How does a counting scale work?

The prime function of a counting scale is to make life easier for you. But why would you need one - and how do they work?

Counting scales are primarily used for inventory control and collating shipments - where multiple items of the same size need to be counted.

However, rather than counting out by hand - a time consuming process - a counting scale will give a total instantly.

You can find out more about the benefits of counting scales in our white paper from earlier this year.

To use a counting scale, simply put a sample of your product on the scale and key in how many pieces are in the sample. The scale then divides the total weight of the sample by the quantity you have entered to give an approximate weight per item. The weight of each piece is used to work out subsequent piece counts when loads are added to the scale.

Counting scales have very high internal resolutions – this means they are very accurate! - and it is recommended that a large sample is used to make the weighing as accurate as possible.

Of course, a very accurate scale will notice very small differences in weight – for example the difference between 0.499g and 0.501g – and if these differences are slightly out, the average weight will be distorted. It is important to use items as close to the same weight as possible, as differences in piece weights can knock out your total count, especially when large quantities are being counted.

Counting scales will usually have extra functions to help speed up counting and inventory control processes even further. For example, if a user is wanting to get a certain quantity of an item, a hi/lo target function is built in to some scales. Here the individual can enter a maximum quantity of a product they wish to count, and as items are added to the scale the device will sound when it hits a certain tally, e.g. 1000 units.

Many counting scales will have PLUs: this means buttons can be pre-programmed with the weights of certain items, meaning you can quickly count items without having to get a sample weight and count each time the scale is used.

Many Marsden weighing scales have counting features built in. The crucial difference between these and purpose-built counting scales is the ease of use. For example, if you are using the scale primarily for weighing and will occasionally need to count items, a counting function is useful to have as an extra feature.

However, if you only want to count items for shipping and inventory control, we highly recommend you go for a dedicated counting scale. They’ll make counting much easier, especially with 3-in-1 displays where unit weight, number of units and total weight can be viewed at the same time.

In the Marsden range, the Jadever JCE counting scale can be connected, via a u-key cable to a PC where an Excel spreadsheet is automatically populated with counting data each time items are added to the scale. This is great for inventory control.

The Marsden C-100 is a counting scale with a very high internal resolution - 1/1,000,000 - and has 99 PLUs for you to store the individual weights of items you count the most.

And then there’s the JWI-700C counting indicator, recently added to our range, which can be added to another device, such as a conveyor belt, and by the user entering the unit weight, it can calculate the number of items as they move along the conveyor.

You can view our range of counting scales here.

Be careful to select the closest product for your needs, taking into account the purpose it will be used for, and the accuracy required (i.e how small the individual parts are likely to be).

For more information and for help in finding the perfect counting scale for your needs, call the Marsden team on 01709 364 296.