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7 Things You Need to Consider When Selecting a Load Cell

Is your business looking for a reliable load cell solution that can withstand your needed weighing task?

Every business requires different needs. A farmer may need a load cell that can carry truck-full of crops while a livestock business may need to weigh hundreds or even thousands of cattle each day. Choosing the right load cell for your business is truly crucial.

You must remember that load cells are not a one-size-fits-all solution to your weighing needs. What works for a coffee plantation may not be suitable for a dairy farm.

So, if you are looking for a reliable load cell solution for your business, you may want to consider some factors.

7 Things You Need to Consider When Selecting a Load Cell

Here are 7 questions you should ask yourself when choosing a reliable load cell:

1.    What does my operating environment look like?

One of the important factors to consider is the proposed operating environment. Whether the load cell will be used indoors or outdoors, in excessive moisture or varied temperature, in self-contained or harsh conditions, these factors should be evaluated.

Sure, it can carry the products you need to weigh, but can it withstand the harshness or hazards of your operating environment?

Make sure it can handle the type of working environment you have. This should include extreme temperature, dust, dirt, humidity and wet conditions.

You should also factor in whether the load cell will be exposed or immersed. If your business operation should require the load cell to be immersed in cold water, cleaning solutions or chemicals, a waterproof load cell is what you need.

2.    What is the desired accuracy for my business?

The second factor that you should take into account is the load cell’s accuracy. When choosing a reliable load cell, accuracy specifications should also be considered, such as rated output, the indicator used and the operating environment.

In most cases, you should also factor in the non-linearity and repeatability to determine the full-scale output when using the load cells.

Non-linearity is the maximum difference in the percentage of the rated output as against the measurement on increasing load only. Repeatability, on the other hand, is the maximum variance of rated output for repeated loading with similar products and environments.

Before choosing a load cell for your business, make sure to check the accuracy specifications in the data sheet. Accuracy-related specification is typically expressed in rated or full-scale output.

3.    Would I need tension or compression load cell?

So, what is the difference between these two load cells?

A tension load cell is particularly designed to provide an output from its pulling force. Essentially, it converts the pulling force or tension into an electrical signal through strain gauges. Let's say you need a load cell for your crane, then a rope tension load cell is the right one for you.

A compression load cell, on the other hand, is engineered to measure the pushing or squashing force it receives from its load. It converts the weight to electrical signals by slightly distorting the body of the load cell. If you need a load cell for your silo, a compression load cell fitted with lightning arrestors and filled with inert gas is a good choice.

4.    Will the load cell be subjected to sudden or dynamic loads?

The next thing that you may need to factor in is whether the load cell can sustain sudden or dynamic loads. In some cases, you should also consider if it can hold large and irregularly-shaped things.

When a dynamic load cell is used for sudden weight shifts, it may cause an overload. If this happens, problems with calibration or mechanical damage may affect accuracy and minute measurements.

It is important to determine the capacity needs of your weighing task when choosing a load cell. If you are working with an established magnitude, velocity and frequency, it may be best to look for a dynamic load cell.

5.    What type of mounting option do I need?

When you considered the proposed operating environment, you should also factor in how the load cell will be installed. Knowing the orientation and mounting system of the load cells are important things that you may need to consider.

Comparatively, a crane may need a tension load cell, while a platform may require a compression load cell. So, if you need to mount one for a fully self-aligning heavy-duty railway scale, choose a tank weighing assembly load cell.

6.    What size and shape of load cells are required?

An important restriction to consider is the size and shape of the load cell. Again, load cells are not a one-size-fits-all kind of weighing system. Always make sure that your load cell will fit where it should be mounted.

Let’s say you need it for a small, enclosed and hard-to-reach area, then it is best to use a miniature load cell. And if you will use it for a floor scale, a single point load cell may be a better choice.

7.    Will purchasing the load cell hurt my budget?

The last question that you should ask yourself is cost-efficiency. This factor is crucial in choosing a reliable load cell for your business.

The best thing to do is to find a load cell provider who can offer a flexible and cost-effective load cell system for your business needs. It helps to choose a load cell that can guarantee accuracy and reliability without breaking the bank.


Contact Meltrons Australia today for all your load cell needs!