Time is money, as the saying goes. How many man-hours at your business are consumed by counting small pieces of stock? While everyone knows that scales weigh things, you may not know that scales can also tally individual items for us. Counting scales are versatile, enabling users to measure both weight and the number of items in a given lot. To fulfill different needs, they come in a variety of sizes and can be used on either a counter-top (bench scales) or directly on the floor (floor scales).
How do counting scale work?
Counting scales work by using a single sample weight to determine the weight of a typical piece, then dividing the total weight on the scale by the sample’s weight. The only limitation, of course, is that the pieces must all have the same weight for an accurate count.
Virtually any business – including manufacturers, warehouses and retailers – can benefit from the labor- and time-saving features of counting scales. Many feature RS-232 and USB ports, allowing data transfer to a computer (directly to a spreadsheet or to specific software like the AdamDU data utility) or printer. An NTEP-certified counting scale, like a GBK, is legal-for-trade in the U.S. and can be used to weigh pieces for sale.
Uses for counting scales include:
- Taking an inventory
- Checkweighing, which is testing a weight to ensure it is within a predetermined limit or within a certain range (i.e., packaging a five-pound bag of apples from an orchard). Often, the display will be color-coded for convenience to indicate compliance instead of requiring the user to read the number.
- Counting pieces for packaging or sale (for example, in a grocery store or farmers market where items may be sold by number instead of by the pound)
- Quality control
- Packing & Shipping (such as verifying that the weight of packing material doesn’t exceed the intended shipping weight or calculating shipping costs)
To make counting scales even more useful, select an optional add-on like a separate, remote platform that can be connected to some bench scales to increase capacity. This is particularly useful if you’re expanding your business or for conducting year-end inventories. Inventories can be made even more efficient by connecting the scale to a computer.
Some counting scales feature PLU (product look up) memory that stores frequently-used item weights. Full numeric keypads allow the sample weight to be entered manually, as well. For bench scales with a smaller capacity, an accumulation feature lets users store counts without having to have their entire inventory of pieces on the scale at once.
For a business where scales can quickly get dirty (especially in food-related industries), consider a counting scale that can be washed down after use and has a higher Ingress Protection (IP) rating that measures how well-protected the internal mechanisms of a scale are from dust and water.
Choosing the best counting scale for your business
As your needs will vary depending on your type of business, there are different counting scales to help satisfy those needs. Consider some of the following options:
- Latitude compact bench scales for small parts quality control or packaging
- Cruiser CCT bench counting scales for warehouse and factory use
- GFK floor scales for industrial heavy duty counting
Click here to see our full line of counting scales.