Conveyor Scales: What are they?

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Conveyor scales weigh cargo in motion on conveyor belts and provide readings such as load weights and totals. They are used in industries to track material transportation, system efficiency, and losses. They are available in models for different types of conveyors, including flexible and roller conveyors. Scale readings are sent to a controller for real-time or later use.

Conveyor scales are mass measuring devices mounted on conveyor belt systems designed to weigh cargo in motion on the conveyor and return a range of readings such as average load weights and load totals over a specified period. Scales used on large, flexible belt systems are usually mounted between the rollers on the conveyor frame between the transport and return runs. Those designed for use on smaller roller conveyors consist of scale units complete with roller sections that are added to existing installations at predetermined points. The scale readings are sent via cables to a controller which assimilates and stores them allowing them to be viewed or printed in real time or at the end of a measurement period.

Conveyors of various descriptions form the material transportation backbone of a large percentage of industries worldwide. In most of these industries, keeping track of how much material is being transported by the conveyor system in any given period is a critical part of the operation. It allows operators to access data on system efficiency, quantify losses due to spills or theft, and is often an integral part of many companies’ billing or inventory systems. This information can be accumulated in a variety of ways, installing conveyor scales being one of the most common. These devices weigh conveyor loads in real time as the material passes through the scale load cells and are available in models to fit most types of conveyors.

Flexible conveyor belts consist of continuous rubber belts running on sets of regularly spaced idler rollers and are typically used for long conveyors that carry loose aggregates such as various mine products. The section of belt on top of the ring is known as the transport path with the lower section unloaded as the return path. Conveyor scales designed for this type of conveyor are often configured as drop-in idler sets that include an integrated load cell and interface. When the loaded transport trip passes over the load cell, it calculates the weight of the load in real time. Other types mount between existing roller sets and have a separate load cell that presses against the transport stroke.

Roller conveyors are typically used within factories or warehouses and are used for transporting bulk unit loads. Conveyor scales used on these types of conveyors are usually self-supporting units that include a sizeable roller section. They are placed in the existing conveyor route where they become part of the transport chain. Other roller conveyor scales take the form of standard conveyor frame elements that can be added to an existing installation at any time. Both types of belt scales typically feed their outputs to a local or remote station where measurement data is displayed immediately or archived for later use.

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