Digital Technology: Keeping Ahead of the Curve


By Bryan Snyder

The truck scale industry has come a long way when it comes to digital technology, as scales are more than heavy pieces of steel. The modern scale is now able to guide your purchase because of its software. And while most companies offer some form of this digital technology, it wasn’t until recently that providers started utilizing software to harness the data that can be retrieved from a scale.

While most industries have been immersed with data, the truck scale industry has not been empowered with that luxury until recent technological advancements. Now, there is technology that allows you to keep ahead of the curve. You can be proactive rather than reactive because of the simplicity with problem identification, a newly developed management platform and data redundancy through the cloud.

Digital technology is ever-evolving and the scale industry can capitalize on this opportunity to run their weighing solutions more efficiently. Profitability comes from the ability to adapt to this new approach while leveraging insight into your overall process.

Accuracy in Inventory Control

Your inventory is one of your most valuable assets, and keeping track of it accurately is essential. New enhancements with digital technology are enabling you to maintain and track inventory while improving accuracy for transactions that occur across the scale.

It’s almost like finding the best radio frequencies in your car. Instead of static, you get crystal clear readings. The scales that are available today can measure up to 100,000 lb. in 10-lb. increments versus 20-lb. increments, thereby being twice as precise.

Problem Identification

Troubleshooting a scale can be difficult and it’s nearly impossible to fix a problem if you cannot find it. That’s why developments in diagnostics have been groundbreaking. Anyone with the ability to read the indicator screen can utilize the technology to easily diagnose problems.

The diagnostics present the information in a way that’s easier to understand without getting too granular. You’ll get a high-level overview of the information to see what needs to be done to service your scale. Gone are the days where diagnostics require hooking up a voltage meter one at a time to every load cell in a scale.

By utilizing advanced technology, you’ll be able to determine if a problem will occur well in advance. You can also automate the process of finding, diagnosing and notifying a scale service provider. It does not include shortcuts by integrating and converting outdated analog technology.

Data is only going to expand as more scales connect to this new approach. Imagine being able to see if a truck slammed its brakes while approaching, thereby identifying a potential problem. By integrating a computer into your scale, the amount of data collected is endless.

A New Management Platform

In order to analyze the overall health of a scale, there are new management platforms for service providers. With more than 50 points of data, providers will be able to thoroughly analyze the problem and turn the information into something useful.

This particular management platform provides everything needed to efficiently service the scales, including scheduling. Integrating technology that is fully digital improves workflow and profitability because it keeps your scale up and running by increasing uptime and decreasing downtime.

Since the data is stored in the Cloud, it can be accessed anywhere, even if something goes down at your facility. The scales are online, and are consistently checked for overall health.

With all this information, most problems are easy to find and fix. However, while you may be able to fix the problem, you may need to engage a scale service company to recertify the NTEP certification to remain legal for trade overweight.

Bryan Snyder is a systems manager for B-TEK Scales, www.b-tek.com.