Scale Calibration Frequency: How Often Should I Calibrate my Doran Digital Scale?
When to calibrate a scale or proper calibration intervals is an important consideration to ensure your Doran Scale is performing at peak accuracy over its lifespan. There are many different factors to determine the correct answer for your specific application.
What is the value of the product to be weighed on the scale?
If the product being weighed is very expensive, there is value in regular and periodic inspection and calibration. For example if the product costs $10 a pound and on an average day 1,000 pounds of product is weighed on the scale, the total value is $10,000. Let’s assume the scale is out of tolerance by 0.5%; that discrepancy would be $50 per day, $250 per week, and $1,000 per month. Obviously, eliminating this error would save a tremendous amount of money and more than pay for the calibration services.
Is it a legal-for-trade application?
If you buy or sell product based upon weight using your scale, it will need to be inspected and certified by the State or local Weights and Measures Department at the time of or shortly after installation. However, you can also expect this scale to be tested on a regular basis by Weights and Measures as well as checks of your product weights in the field by the same. If a scale is tested and found to be out of tolerance or if products in the field are found to not meet the stated weight, Weights and Measure can condemn the scales so that they cannot be used until recalibrated, and literally shut your production down. Having the scales checked and recalibrated regularly can help you avoid this nightmare scenario.
How many weighments per day and at what % of scale capacity?
Generally speaking, with time and use scales can start to lose accuracy. It may be a tiny error but over months and years it can grow to unacceptable levels. Think of it in these terms: when you buy a new car, you can expect that the wheel alignment will be exactly accurate. When this same car has 75,000 or 100,000 miles on it, the wheel alignment may need to be adjusted due to normal wear and tear. The same idea is true with your scale. If your scale performs thousands or even hundreds of weighments per day at 50% or greater capacity, it would be wise to consider a quarterly or even monthly calibration. Regular calibration of heavily used scales will correct any accuracy errors that will normally occur with this type of use.
Are the scales frequently moved around in your facility or from one location to another?
Doran scales are designed to be portable, in the sense that they do not require a permanent installation location. However, many times when scales are moved, they are handled incorrectly, resulting in damage that can affect the calibration and accuracy of the unit. If your scales are constantly being moved around in your facility or moved from one location to another, regular calibration will help keep them accurate and reveal any damage that may have occurred when they have been moved.
Are the scales in a harsh environment with daily heavy washdown?
If the scales are in a poultry, seafood or meat packing production environment, subjected to cold temperatures and repeated daily washdown, they will need calibration more often than scales in a dry temperature-controlled environment. Rough use, cold temperatures or temperature variation, and wet environments can all degrade scale performance, leading to weight errors that over time can become significant.
Do you have an ISO or other quality system that mandates periodic calibration?
Check with your quality department to see if your ISO or other quality systems require regular periodic scale calibration. Failure to comply with these quality mandates may result in your quality system becoming decertified and potentially lost business as a result.
Your Doran scale has been designed and manufactured to give you outstanding weighing performance and a long lifecycle. Always follow the care and handling instructions found in the user’s manual and use this guide to determine when and how often to calibrate your scale so you can benefit from the performance, durability and reliability of your Doran Scale.