Mining and Weighing, Weighing and Mining

Mining is certainly a global industry, with raw materials being mined all over the world and shipped all over the world. After all, we can’t control where these resources are found – we can only control what we do with them and how we use them. In the U.S. and the Carolinas, the coal and metal sectors dominate domestic mining. With 36,000 employees, $20 billion in revenues, and $3 billion in exports in 2009, the industry remains a backbone of employment and industry in our country. As markets for homes, automobiles, and other end products where mined materials are used continue to improve, the industry looks to expand in the future.

In an area like mining where materials are extracted, sold, and shipped by weight, scales play an important role. No job site would be complete without wheel loader scales for the most efficient weighing and product transportation possible, and any mining company that doesn’t invest in top-of-the-line weighing equipment is risking its time, investment, and bottom line.  Mining occupies an interesting and important position in the continued recovery of the American economy: it relies on the success of the aforementioned downstream industries like housing, but also provides a indication, both symbolically and tangibly, of the strength of industry in the United States. Carolina Scales is glad to contribute to this strength.

Scales in Chemical Plants

Chemical plant scalesThere may be no industry where extreme precision is more important than the chemical industry. When milligrams – or less – can make the difference between a successful product or a wasted effort (or “boom!”), equipment must be as finely calibrated and accurate as possible. Scales are understandably found at all steps of chemical production, from microbalances for formulations, to floor scales for deliveries and shipments. Regardless of whether the scale is inside a lab being used by a scientist, or on a loading dock measuring outgoing packages, accuracy and safety are paramount.

In operations where speed and accuracy are most important, our batch scales provide the greatest utility. These scales can be programmed with recipes and measurements, allowing workers to let the scale do most of the work. At the other end of the spectrum are huge tank scales for measuring bulk materials. These can be up to 200,000 pounds in capacity, necessary at the biggest pharmaceutical and chemical facilities served by Carolina Scales. As with any facility where shipments occur, forklift scales are also a common sight, ensuring that every piece of the puzzle is accounted for at every step of the way. Questions on making sure that your facility’s system is up-to-date and the best quality available? Contact us today.

Recycling Weigh-In

Recycling ScalesDid you know that in 2010, the last year with complete statistics, more than 130 million tons of refuse was recycled in the United States? This includes 74 million tons of iron and steel, 46 million tons of paper, and 654,000 tons of plastic bottles, among many other products. This recycling (as well as the recording of these statistics) could not have taken place with scales. An immense number of scales, especially floor scales, provides the bedrock of the recycling industry. For everything from scrap drop-off, to safe equipment operation, to reclaimed product shipment, scales, weighing, and measurement are necessary.

As the industry continues to grow, improve, and innovate, Carolina Scales will continue to provide this most basic need. Advances like RFID and GPS are providing greater tracking and efficiency in pickups and drop-offs, with contactless reporting leading to unparalleled time and money savings. Furthermore, although by now recycling bins on street corners have become as ubiquitous as garbage cans, the beverage industry is continuing an initiative for more public space recycling receptacles, hoping to increase the percentage of plastic bottles that are recovered. Despite a 100% increase in recycling in the US over the past decade, plastic bottles in landfills still represent a disposal problem with no easy solution other than recycling. Be sure to do your part!

Keeping Biomass Facilities Efficient and Safe

Biomass ready for transport
Biomass ready for transport.

Rarely will you find a scale installation or application that can be set up right out of the box, so to speak. Carolina is in the business of scales, so we’re in the business of custom constructions and configurations, and a recent job for a leading biomass company located in Georgia allowed us to show the range of our capabilities. Biomass is simply organic material that can be converted into energy or another form of biofuel. It can consist of anything from tree stumps to mulch to yard clippings, and more. Once a niche energy source, the growth of biomass and biofuel has led to the construction of several new facilities in the South.

This project required two inbound and two outbound truck scales, as well as a fully unattended kiosk for check-ins and check-outs. The unattended kiosk has quickly become nearly a standard feature for loading and unloading zones, allowing for better vehicle flow, higher accuracy, and easier reporting. As full-service experts in scales and weighing systems, Carolina Scales was able to develop and install this fully integrated system in conjunction with the truck scales themselves. We also included a dedicated scaling software for use with the facility owner’s maintenance system.

From concept through to installation, this project took us about 6 weeks, enabling the biomass plant to increase their capacity in the service of cleaner energy. For more information on our line of scales, visit our site today: www.carolinascales.com.

Weighing Devices Go Green: Solar Powered Scales

If you haven’t heard, Carolina Scales proudly introduced our solar powered scales for the marketplace.  These new scales are powered by the sun and help reduce costs and the amount of power needed to operate scales in remote locations.

With the introduction of these solar powered scales, we wanted to give additional options for our customers of remote portable Truck Scales.  The power generated by the solar panels is used to run printers, weight displays and scales of all types, giving the end user the ultimate in flexibility.

As well, Carolina Scales can custom design and build a solar powered scale system to fit any need that or customers may have.  Imagine the possibilities, everything from a remote scale in the mountains of West Virginia near a coal mining operation or a scrap metal operator in Tucson that wants to use the power of the Arizona sun to reduce his expenses.

Carolina Scales’ solar powered systems start about $1,000.00 and increase in price based on your particular power and application needs. Please contact us with any of your requests.

What to Look For When Shopping for Truck Scales

Recently one of the Vice Presidents of our suppliers, Rice Lake Weighing Systems was interviewed by Recycling Today.  Joe Grell, Vice President of Heavy Capacity offered recyclers his on what to look for when shopping for truck scales.  We’ve provided a few paragraphs from that interview with a link back to the full article for your information.  We hope this is informative to you.

Recycling Today (RT): What is the difference between a full-length scale and an axle scale? Which type do you find recyclers using most often? Why?

Joe Grell (JG): Axle scales are non-legal-for-trade weight estimators, and full-length scales are typically legal-for-trade, can be used to determine commercial transactions and are more accurate than axle scales. Axle scales are valuable in determining if a vehicle is close to or over legal highway loading regulations. They are a cost-effective precautionary scale to ensure that vehicles are not sent out on public highways over legal load limits. Full-length legal-for-trade scales are available in configurations that weigh axles individually and provide commercial accuracy at the same time.

RT: How many styles (low-profile, pit, full electronic, concrete deck, steel deck, etc.) of full-length scales are there? Is there one style you’d recommend for use in the recycling industry? What advantage does it offer?

JG: Vehicle scales are commonly available with either steel or concrete decks. Concrete decks are more durable and will generally outlast steel deck scales. Steel deck scales install quickly and do not require a cure time before they can be used. The finished cost is similar.

Most modern scales are above-ground designs, are fully electronic and the most popular are steel-deck configurations. They are low profile (16 inches to 18 inches above ground), and can be placed on a slab or pier foundation.

Another popular pit scale is the side-rail design, named for the two heavy steel I-beams on either side of the scale. Most of these are concrete and are more durable than typical flat-top above-ground scales. They are also slightly more expensive. Pit-type scales are placed in the ground so that the surface of the scale is even with the surrounding road or lot surface. Most mechanical scales are pit type and are the least common scale offered today.

A good choice for the recycling industry is the above-ground steel-deck scale. It is a cost-effective solution that can be moved as the enterprise grows and changes.

RT: What other features should recyclers look for in a truck scale?

JG: Data collection options are very important. Look for a full-service provider with a comprehensive product line. Automated ticketing, kiosks at the scale, messaging systems and remote displays are all important options that allow operators to reduce labor costs and improve throughput for their enterprise. Automated ticketing also keeps drivers in the truck where they are safe. Most accidents involving drivers happen when drivers are outside their vehicles.

How the Price of Cottonseed Affects the Sale of Scales

It always amazes us at Carolina Scales how sales for particular types of scales can surge due to something unforeseen by our staff.  It is definitely a lesson in world commodity markets, global economics and how each of those can have an effect on a company located in West Columbia, South Carolina.

Cottonseed
The cottonseed, used for cooking oil and livestock feed, remains after the cotton is ginned.

This global story begins with the cottonseed, something that many in South Carolina and throughout the South have seen being planted in local fields throughout the years.  Cottonseed has been used for many decades as a source for creating cooking oil and in particular it a highly prized supplement for livestock feed.

In June of this year, the rumblings of shortages began to be heard throughout the agricultural sector that produces cottonseeds.  It has been known for some time that the number of acres of farmland being devoted to cottonseed production was on the decrease.  Several sources have noted that cottonseed production was likely to drop to a 3-year low due to these smaller plantings.  This was partly due to the movement of farmers from planting cottonseed to other more lucrative crops.  Couple this with the ongoing drought in places like Texas and the affect the drought has had on the overall corn crop and a sudden demand by China for cottonseed. Now with corn production predicted to be at historic lows and since corn is the main ingredient for feeding livestock, alternatives will be in greater demand.  Cottonseed can be added to other feed like soy, wheat for added nutritional value and to “fill” in the gaps left from lower corn production.

Now how does this seed affect Carolina Scales?  These increased demands for the product have made the industry make some hectic moves to obtain appropriately sized shipping containers and scales to weigh the crop.  At first we were quite surprised by the surge in interest for scales to weigh cottonseed.  Fortunately, we were and are ready, willing and able to provide the necessary scales to help cottonseed producers get their product out the door and into the marketplace.  Whether it is cottonseed, other crops or materials, we have a variety of scales, balances and weighers to meet your needs.  Give us a call to discuss!

Custom Fit Solutions

Welcome to Carolina Scales. We have been in business since 1950, and have successfully grown from a small sales and service company to a leading supplier specializing in industrial scale equipment and related services. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with turnkey solutions that meet the requirements specific to each application — we don’t just sell you a scale, we provide you with a custom weighing solution that best meets the needs of your application and operating environment.

At Carolina Scales, we offer all types of standard scales and weighing equipment to meet the needs of the simplest to the most complex weighing applications. We specialize in custom installing the equipment, on-site at your facility, in a manner that is most beneficial to your operations. For example, we know that weighing operations revolving around trucks and other vehicles, such as railroad cars and cranes, often have unique installation requirements in terms of space allocation, access, and safety. We have many years of experience with these projects; in fact, we recently meticulously placed a cargo scale next to a building, in between two railroad tracks!

Our goal is to provide you with a user-friendly, easily maintained system that is flexible in design and easy to expand as your business expands. Our experienced team also provides calibration, certification, maintenance and repair services and is on call 24/7. We hope to see you back on these pages to learn more about who we are and to keep up with the latest advancements in the weighing industry.

The Weight of Agriculture

Agriculture scalesDid you know that there are over 2.2 million farms in the United States? These farms account for 922 million acres of work and production – and many, within the industry as well as outsiders, think that that number should be increased. As a country with a history of farming and agricultural success, that philosophy is an easy way to ensure that the industry continues to thrive. While in many ways the old ways remain the best, innovations abound in the industry. For instance, you might be surprised to learn that there are a ton of farming apps available, and we’re not talking Farmville. Farmers and workers can control equipment, monitor irrigation, and spray pesticide with a few taps of their Droid – even if they’re hundreds of miles away.

One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the necessity of quality scales in the industry. From grain silos to hay bales to loading docks, crops, seeds, and all other harvests must be monitored, measured, weighed, and recorded (another area in which those smartphone apps come in handy). Products like wheel loader scales can make sure outgoing product is accurately and consistently weighed. Weigh-ins are as much a way of life for farmers and other agricultural workers as feeding livestock and waking up early. The importance of standing behind the quality of our scales is not lost on us here at Carolina Scales, and we’re proud to be part of this great American institution.