Subscribe to Newsletter

Subscribe to Newsletter

Michelli Logo
Home » Things to Consider When Purchasing a New Scale

Purchasing a new scale, or any type of measurement equipment is easy with the right help.

There are a few major factors to take into consideration when weighing your options. One of the first questions a Michelli Weighing & Measurement product specialist asks is usually “What are you doing with the scale?” to get a better understanding of the customer’s requirements. Everything from environment to technological considerations can impact which scale is right for a given application, so it’s important to fully understand how and where the customer will be using the scale.

​Here are some important factors to consider when purchasing a new scale:


Deciding on capacity is the first thing you need to do when purchasing a new scale. What is the average weight of the items you will be measuring? The scale you purchase should have a maximum capacity above that weight.

Weighing on a lab balance


The resolution of a scale refers to the smallest change in weight that can be measured. The application in which the scale is being used generally dictates the level of resolution required.

For example, a pharmaceutical manufacturer might depend heavily on a high resolution scale, as 1 milligram too much of any ingredient could affect the potency & effectiveness of their product. Alternatively, a warehouse operation may not require a high resolution scale as much as they would require a durable scale. High resolution scales are generally very sensitive to the environment in which they are being used, and could be affected by humidity, vibration, and even temperature.

The resolution required for your application will determine the type of scale you should purchase. Your local Michelli Weighing & Measurement product specialist can help you select the best scale for your unique situation.

Avery Weigh-Tronix washdown safe stainless steel floor scale


Consider your application. How will you be using the scale? Will the weighing equipment be sitting on a stable, level surface, protected from bumps or vibration? Perhaps the scale will be sitting on the floor of a warehouse, where it will be bumped often by forklifts & other equipment. Another factor to consider is spillage if your application involves materials that could react with metal. For example, consider a plant that produces acid. Certain types of acid can eat away at steel. For this type of application, it would be wise to consider a powder coating on your scale to protect it from the potential damage.

One Michelli customer has equipped their narrow aisle forklifts with high precision counting scales, so that employees can quickly weigh boxes on the highest shelves of their warehouse. This helped the customer increase efficiency, but the accuracy of the counting scales is affected by the constant shaking of the forklift.

Your Michelli Weighing & Measurement Account Manager will work with you to fully understand your needs, then recommend the best option for your new scale.

Dirty Truck Scale


Environment should definitely be a factor when deciding what type of scale to buy. Whether the scale will be covered in dust, or regularly sprayed with water, the environment in which the scale is used greatly determines the type of equipment required. Scales & other types of measurement equipment are designed to handle specific environments.

For example, intrinsically safe scales have been designed to function while producing very little energy. The energy level produced by intrinsically safe scales is so low, in fact, that it is not capable of producing a spark, which is important in an environment where a spark could lead to an explosion.

Washdown safe scales are designed to withstand different levels of moisture. Some scales can handle splashes, while others can handle pressurized spray. So the method you use to clean your workspace should also be factored in when deciding on which scale to purchase. Scales are classified using different IP ratings to help users understand the capabilities & limitations of the equipment and whether or not it will stand up to their environment. (Click here to view our post on understanding IP ratings).

Concrete approach ramp to truck scale


How will you physically access your scale to use it? A truck scale requires an approach, typically made of concrete, that allows drivers to direct their vehicle onto the ramp, so don’t forget to consider the associated costs when planning your purchase.

Do you need the ability to remotely access your scale? Remote access allows users to retrieve data while off-site. For example, consider a truck scale operation that uses a camera to capture license plate pictures & weighment information. Their accounting department could remotely access the scale to pull the daily reports for billing purposes.

If you would like to access your scale remotely, is there Internet access available near the equipment? Will the scale need to connect via Wifi? Do you need Bluetooth functionality? There are many decisions to make regarding the technological capabilities of the scale, which will be dictated by the environment, and the type of data the user wishes to collect. Our experts can recommend a new scale with functionality that will help you increase efficiency, including remote accessibility.


Regulatory Considerations

Are you mandated by law to use certain types of scales? For example, food processors must use stainless steel, washdown scales in their operations. These scales must be cleaned regularly, using specific solutions.

Does your scale need to be “legal-for-trade”? Any scale that is being used to conduct commercial activities is required to be NTEP Approved, or “legal-for-trade”. NTEP Approved scales have been manufactured, tested, and certified. Your local Michelli Weighing & Measurement Account Manager can help you determine which regulations apply to your situation, to ensure your new scale is exactly what you need.

Ready to purchase a new scale? We're here to help.

When it’s time to purchase weighing & measurement equipment, call us or email your nearest Michelli Weighing & Measurement location. Our product specialists can help match you with the right scale or measurement equipment options. We will make sure you get the equipment you need.