Let’s imagine the scene. A bee farm, with many hives, located in a mountain pasture, at an altitude of 850 metres. The question naturally arises: how does the poor beekeeper know when it is the right moment to scramble the mountain and gather honey? Easy: thanks to a weighing system made up of three elements, in detail: load cell, electronic instruments and PLC system equipped with Cloud-hosted app. In this way the weight of every single hive is constantly monitored, and weight data are conveniently transmitted to the owner of the bee farm, thanks to a Cloud system. This is only one of the infinite possibilities of using load cells.
Industrial applications of weighing systems are various and refer to many different sectors: load cells are used in naval, food & beverage and oil & gas field. Weighing plays an extremely important role, and for this reason innovation in this sector is among top priorities.
Weighing systems, with different shapes and dimensions, can be traced back to three main elements which characterize their composition: load cells, electronic unit and automation equipment. Let’s see in detail the role of every single component to clarify weighing procedures in industrial field.
Load cell is a simple element but fundamental and fascinating. It is a transducer that can transform the force produced by the weight of an object into an electrical signal. The force applied during weighing deforms the material on which the object that we want to weigh is positioned and this deformation produces an electrical signal that varies according to the applied force, in other words the weight.
The electrical signal produced usually has a low level and, measuring it, it is possible to obtain the equivalent value to the applied weight. Normally, the most common load cells have electrical strain gauges and are usually installed in a variable number, commonly from 1 to 4, but there could also be 8 cells in specific cases.
On the one hand electronic unit supplies load cells, on the other converts the electrical signal produced by cells into a standard signal or an informative numerical value. Electronic units for load cells can also be integrated with different types of additional instruments such as weight indicator or automation elements which can manage the dosage of material or warning alarms.
In conclusion, in industrial weighing systems, automation equipment is usually a PC or a PLC and coordinates the work of all additional parts that constitute the initial and final automation of machines, dosage of materials and so on.
It is worth seeing in detail a curious particular: when, for specific needs, the electronic unit has to be positioned at a greater length than the one of the connection cable with the cell, there is the necessity of using a junction box to connect all the cells in parallel. In this way the result is ideally a unique load cell with the characteristics of the individual constitutive cells. Moreover, it is necessary to specify that in these cases cells must be identical and have the same values of sensitivity, capacity and electrical resistance.
Given the fundamental role of weighing and load cells, quality and security can’t be left to chance. Created by professionals looking for quality in the field of weighing systems, since 1981 Celmi has been developing cutting-edge load cells that can satisfy every need, in automotive, marine engineering, industrial automation, food & beverage, oil & gas sector and more. With a strong professional tradition and the celebration of the 40th anniversary this year, nowadays Celmi is a reference point for quality, guarantee and security.