Often times we see lots of websites talking about counting scales. They go on and on about all the great features of the scale. But, why do you even need to use one? Can’t you just count out your parts by hand? Actually, an accurate counting scale can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.
Here are four reasons to purchase a counting scale:
•Labor Reduction – Counting parts and identifying boxes by hand requires extensive manual labor. A counting scale can reduce labor time and with the addition of barcode scanning and labeling, the total time of your transaction is reduced as well.
•Material Saving – Shipping too many or too few parts can mean losing money or losing a customer.
•Inventory Accuracy – Cycle counting improves inventory accuracy, which in turn, can result in increased productivity.
•Customer Service – Having the right parts at the right time is essential for excellent customer service.
An accurate counting scale can be used in various part of your facility.
Here are at least five places you can use a counting scale:
•Receiving – Accurately verify the count of received goods.
•Stockroom – Eliminate overages to the production floor and keep items in the stockroom.
•Production – A precise count of goods sent to production floor keeps the assembly line moving and on schedule.
•Quality Control – Fast cycle counting and package-count checks keep profits in your plant and customers happy.
•Shipping – Eliminate over-shipments of products. Find extra parts and assemblies before the customer does.
The minimum sample size recommended is 10 pieces. The larger the sample size used, however, the better average piece weight obtained. Many companies use 25, 50 or 100 units per sample to achieve the best accuracy. We recommend sampling 100 pieces to achieve the best accuracy, however, a larger sample quantity introduces an element of human error. Ten groups of 10 should be counted out by hand, then placed on the scale as a 100-piece sample.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when determining a sample size:
•Is a 10-piece sample sufficient weight on the platform? The sample should be at minimum 0.1% of the total capacity.
•How uniform are the parts being weighed? A larger sample size provides sufficient data to determine the most accurate unit weight. The piece-weight enhancement feature of the DIGI scales assists in sampling larger sizes accurately.
Sample operation of a counting scale
Most businesses have invested in a scale or scales to assist in counting small parts, kits, sub-assemblies or finished goods.
To refresh ourselves of good scale fundamentals, in principal, most scales operate in the following way:
1. Operators place a small sample of the item that they wish to count onto the scale, for example, 10 pieces
2. They enter 10 pieces by entering “ten” (10) or “sample”
3. The scale displays 10 pieces.
4. The operator puts the desired quantity of the parts on the scale to get a total count.
Due to differences in sensitivities and a wide array of part size from small to large, some companies have invested in several scales, many of which have varying features such as battery operation, integrated printers, and integrated bar code readers. The diversity of scales truly require a networked scale system that stores and shares data. One sample can be weighed one time and saved for use by all scales in the network. This saves an incredible amount of time and promotes accuracy and consistency throughout the entire system.
Optimizing Accuracy with a Counting Scale
The most misunderstood parameter of a counting scale is accuracy. A number of factors determine counting accuracy.
1. The weighing accuracy of the scale—the scale must be sized correctly for the weighed parts.
2. Accuracy of the computed piece weight—this will be determined by the internal count of the scale and the parts themselves.
3. Variance of the part—are the weighed parts uniform in size? Machine and material variations result in different part weights.
4. Sample size—minimum recommended sample size is 10. Many companies use 100-piece samples or piece-weight enhancement programs to achieve better accuracy.
5. Operator of the scale—errors occur with improper operation of the scale.
6. Environment—scales must be placed away from drafts of open windows, doors or heat/air vents.
Click here to find out more information.