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What is a Weighing Scales Calibration and Service?

If you own a car, you’ll know that a lot can go wrong with it in a year. An annual MOT seems like the least you can do to pick up on, and fix, any lurking problems which are likely to cause inconvenience or even harm.  

It’s not a lot different with industrial weighing scales.

Over the course of a year they can be subjected to quite a lot of wear and tear as a result of heavy day-to-day usage, as well as a gradual deterioration over time.   

Therefore, it stands to reason that an annual calibration and service should be undertaken to ensure that the scales in question are still able to weigh things accurately, reliably, and repeatedly.

 

Why do Weighing Scales Need to be so Reliable?

Industrial weighing scales must be within manufacturer’s specification to be used reliably within their respective industry. Calibration and service is necessary to know that the scales are completely reliable and able to provide an accurate weight.

Weighing scales used in industries such as waste recycling, scrap metal and in professional medical settings must be EC Verified as being within legal tolerances; the consequences could be severe if they are not.

If a vehicle is overloaded it could cause harm not only to people but to the roads and the environment, so a weighbridge or axle pads must be relied upon to provide an accurate weight. If a professional medical weighing scale is not providing accurate weight information for a patient the consequences could be severe; for example an incorrect dosage of medication may be administered.

Therefore, industrial and medical weighing scales must be tested for accuracy annually (as a professionally recommended minimum) to ensure they are compliant and reliable.

 

What is Involved in a Calibration?

Calibration should only be carried out by a professional and qualified person.

The calibration work carried out see’s the service engineer using specialist test weights which themselves are tested to M1 and F1 standards and traceable to a UKAS Approved Laboratory.

During a standard calibration, a service engineer will conduct a series of tests to ensure your weighing equipment is producing accurate measurements. If it’s incorrect then adjustment will be needed which should also be carried out by the service engineer. Once the scales have been calibrated they will be correctly labelled as accurate to use for another year.

It should be noted that Class Approved, EC Verified scales will also need re-qualification by a local trading standards officer (TSO), approved verification officer (AVO) or the manufacturer themselves if calibration adjustment (or replacement of any major components) is undertaken. This is a mandatory requirement by law. Your calibration and service provider may not always be able to offer this service so it may mean additional costs are involved and should be considered. It is common practice that Class Approved, EC Verified scales are certified “as found” only with no adjustment providing they are within legal tolerances and manufacturers specifications.

 

What is Involved in a Service?

Servicing should only be carried out by a professional and qualified person.

Service work should not be confused with Calibration. Servicing is carried out as planned preventative maintenance (PPM) to ensure the scale remains in an optimum working condition. Servicing usually comprises (but is not exhaustive) of a visual inspection to assess the general condition of the scale, keyboard functionality, display tests, physical inspection of external cables and connectors, basic cleaning under and around the weighing area to remove any obstruction and detritus. It should be noted that servicing does not equate to cleaning which should be covered by the customer or end user in-house.

The basic rule of thumb is calibration to maintain accuracy and servicing is to maintain operation and production.

 

Service Packages to Meet Your Needs

At Solent Scales, we offer various levels of service packages to meet your exact requirements, ranging from a simple accuracy test right the way up to an all inclusive package which includes emergency call outs.

If you are responsible for ensuring your company’s weighing scales are calibrated and serviced annually and it’s vital that they are always operational, contact Solent Scales to discuss the best weighing scale service package for you.

Contact our experienced team to discuss your needs and secure a quote today, or see our catchment area.

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