Legal-For-Trade Livestock Scale

Rice Lake’s MAS-LC livestock scale is 48-inches tall with 11-gauge steel kick panels on the side walls and both gates. The MAS-LC combines the accuracy of a fully electronic, load cell based, weighing system with steel I-beam weighbridge designs to result in sturdy construction. It even offers two different flooring options to provide traction for the animals. The X-Plank flooring has less-aggressive, wheel-accessible tread while the X-Lug flooring has deep aggressive tread. Both styles are made from recycled plastic and rubber material that will never rot, harbor bacteria or hold moisture. The MAS-LC has been updated to include: field configurable gates, 8-inch c-channel steel outer frame, load cell cable conduit, and a fiberglass reinforced polyester junction box. The configurable gates on the MAS-LC give operators the choice to open gates from the left or right. This helps ranchers sort animals easier and makes the process safer. The updated 8-inch c-channel steel outer frame is used to eliminate moisture buildup that could occur in tubes. Lastly, using a fiberglass reinforced polyester junction box increases protection for electronic components. The MAS-LC livestock scale provides reliable and accurate weights for ranchers and processors and it is NTEP approved. This scale is Legal-For-Trade certified to allow the selling livestock. Having Legal-For-Trade weighing equipment is essential to protect profits. Grand Rapids Metrology is premier distributor for Rice Lake equipment and now offers the updated MAS-LC livestock scale. Contact us for a quote!

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Load Cell

Determining The Correct Load Cell

To determine the correct load cell, there are several factors one needs to consider.

  1. Observe the environment your weighing system will be in and make note of the conditions. Is this a hostile environment with extreme temperatures, corrosive chemicals, excessive moisture, high vibration, or unequal loads?
  2. Will your weighing system be washed down with cleaning chemicals or at a high pressure?
  3. Load Cell Material
  4. Cable Composition
  5. Size

Using these conditions to determine the correct load cell and components will allow the weighing system to operate reliably.

Load Cell Material

A load cell is typically composed of tool steel, aluminum, or stainless steel. Tool steel is best for dry conditions because excessive moisture can rust the steel. This is the most common material for load cells. It is suitable for single and multiple load cell applications, and limits creep and hysteresis.

 

Aluminum is used for low capacity, single point load cells, and isn’t suited for moist or harsh conditions. Both 2023 Aluminum and 4340 Tool Steel are popular options because they return to their starting position after weighing.

 

Stainless Steel may be the more expensive option, but it performs the best in harsh conditions. It can withstand corrosive chemicals and excessive moisture. There are some pH levels that attack even the stainless steel, so you may want to check to see if you need to apply a coating to the stainless steel load cell.

Cable Composition

Now to think about the cables, strain gauges, resistors, wires, and seal options.

 

Most cables are made with a polyurethane jacket that protects against moisture and debris. If you need a cable to withstand extreme temperatures or corrosive chemicals, you will need a cable made with a Teflon jacket.

 

When it comes to sealing, there are several options. There’s a rubber boot, a glued cover, a potted strain gauge cavity, or a hermetically sealed load cell. The rubber boot, glued cover, or potted strain gauge cavity filled with material will keep the load cell protected from debris and moderate moisture. The hermetically sealed load cell will protect against chemical applications and excessive moisture. These load cells are typically made of stainless steel and has a welded barrier to cover the strain gauge cavity. The welded barrier further protects the load cell from harsh environmental conditions.

Size

The last factor to consider is the load cell size. Will this load cell be subjected to overloads, excess weight to one side, shock, or live and dead load miscalculations? You’ll want to be sure your load cell can deliver reliable results even under these conditions.

 

To determine the right load cell size, add the live load and dead load and divide by the total number of load cells. “This gives the weight that each load cell will be subjected to when the vessel is loaded to its maximum capacity.”

To account for overfilling, shock or unequal loads, add 25% to the number calculated. To account for excess weight on one side, have all load cells in the system account for the larger capacity. All load cells must have the same weighing capacity.

 

These are factors to consider when choosing the correct load cell for your application, but this is just part of the process. The installation is a critical component to ensure accurate weighing. You will want to seek out a professional to do the installation correctly. Give us a call to discuss your load cell application or request a quote!

[Video] How To Verify a Scale Using Certified Test Weights

Our Senior Service Technicians, Shayn, demonstrates how to verify a scale using certified test weights! Along the way, he explains what verification is, why it’s important and the best practice for your own verification process.

 

 

For inquires or to purchase certified test weights, quickly and easily request a quote today!

Food Safety Modernization Act | How To Comply

The FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, commonly known as FSMA, is the most comprehensive reform in food safety law in over 70 years. The act seeks to increase the safety of U.S. food supply by switching the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. The ultimate goal is to minimize illness and death caused by unsafe food. Here is how FSMA has been effecting food and packing safety in the industry since its implementation:

This act requires compliance throughout the food industry. For companies with greater than 500 employees, the registration date to comply with the first FSMA rule, Preventive Controls – was September 19, 2016. However, for companies with fewer than 500 employees, September 18, 2017 was this year’s deadline. Read more for an in-depth look all the actions implemented by FSMA.

The major components of FSMA are enhanced partnership, prevention, inspection compliance response, and import safety.

With a concentration on preventing contamination, a strong emphasis is placed on the data, traceability, and cleanliness of the production process. The experts at Avery Weigh-Tronix put it simply, “This risk-based preventive approach to food safety relies on data and expertise to pinpoint potential food safety issues along the production, distribution and supply chain.”

To abide to FSMA, FDA suggests organizations implement a “thorough system for documenting internal process and record keeping.” Doing so would prove legal standards are being met.

Data and documentation are a key element of any weighing process and there are many points throughout food production that require weight to be taken. Scales that provide traceability of products and ingredients from “cradle to grave” are the ideal weighing solution for FSMA purposes.  A scale supplier of Grand Rapids Metroloyg’s reports that, “IP rated bench and indicators can help food suppliers to achieve both backward and forward traceability (be able to identify where all the ingredients came from and where they went).”

A hygienic process is also crucial when preventing contamination. In regards to weighing, the most hygienic applications are those with IP69K ratings. The critera for IP standards are as follows:

Stainless steel, washdown scales and indicators all have IP ratings. IP69K scales and indicators resist dust and water better than any other rated weighing equipment. Their sleek and innovative designs are free of hard seems, rivets, and screws — typically, the areas where bacteria builds up. Not only does the design defend against contamination, but the structure also protects the electronics of the scale which prevents any damage the the scale’s integrity and accuracy.

Including scales and indicators with IP69K ratings to your production process will help align your operation to FSMA regulations. Grand Rapids Metrology can provide a variety of washdown-rated weighing equipment; balances, bench scales, checkweighers, floor scales, indicators, load cells, and more. Some of our main suppliers of washdown products include Rice Lake, Avery Weigh-Tronix, and Ohaus. Such weighing equipment can provide the cleanliness and traceability that FSMA demands.

By complying to FSMA regulations, food production processes prevent contamination that have caused series illness and death in the past. All these products can be purchased and placed into service by Grand Rapids Metrology.

Request a quote for an IP Rated application today — or contact our experts and we’ll help you find the perfect solution to help better the nation’s food supply.

How to Avoid In-Plant Contamination – Change Your Floor Scale!

If your business uses floor scales, you may understand the pains and dangers of microbial build-up. Food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries are no strangers to the devastating consequences of product contamination. With a standard washdown floor scale, removing the problem can be a problem in and of itself and with safety measures becoming more stringent, bacterial outbreaks are often sourced back to an in-plant contamination.

For the ultimate microbial resistance in sanitary environments, Grand Rapids Metrology can provide your operations with a RoughDeck QC-X washdown floor scale. The RoughDeck QC-X is the ideal complement to hygiene control programs as a multi-barrier protection system against dangerous, unsanitary hazards. Manufactured by Rice Lake Weighing Systems, this platform is designed to safeguard against microscopic bacteria and contamination in food processing, pharmaceutical and chemical applications. This floor scale is constructed from 304 stainless steel to provide rugged strength in the toughest hygienic environments.

The RoughDeck QC-X features extreme access, strength, and resistance.  With a top plate that opens 75°, the widest in the industry, accessing the entire scale interior to be inspected, washed, and cleaned is made easy. This optimal design uses a scale base built from solid, stainless steel plates to hold up against fierce pressure. The absence of tubes or channels allows for swift and easy cleaning which means no more worrying about missed microbial build-up. 

For more information or to purchase the RoughDeck QC-X washdown floor scale, request a quote today or call us at (800) 348-5701!