Utilizing Forklift Scales to Increase Productivity

We worked with an agriculture company that was having troubles obtaining information in an efficient manner. They were using forklifts to load pallets onto a floor scale to weigh the skids. This company had 2 floor scales and 5 wireless remotes, one for each forklift. The skids were weighed on the floor scale and a button from the associated forklift remote was pressed to associate the weight with the floor scale. All 5 forklifts were weighing skids from different lots and storing measurements on an indicator. When the lot was closed out, meaning all 10 skids from each of the 4 coolers were weighed, a different button was pressed on the forklift remote to print the accumulated report on one of the scales. The measurement information on the indicator was erased and sent to a PC to be stored.

The issue was that 5 forklifts were fighting over 2 floor scales during their busy season. This, in turn, resulted in less productivity and wasted time.

We worked with the equipment manufacturer to customize a software system that will allow any of the 5 forklifts to pick up a skid from any of the 3 lots. The customer is able to weigh the skid on the forklift itself which then stores the weight data in the indicator. Once a lot is closed out, data is sent to a central PC wirelessly and a report can be printed out. Grand Rapids Metrology took an outdated system and upgraded it. We created a custom software that would wirelessly communicate with a central PC, and we retrofitted a forklift scale carriage to an existing forklift to allow for weighing right from the forklift itself!

This saved the company significant time, costs and energy while increasing productivity and profit margins. Imagine it being your busiest time of the year and not being able to keep up with demand and production. You would be losing money.

If you are using a forklift to bring material to a floor scale repeatedly, you are using an outdated system. If your forklift scale doesn’t send data wirelessly, you are using an outdated system. Contact us to bring your system up-to-date.

Filling System Based on Time or Weight

Avery Weigh-Tronix Indicator

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data from the US Department of Labor declares performing physical activity and operating machinery constitutes 30% of time spent working (NCCI, 2017). Companies are wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. GRM can custom engineer automated systems to better utilize resources, save time and money.

 

Problem

A customer, who had been using an outdated process, contacted GRM to make adjustments and engineer a system to control overflow. They were filling tanks with non-flammable gas using obsolete equipment.

 

Solution

We put in a floor scale, replaced the old unit with an updated indicator and installed customized software to control flow monitoring based on weight or time. When the fill operation begins, valves open, and a timer starts. Once the timer times out, the current weight is recorded, timer 2 starts and the user programmable rate of change value is added. Once timer 2 times out, the weight is checked to see if it has increased by the rate of change value. If it has, the weight is recorded and the timer 2 process is repeated. If the weight did not increase by the rate of change value, then the process is halted and the valves close.

 

The installed software is 100% customized to their specific measurement process. This automated system saves time and resources, minimizes error and allows the operators to focus on more imperative matters. Contact GRM to discuss how we can optimize your process!

 

5 Questions You Should Answer Before Buying a Forklift Scale

Warehouses, logistic companies, and recycling centers alike are frequent users of forklifts trucks. Their speed, ability to precisely maneuver around obstacles, and varying capacities make them ideal for operational needs.

Many of these industries take the simple skills of these vehicles to the next level investing in a forklift scale. This creates equipment that is not only useful in terms of getting inventory from Point A to Point B, but measures and records data while doing so. Grand Rapids Metrology’s distributed forklift scales allow seamless integration of weighing and
data management into your operation – without adding any extra steps or route changes.

For example, forklift scales eliminate tedious tasks at recycling centers. Their bundled and palletized materials can be weighed while on it’s way to a destination instead of having to constantly stop at a floor scale to take a reading. As you can imagine, efficiency can improve drastically.

If you’re frequently contemplating, “How can our company save money? How can we become more efficient? How can we collect more accurate data? ” you may want to consider utilizing a forklift scale.

Discover five things you should know before investing in a forklift scale:

 

1. WHAT ARE THE DIMENSIONS OF YOUR FORK TRUCK’S FRAME?

It is essential to know the dimensions of the frame of your fork truck, for it is one of the first questions our Account Managers ask during the buying process. Once we know your proper dimensions, we can begin to identify potential scales suited to your needs.

 

2. DO YOU NEED TO PRINT OR STORE TRANSACTION DATA?

If you would like to store data electronically, then the scales indicator will do the trick. However, if you need to print the weight data, perhaps for a label, then we will add a printer to your purchase. The printer will communicate with the indicator to swiftly and accurately to print your data.

 

3. WHAT IS THE CAPACITY OF THE FORK TRUCK?

This question is similar to the first. We can’t do much until we know the capacity of your forklift truck. Once our team knows the truck’s capacity, we can base the scale selection off that information.

 

4. DO YOU PREFER A WIRED OR WIRELESS INDICATOR?

Wired and wireless indicators each come with benefits and downfalls, so it’s upon you to decide what you do and don’t need in an indicator. Wireless options require more maintenance because an operator must manually change the batteries of the scale itself in order to transmit power. A wired indicator is powered through the truck itself, which means less work for you but also includes the hassle and mess of a physical power cord.

 

5. ARE YOU CHARGING A CUSTOMER BY WEIGHT?

If so, you may need to comply with NTEP Requirements (Legal-for-Trade). There are scale models available for legal-for-trade and not legal-for-trade. A NTEP (Legal-for-Trade) application can be broken down by class. See below for an overview of some of our available forklift scales.

 

 

 

Want to start a conversation about your forklift situation? Contact us below or give us a call at (800) 348-5701!

 

Simple Steps to Automate Your Precise Weighing Process

 

A recent project gave Grand Rapids Metrology the opportunity to automate a customer’s manual process. We’re breaking down the project and explaining simple steps you can take towards automating your own weighing process.

 

PROJECT


An international analytical instrument manufacturer had a slow, manual weighing process that was costing them unnecessary time and money. The customer used an outdated scale and, to make matters worse, the scale was not the appropriate resolution for their specific application.

Cue Grand Rapids Metrology.

STEP #1: Look at your own weighing process. Is it performed manually? Do you have the appropriate equipment for your application? If you’ve identified issues within your process, let us know and we’ll be happy to solve them. If you haven’t, consider using GRM’s Process Improvement Service – we’ll find the problem and the optimal solution for you!

 

INITIAL NEEDS & CHALLENGES


Before Grand Rapids Metrology’s intervention, the company’s process of weighing product and recording data was performed manually. An employee would place the product on a scale, hand-write the information onto a label, and finally place the label on the product.

It was tedious and inefficient to say the least.

What they needed was to be able to store equipment part information in the scale so the operator did not have to continuously write in the data. Similarly, the outdated scale needed to be replaced and it’s replacement needed to have a suitable capacity and resolution.

The manufacturer also required a custom programmed label to be printed after the weight was taken. The label would provide traceability for their products.

A challenge we faced was determining the customer’s desired sequence of operations.

STEP #2: Know your process. Think of your ideal sequence of operations — once you’ve envisioned it, we’ll figure out the rest.

 

SOLUTION


GRM knew the most efficient use of the customer’s resources would be to automate the weighing/printing process. This would aim to save time, increase accuracy and alleviate man-power.

The solution would use an Avery Weigh-Tronix ZM405 digital indicator with a high-resolution base. The indicator would communicate with both the base and the printer.

Our Solution Team was able to program the indicator to follow the exact sequence of operation the customer needed. The high-resolution base allowed GRM to provide the customer with the accuracy they required. Likewise, our team’s design of the printed label included all of the necessary part information.

Now, the only thing the operator has to do is enter the product’s part numbers into the indicator and place the label on the product.

You can see the operator entering equipment part information before adding products to the scale.

 

STEP #3: Consider using equipment that is able to communicate with one another. This can help eliminate any transitional steps that may have been done manually.

 

RESULTS


The instruments manufacturer was very happy with GRM’s solution. After a few minutes of training, their team was operating the scale and indicator with ease.

The proper sequence of operations the customer initially desired occurred with the use of the ZM405 and GRM’s innovative solution. The products were now traceable because of the use of custom printed labels.

Could a new printing process or an equipment update improve your operation?

STEP #4: Let’s talk about it.