Is calibration required for weighing scales used for shipping purposes ?

LesPiles

Involved In Discussions
#1
Hello!


I was questioned today about the calibration of industrial scales, the kind of balance used to weigh product packaging (for example 1500 lbs packagings).

In my opinion, I think these scales are used to indicate the weight for logistical considerations (transportation). The price of transportation is definitely function of volume and weight. I am told that the stock is probably weighed again in a consolidation warehouse.

The questions I get are: :confused:



  • Does a standard require to calibrate our scales?
For your info, I am in Canada but I would take the information from your country for those who would like to answer.

  • Do pallet trucks are part of this standard?

  • If yes, does the calibration need to be validated by a government agency afterwards such as Measurement Canada ?

How do you manage this in your business? :confused: Normally, in our organization, the quality department manages the calibration program but this one is composed of tools (for torques) and scopes, multimeters, calipers, etc.

Thank you in advance! :bigwave:
 
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PaulJSmith

#2
The only tools we calibrate are those used for the acceptance or rejection of materials or products. For our purposes, this does not include scales used for shipping.

I would think that would be determined by your own internal procedures.
 

Ninja

Looking for Reality
Trusted Information Resource
#3
We calibrate our shipping scales...BUT

We have so many scales on the list to be calibrated, and outsource the calibration (outside company comes on site) that they give us a price to calibrate the whole shebang.

If we paid per scale, we would not calibrate the shipping scales (only check now and again for peace of mind)...but since it's "free", we do it.

Our heaviest scales are for product, so are calibrated. The shipping scales actually have lighter duty and are easy to calibrate/verify.
 
#5
There is a Handbook 44 available in pdf if you google it for scales and tolerances required. I would believe it depends if you sell your goods by weight or pieces or length. If it is sold by weight then your scales likely do need to be calibrated on a periodic basis.

For us we sell steel coils by the pound in the US. We check our scales every shift with test weights that have been verified through NIST traceability to verify that nothing has shifted or changed.
 

Mark Meer

Trusted Information Resource
#6
I presume you have a system procedure that deals with equipment calibration?

If so, does it describe how you determine what equipment is and is not subject to calibration?

Our system procedure has a decision flowchart, simplified below:

1. Could a failed measurement impact safety? -> Calibration required (strict minimum yearly)
2. Could a failed measurement impact product performance/intended use? -> Calibration required, but schedules commensurate with potential impact.
3. Could a failed measurement invalidate Quality System data? -> Calibration required.
4. Could a failed measurement impact customer satisfaction, company reputation or product/service provision? -> Calibration required.

(Note, this is simplified...there are also factors such as user-verification, or internal calibration mechanisms).

Bottom line: unless your shipping scale actually impacts quality or product/service provision, it can probably be excluded from calibration schedules. If it's just used to get an approximate weight to put on a waybill, I see no reason for strict calibration.

That being said, you may want to consider verifying it periodically by weighing something with a known weight....
 
C

Curtis317

#7
Besides all the complicated logic and comments. If you are being charged to ship by weight. Then it behooves you make sure you have the correct weight. Saves money.:applause:
 

qusys

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Hello!


I was questioned today about the calibration of industrial scales, the kind of balance used to weigh product packaging (for example 1500 lbs packagings).

In my opinion, I think these scales are used to indicate the weight for logistical considerations (transportation). The price of transportation is definitely function of volume and weight. I am told that the stock is probably weighed again in a consolidation warehouse.

The questions I get are: :confused:



  • Does a standard require to calibrate our scales?
For your info, I am in Canada but I would take the information from your country for those who would like to answer.

  • Do pallet trucks are part of this standard?

  • If yes, does the calibration need to be validated by a government agency afterwards such as Measurement Canada ?

How do you manage this in your business? :confused: Normally, in our organization, the quality department manages the calibration program but this one is composed of tools (for torques) and scopes, multimeters, calipers, etc.

Thank you in advance! :bigwave:
Yous should consider the risk in your organization of not having the scales calibrated. If the weight is critical for your product and customer requirement, this should carry to have them calibrated according to a calibration program. If you are not able to do the calibration, you should have an external service for this purpose. Hope this helps.:bigwave:
 

BradM

Staff member
Admin
#9
Here is the link to Handbook 44.

The document governs commercial weighing applications. Are you making business decisions based on the weight? If yes, then I would have it calibrated.

If you could... guess at the weight and not cause a lot of difference one way or the other, then I would say "no".
 
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