

“The accuracy of the equipment alone fully justifies this. Practically zero giveaway is an essential requirement in an operation such as ours, where we are producing some 25 million packs every year.”

The reliability of the equipment is another important factor for a line that is in operation 16 hours a day, five days a week, while the local support provided by Ishida is a further significant advantage.

“Having a single supplier for the entire line who can respond quickly means that in the event of a problem, the issue can be speedily sorted so that the line is up and running again,” explains Petr. “It also means that we do not have to keep lots of spare parts on site as these can be supplied only if they are needed.”

The Strážnice factory produces around 600kg of crisps every hour, the equivalent of 10,000 60g bags, in a variety of flavours including salt, garlic, bacon, and pepper and salt. Changeovers between flavours is simple using the easy-to-use remote control unit on the weigher where all pre-set information is stored, while all parts of the weigher are easy to remove and replace for rapid cleaning.

As well as the complete line, Petr Hobža is operating a second Ishida CCW-216/Astro combination system and this line will also become fully integrated with the arrival of a further two seal testers and checkweighers later this year.

“As part of automating our processes, it is essential that we can ensure that every bag is accurately weighed and correctly sealed,” points out Petr.

“We are a family-run business and any investment has to come out of the income we generate,” he continues.

“That is why we select equipment such as Ishida’s which will deliver the best performance and the fastest return on investment and which will ensure we continue to achieve the high standards that have characterised our success to date.”


For more information about the Multihead Weighers from Ishida Europe click here.

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New PW15iA Digital Load Cell from HBM

HBM - Hottinger Baldwin Messtechnik GmbH (Germany) - The “All-Rounder” for Automated Applications.
  • New digital load cell that comes in commonly-used standard dimensions
  • Integrated weighing function for checkweighing, filling, and batching
  • Highest possible degree of protection, IP68/IP69K

HBM Test and Measurement has launched the new PW15iA digital load cell, a practical multi-functional product for use, for example, in packaging machinery. Due to its commonly-used standard dimensions, the highest possible degree of protection, IP68/69K, and a wide range of digital special functions, the load cell is quickly ready for use, even in existing structures.

The PW15iA digital load cell is mainly used in packaging machinery. Since the load cell comes with many additional functions (e.g. checkweighing, filling, and batching), there is no need to develop them separately for the packaging machinery. This significantly reduces development time for the machine manufacturer.

The PW15iA’s dimensions and bolt spacing correspond to those of the “SP4M footprint” industry standard. This enables the load cell to be quickly integrated into existing systems, without any additional construction effort. The PW15iA is made of stainless steel and has the highest possible degree of protection, IP68/IP69K. Thus, the load cell withstands industrial cleaning and is corrosion-resistant.

The combination of the highest possible degree of protection, compatibility with industry-standard dimensions, and useful weighing functions allows the use of PW15iA load cells in many different applications, well beyond the field of packaging machinery—ranging from automated batching to underwater force measurement.

For more information about the New PW15iA Digital Load Cell from HBM click here.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Range of Stainless Steel Wireless Load Links Available Ex-Stock from LCM Systems

LCM Systems Ltd (UK) - As a result of working closely with industry and listening to the needs of users, load cell designer and manufacturer LCM Systems is pleased to announce the launch of their new WLL range of wireless load monitoring links, designed primarily for marine and offshore applications. Incorporating many new features, these stainless steel load links are one of the most innovative available on the market, with IP67 environmental sealing, 3.1b material certification, and a robust storage case supplied as standard. Also, having taken into account the short delivery times users of this type of load measuring equipment typically demand, all load ratings are ex-stock ready for immediate despatch.

Available in capacities from 5 tonnes to 100 tonnes, the all stainless steel construction provides corrosion resistance, while the dimensions have been matched to suit standard shackle sizes to ensure suitability for a wide range of under-hook weighing applications. With safety and traceability becoming ever more important, users can rest assured, as the WLL series fully complies with the European Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC.

Because these load links will be used in challenging and exposed environments, the design team at LCM Systems have utilised their unique telemetry housing that is robust enough to withstand day to day operational requirements, does not degrade in sunlight, yet is compact and light. The antenna is completely enclosed within the housing to protected it from damage, while two clips enable you to open the housing to access and change the batteries without the need for any tools, leaving the electronics safely sealed underneath. The load links have a transmission distance of 600 metres (clear line of sight) and are capable of more than 300 hours’ continuous use with AAA 1.2Ah batteries.

The WLL series is also supplied as standard with a T24-HS-LS handheld battery powered indicator that can display in both tonnes and lbs, or alternatively, an optional T24-HA handheld display can address up to 12 load links for individual monitoring or for summation applications. For more complex systems, including data logging or monitoring/reporting requirements, a robust tablet PC with installed software is available for use with single or multiple load link installations.

Supplied in a quality, lockable moulded polyurethane transit case that is highly durable and impervious to most chemicals and moisture, the WLL load links are fully protected when not in use and during transit. The robust construction of the transit case means that it will not dent or rust, and as it also features pre-cut foam inserts, the load link and handheld display will always remain securely in place.

Steve Sargeant, Managing Director said “Although we have sold aluminium load links for many years, we have on multiple occasions been approached by customers looking for a more robust and heavy duty solution, particularly from those working within the offshore oil and gas sectors. Being manufactured from stainless steel, the new WLL series satisfies this requirement, while at the same time having the added advantage of meeting the more stringent safety and traceability requirements often demanded by this particular market. For even broader market appeal, we are also in the process of certifying this product for use in Zone 1 & 2 hazardous areas, so watch this space for further updates!”

For more information about the New Range of Stainless Steel Wireless Load Links from LCM Systems click here.

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Datum Electronics’ Bolt-On Strain Sensors: Bin Weighing Application on the Mining Industry

Datum Electronics Ltd. (Australia) - Australia is the fifth largest producer and the second largest exporter of coal in the world. Apart from export, coal is used domestically for electricity generation, manufacture of steel and cement and other power generation purposes.

Mining contributes heavily to the Australian economy and accounts for 6-7% of Australia’s GDP, exceeding both agriculture and tourism industries together. Being a critical contributor to the Australian economy, coal mining not only depends on its volume alone, but also focuses on continual improvements in productivity and efficiency. As a result, the industry has been massively supported by strong equipment, world-class transport system, high-quality port facilities and infrastructure.

The Client:
The majority of coal mines is located in the western coalfields of New South Wales. The client is one of the most established operations in Australia’s Hunter Valley, specialised in mining thermal coal. Recently, these mining operations have been granted governmental approval to expand their operations for producing around 4 million tonnes of export quality coal annually.

Unlike other conventional underground mining operations that incorporate continuous mining and long wall retreat technology, the coal mine is integrating a mix of dragline and loader methods of mining. The latter, allow the mining of the highest quality coal by only extracting the bottom three metres of the coal seam, eliminating the need for coal washing.

The Challenge:
After coal is dug up from the open cut mine, it is transported in trucks to the process plant (where it is processed) and then fed to the train load bin for shipping. Coal loading is done automatically and continuously with the train passing by without stopping (it slows down up to 0.8 km/h). It is crucial that load bins are filled to their optimal capacity. If you under fill the wagon, you run the risk of it being pulled off the track on a curve by the other carriages. If you over fill it, it can bounce on the rail causing damage to the track.

Considering that the government owns the main shipping lines, there is a compulsory fine of $100K per hour for any delay and a $4M fine for any minor derailment or damage to the line. And even if you don’t manage to load coal, you still must pay for the train, as they run on a schedule every day.

Bolt-On Sensor Solution:
When it comes to bin level measurement, there are a few systems available. Often these solutions require using specialist skills and tools. To replace a faulty sensor, you need to drill a large hole, accurately hand ream it and press the sensor into the metal using a specialist tool, without damaging it on installation. Datum Electronics solve this conundrum with the bolt-on sensors, having none of these risks. All you need do is to mark and drill 3 off 9mm holes, clean the surface and torque them up! It takes two men as little as an hour to install the bolt-on sensors to the bin, whilst other solutions can take hours.

Datum 3–hole bolt-on weighing sensor solutions are ideally suited for inventory monitoring and process control, ensuring reliable operations in the mining industry. Their low maintenance requirements along with the ability to compensate for temperature changes result in increased loading rates and reduction of capital and operating costs.

The Impact:
The Coal Mine complex is operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week. With 3 trains of 80 carriages a day, they aim to ship about 240,000 tonnes of coal per day.

As a day of delay can cost the company up to $29M, it’s imperative to eliminate unnecessary failures and reduce maintenance issues to a minimum.

Moreover, strain gauges utilised in the harshest environments, cannot withstand the ravages of time. By using a junction box, it’s easy to find a faulty sensor, replace it and get on with loading the trains quickly. And should the worst happen, replacing all 4 bolt-on sensors costs considerably less than 1 press-in type sensor from a typical bin level measurement system.

For more information about Strain Gauge Bolt On Sensors from Datum Electronics Ltd. click here.

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Marsden launched New Medical Scales with BSA Calculation

Marsden Weighing Group (UK) – British weighing scales manufacturer Marsden Group has launched a new range of weighing scales with a unique Body Surface Area (BSA) calculation function.

And Marsden believes it is the first time BSA calculation has ever been made available on a weighing scale.

Body Surface Area is a calculation used to help determine the amount of fluids to be administered intravenously, and the correct drug dosage for a patient, such as drug dosage for chemotherapy.

There are a number of different ways BSA can be calculated. Marsden’s new scales use the most commonly used formula, DuBois.

The function is available to three new Marsden scales: a column scale (the Marsden M-125), a floor scale (Marsden M-545) and a chair scale (Marsden M-225). This means one scale can provide a patient’s weight, BMI and BSA readings.

Marsden’s Managing Director, Richard Black, said: “Last year Marsden contacted thousands of GPs to find out whether a BSA function would be useful to them on their scales - and the overwhelming answer was ‘yes’.

“It will help doctors to calculate dosages of medicine and the amount of fluid to be administered.”

Operations Director, Mark Coates, added: “BSA is already used in NHS DEXA standards to calculate body composition. BMI also features on the new scales, to provide a picture of body health.

“We’ve never seen a weighing scale with a BSA function, so we believe we’ve brought something brand new to the market - that will save medical professionals a lot of time.”

For more information about New Medical Scales from Marsden Weighing Group click here.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Free Webinar: How to cope with the growing demands for weigh-filling

Exclusively offered by the HBM academy, this webinar, all about weigh filling & how to cope with the growing demands regarding filling, dosing, check-weighing & packaging technology takes place on 28th June 2017 at 9am (GMT).

Confronted with the demand for ever increasing precision and higher speeds for packaging – often with the expectations of reduced costs – this webinar looks at the advantages which can be achieved in comparison to other filling technologies, such as accuracy, which could result in costly over filling of products, speed and the prevention of contamination etc.

Participants will also be given the opportunity to learn more about the best weigh-fill solutions provided by HBM and to see how they work in practise.

Covering best practise solutions of HBM weigh-filling solutions, ‘How to cope with growing demands regarding filling, dosing, check weighing and packaging technology’ culminates in a live demonstration on how the well-established HBM filling algorithm works.

Presented by Thomas Langer, Product Manager of HBM Digital Weighing Technology, this informative seminar has been designed to fit in with challenging time constraints which can often make attending relevant training courses difficult.

This webinar, which normally takes a maximum of one hour, can also be easily accessed at a later date or simply used as a refresher course. As an added benefit, all registered attendees will receive a link to the webinar, via email, after the presentation. All HBM webinars are free of charge and open to anyone. Spaces are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

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