Optimizing Weighing Processes in Supply Chain Warehouses


CONTRIBUTION BY KEVIN HILL – Online Marketing Manager at Quality Scales Unlimited

Weighing raw materials and goods is a part of every manufacturing unit and supply chain warehouse. Initially, goods were weighed before they were loaded and after being unloaded. Chances of discrepancies in such cases were higher which impacted the company. Thus, weighing processes had to be optimized in warehouses to achieve efficiency, productivity and profitability.

Accuracy and speed are important factors that affect weighing processes. If weighing takes a lot of time, or if the readings are continually inaccurate compelling you to check multiple times, then the efficiency drops significantly. To address all these issues, weighing scales are employed. They offer precision, speed and accuracy while measuring goods. Incorporating different types of weighing scales in supply chain warehouses will greatly optimize weighing processes. Read on to know more.

Types of Weighing Scales

[blockquote style=”1″]The following weigh scales can be used in supply chain warehouses to optimize weighing processes.[/blockquote]

Pallet Scales

Pallet scales come in various shapes and types. They provide effortless and quick weighing solutions for weighing boxes and pallets of different sizes in a warehouse. You should narrow down your requirements and understand what exactly you need from the pallet scales before you invest in them. Pallet scales are ideal for supply chain warehouses and distribution businesses. It is easy to weigh and move loads at the same time. You can choose from the following types:

Pallet Beam Scales

These use adjustable beams to assist in the weighing processes when you have to weigh irregularly sized goods. They are quite durable and strong, making them one of the most commonly used and popular pallet scales.

Pit Mounted Pallet Scales

They are installed above a pit in the ground. All the items that need to be weighed are put into this pit. Pit mounted pallet scales require little floor space, hence making them ideal when space is limited.

Portable Pallet Jack Scales

Portable pallet scales are made from lightweight yet strong materials. They are portable and used by large-scale industrial businesses to weigh extremely large loads.

Apart from these, you can also choose to go with electronic pallet scales as they use less fuel and can be used in locations where you don’t get a continuous power supply.

Lift Truck Scales

These can be incorporated into forklifts and lift trucks used within warehouses. Integration of weighing scales into forklifts offer excellent safety mechanism. As soon as you mount the load on the lift truck, the scales will measure and display the weight. They ensure that the load capacity doesn’t exceed, thus preventing accidents that are caused by carrying excessive weight. Lift truck scales are extremely easy to use and can be linked with additional programs to aid smooth and real-time communication with the warehouse management system. When the measurements are instantaneous and accurate, efficiency automatically goes up.

Conveyor Belt Scales

These types of scales are found in almost every manufacturing and logistics management processes. Belt scales weigh materials as they are being transported over a conveyor belt from one place to another. You can use it for weighing raw materials such as metal ores, finished products or any other goods. If the maximum limit is reached, the conveyor belt will be shut down automatically.

Conveyor belt scales can be set up within or outside the warehouse space or manufacturing unit. They can be integrated into an existing conveyor belt or they can be freestanding units. You should choose the scales depending upon your requirements and needs of the company, as the wrong kind will give you inaccurate results. This will negatively impact the business. Proper installation is also critical. Factors such as vertical and horizontal alignment, roller selection, horizontal idler spacing, idler frame and weigh frame location should be considered carefully. If you overlook even one thing, you will risk getting inaccurate measurements, affecting the business.

On-Board Weigh Scales

These scales are installed on the actual equipment or vehicle for delivering accurate and quick weight measurements. Supply chain warehouses greatly benefit from the efficiency and fluidity they bring to the table. Even though on-board truck scales look complex, they are quite simple to use. They have load cells as one of the prime components, which have the ability to withstand maximum loads. Another crucial element is the display system that shows the weight of the goods being weighed. An alarm system alerts the drivers if the maximum weight is exceeded.

On-board weigh scales are very efficient and help in saving a lot of time. There is no need to weigh the load before putting it onto the truck and weigh it again while unloading. You can keep a track of the weight while transporting as well. They help in greatly optimizing weighing processes in warehouses, during distribution and transportation.

When the weighing processes are accurate and optimized, all other operations run smoothly in a supply chain warehouse. It is extremely crucial to understand what your company needs before rushing into buying the weigh scales. Regardless of how good they are or how accurate results they provide, if they are not cut out for the task at hand or if they are the wrong type for the situation, you will get inaccurate results. So, ensure that you study your requirements before investing.