How many of us have thought about trying to get 200,000 miles out of that one sturdy car we just knew could do it if we took care of it well enough? It's not unheard of Now imagine getting 400,000 miles from that car. Crazy? Maybe. But that's the kind of per- formance manufacturers need — and are demanding — from their weigh- ing systems. And it's not so crazy.
'Users are looking for premium performance,' says Dennis Windsor, supervisor of marketing services with Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner Vishay BLH, Norwood, Mass. 'They want accuracy, repeatability and quality products.' Manufactur- ers are also asking for — and getting — greater functionality than ever before.
Rockwell Automation Encompass Partners have unique training and experience with Allen-Bradley control systems, and the weighing systems from these partners are delivering state-of-the-art solutions.
'Weighing helps manufacturers in many ways,' says Terry Mackin, product marketing manager with Columbus, Ohio-based Mettler Toledo, Inc., a Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner. For example, accurate weighing data is vital to pharmaceutical or food and beverage applications, because ingredients are costly and margins can be thin. 'The tighter tolerance that users can put on each ingredient, the less raw ingredient they'll use in the final end product, and the more they'll save,' says Mackin. 'In addition, when sell- ing a product by weight, by law they have to be within a certain range. If they package more than they have to, they're actually giving away profit.'
The ability to check on the status of the system from an office or even another facility is also vital to a man- ufacturer's productivity. 'Customers are asking for remote ability to access the weighing system from their desk, so the Ethernet and TCP/IP compat- ibility is important,' says Jim Sexton, vice president of marketing with Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner Rice Lake Weighing Systems of Rice Lake, Wis. 'Manufacturers also want on-board diagnostics and the ability to continue to weigh when a load cell is down.'