IoT Applications in Weighing and Loading

While flashier tech grabs the headlines, the humble scale’s own digital evolution could be cause for revolution across a number of industries, from private and military logistics to construction to transportation. Weigh scales are keeping pace with modern advances in technology in order to facilitate faster, more efficient, seamless weighing operations.

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Illustration: © IoT For All

The humble weighing scale is often found tucked away in personal bathrooms or kitchens, but it’s also a mainstay in many professional restaurants, farms, and airports. What has up till now been an otherwise forgettable piece of technology, the weighing scale is currently undergoing something of a silent evolution, with the Internet of Things (IoT) helping to modernize traditional weighing solutions and, in turn, transforming the ways in which businesses manage their everyday weighing tasks.

Let’s take a look at how.

1. Smart Scales Are Setting New Standards

Collecting data is the most essential part of most any weighing process, as it allows the end-user to monitor and analyze any changes, whether it’s for monitoring your health, sending packages and parcels, or selling goods by weight.

New connectivity features that allow the humble scale to connect to the internet via WiFi or other nearby devices via Bluetooth, is enabling businesses to better access data sans the physical connection while improving quality control, efficiency, task automation, and waste minimization, to name just a few!

Data collected via wirelessly connected scales is easily sorted into tables, charts, and spreadsheets. From here, it can be accessed in order to monitor trends, collate data, and make informed business decisions with the information at hand.

From businesses to the bathroom, you can now connect your bathroom scales to the internet, too! Fitbit’s Aria smart scale is just one example, which not only measures your weight but also your body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI)—a feature typically reserved for professional, by-appointment tests run at your local GP or gym.

2. Dynamic Scales Are Tipping the Balance

Dynamic scales work, as the name suggests, by weighing an object whilst it is in motion. Think of a fleet of vehicles, for example. Compared to continuous scales, this system offers reduced running costs and greater efficiency thanks to its ability to cut out the middle-man. There’s no manual operation required.

Doesn’t this sound like the perfect weighing solution?

As this technology develops further, you can expect to see new additions including multi-connectivity and automatic reporting, which will further reduce human error and increase efficiency. Dynamic scales really are the perfect solution for those with motion-based weighing requirements.

3. Luggage and…People to Weigh In?

How would you feel about being asked to step on to a set of scales before you board your next flight? A British technology startup is suggesting just this, proposing that airlines weigh passengers just like they do their luggage in an effort to reduce airline costs and cut carbon emissions.

The idea? It’s fairly straightforward. The costs associated with any given flight exponentially increase with every item of luggage you bring on board with you. More weight = more fuel. By calculating the weight of passengers, this would allow airlines to carry only the fuel required for the flight based on the combined weight of the passengers and their luggage. No more. No less.

If an airline knows they’re carrying a lighter load, they can carry less fuel.

Issues of privacy abound, though talks are beginning at airports across the UK about ways in which these systems could be introduced in a discreet manner that ensures airlines gain the financial benefits, the world reaps the environmental benefits, and passengers don’t have to suffer the humiliation of their weight being broadcast across screens and monitors at the terminal.

4. New Weighing Technology for Ports and Terminals

Ports and terminals are finally getting the much-awaited technological upgrades they need, with new, advanced weighing solutions. New hopper scale terminals, for example, have recently been installed across the UK in order to better manage the bulk weighing of granulated materials. These scales assist with the loading, unloading, and internal transfer of granulated products and other similar food products.

Thanks to their unique design, these new weight scales can accurately weigh fine materials at high speeds including anything from cereals and sugars to other loose products.

With the addition of other high-tech systems, including touch screens, weigh scales for businesses and trade purposes are better able to be autonomous and minimize human error in this high-paced environment.

Simply connect the system to existing load cells and weighing solutions, and a-weigh you go!

5. Fast, Efficient Onboard Weighing for Loaders

New technologies are cropping up across the machinery industry, too, with loaders now equipped with weighing technology that provides them with intelligent assistant systems. These systems are designed to prevent overloading, providing the operator with valuable information on the loading process so that trucks are loaded with the right amount of material each time, every time.

The ability to achieve accurate, consistent loading is creating far more efficient systems. Productivity is on the rise. At a glance, machine operators can see all weighing data and recommendations in real-time, as well as their production processes and the productivity of their fleet.

This new technology works by setting an automatic weight range and comparing the load against this during the loading cycle, allowing for the contents of the bucket to be weighed without having to manually lift it to a specific height.

Weigh Scale Technology Has Come a Long…Weigh

Just like any other technology, weigh scales are keeping pace with modern advances in technology in order to facilitate faster, more efficient, seamless weighing processes. Manually entering data into spreadsheets, wasting fuel, and overfilling dump trucks are fast becoming a thing of the past, all thanks to connected weighing technology and IoT.

Written by Rilind Elezaj, a Digital Marketing Specialist.

Guest Writer
Guest Writer
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All.
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All.