Scales and balances are used almost everywhere, sometimes in less than perfect conditions or in demanding settings. Certain types of weighing scales are built to withstand specific environments, like washdown scales. Digital washdown scales, as their name indicates, are designed to prevent liquids and particles from entering the internal components of the scale. Frequent washing or cleaning of a scale is often required in applications, during which the scale is splashed or has residue from weighing previous samples. For example, food industry staff must comply with food and hygiene standards, therefore surfaces and equipment must be regularly washed to prevent contamination. This blog post will explore the many uses of washdown scales and why they are important.
What does it mean for a scale to be “washdown”?
You might think using the term “washdown” instead of waterproof is an odd choice. That’s because not all washdown scales have the same level of protection against liquids. Ingress Protection, or IP ratings, indicate how much resistance to elements like water and dust and what kind of cleaning they can handle. Some scales can resist spills or humid environments while others can be washed with a pressure hose. When purchasing a washdown scale, make sure to pay attention to the IP rating and language used in the description to get the scale most adapted to your needs. Even if a scale is made of stainless steel, it might not be water or dust resistant (because the load cells aren’t sealed), so look for the IP rating, the term washdown and a description of the cleaning it can handle.
If you require more information about IP ratings see our blog post on understanding IP ratings.
Types of washdown scales
There are a wide variety of washdown and waterproof scales available, therefore choosing the best washdown scale for your needs can be difficult. We have included a brief list of some of the most popular types of washdown scales below:
Bench washdown scales tend to be medium to small in size, perfect when working with limited worktop spaces. These scales aren’t meant for particularly heavy or big loads, however they are tremendously versatile and can often be moved to alternate worktop spaces swith ease. Our own Aqua series is IP67 rated, which means its load cells are protected from dust and that the scale can withstand high-pressure jets from all directions. The scale also comes complete with checkweighing and overload protection features.
Floor washdown scales are highly-durable and can handle bigger, heavier loads. The Adam Warrior washdown scale series is IP66 rated, can checkweigh, count parts, perform dynamic and percentage weighing, and more. Floor scales are great because they’re very versatile, allowing you to use a single scale to perform multiple weighing and counting functions in factories and warehouse facialities. The Warrior has optional relay triggers, so you can connect the scale to other devices to make large weighing tasks easier and more efficient.
Retail washdown scales have a compact construction and are fully legal for trade. They offer all the usual functions of approved scales, such as a display that shows weight, price per unit and total cost, a rear-mounted display that customers can see, and portability for convenience. Washdown retail scales are particularly useful for people looking to buy and sell products directly, such as farmers selling fruit and vegetables at farmers markets. This type of scale is also used when manufacturing cosmetic products such as soaps, creams and lotions which are sold by a weight value designated on the bottle or packaging.
Which industries use washdown scales?
Being dustproof and waterproof (or at least resistant to spills and humidity) is helpful in many industries, as it increases the scale’s longevity even when used in tough conditions, and ensures that its precision isn’t compromised by demanding settings. The food industry has very high hygienic standards, and as such requires frequent, thorough cleanings. Retail stores that sell food also use washdown scales to clean between customers or to avoid cross contamination. Factories, warehouses and construction sites with a lot of dust and other particles also use washdown scales to ensure speedy cleaning and reliable operation despite the conditions. The medical and pharmaceutical industries also use washdown scales to maintain a clean or sterile room’s condition, avoid contamination and weigh messy samples, chemicals or powders.
Why use a washdown scale?
Using a washdown scale not only ensures your weighing equipment stays clean, but also speeds up the cleaning process, keeps the scale reliable, prevents dirt build up, cross contamination and the growth of mold or bacteria. Your scale’s IP rating is key to knowing exactly how protected it is from water and dust, as well as the extent of cleaning it can withstand. If you’re not sure, ask your vendor or check the manufacturer’s manual. Some scales are only meant to resist small spills and minimal dust while others can be cleaned with pressure hoses. All Adam Equipment washdown scales are rated IP66, which means they can be thoroughly hosed down or cleaned with a pressure washer. Review the hygienic guidelines and the settings where the scale will be used to ensure the conditions will not impair your scale’s operation.
If you have any further questions about washdown scales, or would like us to recommend the best washdown scale for your requirements, please feel free to contact us.