Three Innovations Make A&D's New Precision Balances Ideal For Today's Automated Weighing Generation
The GX-A/GF-A series of multi-functional precision balances is designed to be especially appropriate for use in various automated weighing applications on top of being general-purpose, with unique features such as ISD, ECL and FRD.
Today, it has become commonplace for materials to be weighed with automated devices not just in production lines/systems but also in laboratories, and users now face a range of unexpected problems. Accordingly, A&D has devised original functions for the GX-A/GF-A series to address and help users handle such problems readily by themselves, in addition to upgrading and making this series even more useful than its predecessor with practical features for manual weighing.
Impact Shock Detection (ISD)
Precision balances are designed to measure static loads. Hence, their weight sensors, regardless of the manufacturer, will break in a short period if they are continuously affected by loads with acceleration (i.e. impact shocks). This typically occurs in factories where materials are placed roughly by machines or thrown by operators onto balances. Further, impact shocks can easily shift values and cause errors.
The difficulty is that even if users know the above, they may not know what degree of impact shock is safe or unsafe for the balance to take necessary preventive measures, such as refining the automatic loading mechanism. With A&D's patented ISD function, the GX-A/GF-A series displays the magnitude of impact shocks to the weight sensor at four levels. It beeps once at Level 3 and twice at Level 4, both of which should be avoided.
Meanwhile, two leaf springs that support the weighing pan also mitigate impact shocks significantly.
Electronically Controlled Load (ECL)
The performance (repeatability as well as display stability) of a precision balance is worsened by external disturbances such as drafts and vibrations, which is often the case in the field. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to evaluate whether the set-up conditions are appropriate. Checking repeatability, however, is cumbersome, especially once the balance is embedded in a system. It is not uncommon that users don't have an adequate test weight.
The GX-A/GF-A series has ECL technology (patent pending), which artificially generates a minute load (0.3% to 3% of the weighing capacity) by altering the equilibrium state of the weight sensor, to enable what A&D calls Auto Precision Assessment or APA. After making a quick diagnosis of whether there is a critical failure, the balance shows the standard deviation (i.e. repeatability)
Moreover, for laboratory use, the GX-A/GF-A series calculates and indicates the minimum weight based on the result of APA in accordance with the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) standard. As APA is performed at the installation location, this minimum weight takes into account the effects of the ambient environmental conditions on repeatability, unlike the values shown in catalogs as "typical."
The GX-A/GF-A series can display an alert until the sample quantity reaches the value set as the minimum weight to ensure accuracy and compliance, and it is also possible to directly use the minimum weight determined by ECL.
Flow Rate Display (FRD)
Internal clocks of precision balances are never in complete sync with those of external devices. This clock time disparity manifests as a problem most noticeably when users measure and record flow rates of pumps, feeders and other devices at short intervals with a balance connected to a PC that performs the calculation. (Flow rate is determined from the weight variation that occurs during a given interval.) The timing at which the balance receives the command from the PC to send the weight value and its display refresh cycle gradually go out of alignment. Consequently, the PC intermittently produces irregular values (spikes when graphed) even if the actual flow rate is constant.
The FRD function of the GX-A/GF-A series calculates and displays/outputs the mass flow rate (the unit of measure can be selected from g/s, g/m or g/h), or the volume flow rate (mL/s, mL/m or mL/h) by entering the density of the material, without requiring any other device. Since both the display refresh rate and interval (set between 1 second and 1 hour) are regulated by the same internal clock of the balance, it makes measurements free from the aforementioned problem.
The GX-A/GF-A series is also equipped with a flow rate comparator, which allows monitoring of whether the flow rate is kept within the designated limits. Additionally, the tare value can be saved in non-volatile memory so that the remaining amount of the material in the container can be displayed again even if power is disrupted for any reason during loss-in-weight measurement (when this function is activated, the power-on re-zero/tare is turned off).
Additional details and information on other useful features can be found on the A&D website at http://www.aandd.jp/
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A&D Company, Limited, headquartered in Tokyo, take advantage of their world-class analog and digital signal processing technologies to produce a diverse array of laboratory and industrial measuring equipment. In particular, they are known as Japan's top manufacturer of electronic weighing instruments ranging from ultrasensitive micro analytical balances to scales of several tons of capacity. Their innovations are always aimed at providing users with high practical utility and high value for the price. To find further information on A&D, visit http://www.aandd.jp/
Weighing Product Manager