13 Dec

Improve Efficiency and Accuracy in Counting Applications – Know How to Maximize Your Counting Scale

In any business venture that sells vast amounts of product at a time, fast and accurate counting methods are essential. The smaller the product and the more items processed at once, the harder it is to keep track of accurate counting. This can waste time in man-hours, and money in incorrect counts. In the past there wasn’t much to be done about these problems. But today’s new technology can handle what the old could not. Here are some ways to make sure you get the most accurate and efficient count from your counting scales.

When counting large amounts of small items (such as nails or screws) it is important to be able to count them quickly and accurately. Counting by hand is time consuming and subject to human error. Counting scales use the weight of a known number of parts to calculate the weight of each piece. This weight can then be used to determine the count of subsequent weight measurements.

When using counting scales, there are two common problems that cause inefficiency: inaccurate piece count weights and the fact that accuracy can be affected drastically if the parts counted are not exactly the same weight.

Often there are small differences in weight from piece to piece. This effect is negligible when counting small numbers of pieces, such as 10 nails. But when counting 100s or 1000s of one product, this effect is exacerbated and can cause significant miscalculation. Any miscounting causes problems for a company. Undercounting shortchanges the customer and causes customer dissatisfaction. Overcounting shorts the company, causing consistent loss of profit.

Inaccurate pieces count weights cause similar problems by not getting an accurate weight for the individual pieces in the first place. The initial mistake spreads to each subsequent count and can cause major miscalculations before it is caught and corrected.

Both of the problems described above can be solved by the same solution: larger sample size. The larger the sample size, the more accurate average weight can be measured. Basic statistics states that the difference between pieces contributes less to the overall average when more pieces are measured at once. This both ensures a more accurate piece count weight and reduces the effect of non-uniform weights between pieces.

At one time, counting scales were expensive, and if companies wanted this type of accuracy they would rent scales once or twice a year for periodic inventory. Fortunately today’s scales are affordable to own and are able to make taking large sample sizes worthwhile for companies that use counting scales and software.

Products like Fairbanks Scales’ Omega Counting Scale (OCS) and Product Look Up (PLU) software make using large sample sizes more feasible than in the past. Now that counting scales can store information electronically, piece count weights can be measured once and stored. Taking the time to carefully weigh a large sample size in the beginning will increase overall accuracy, and will eventually pay for itself in profits that were previously lost due to miscounting.

It all comes down to the larger sample size. Modern counting scales provide companies with a method of using larger sample sizes in measuring piece count weights without losing money to extra man-hours. Once companies can consistently use these larger sample sizes in their measurements, accuracy is drastically improved and overall efficiency increases. All of this saves companies time and money, and helps make their operation run smoothly and reliably.