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Hopper Scales and Tank Load Cells
Hopper scales weigh a continuous flow of product, playing an important role in harsh environments, such as food-processing plants. That product then flows into batches for packing. Regardless of environment, hopper scales do not trade off weighing accuracy for robustness.
Hopper scales are a type of weigh module, which can be used to convert nearly any structure into a scale. They can be part of a structure’s original design, or can be added to an existing structure. Hopper scales, for example, include a hopper container that is open at the top and is generally used to process solid materials in the form of powders or granules. Hopper scales most commonly are used to dispense materials or collect ingredients that are then used later for processing. Hopper scales tend to be smaller in size and are often suspended from a superstructure.
Tank load cells, on the other hand, are larger than hopper scales. Tank load cells feature a tank that is usually a closed container used to store or process liquids, gases or free-flowing solids. Tanks range in size from small, such as residential propane or heating fuel tanks, to large industrial tanks that hold several tons of material. Tank load cells can be horizontal or vertical, as well as symmetrical or non-symmetrical.
Tank load cells also are typically supported by compression weigh modules. Weigh modules, includes tank load cells and hopper scales, are used for material handling in many industries. By simply attaching a system of weigh modules to one of these containers, you can weigh the contents with accuracy and reliability. Other weigh modules include silos and vessels, which can be more elaborate. Vessels, for instance, allow heating, cooling, mixing or other processes. Chemical reactions often take place in vessels, so precisely weighing material additions is extremely important.
Most tanks holding 10 kilograms to 1,000 tons or more are mounted on compression load cells or compression weigh modules for weighing. The RockerPin ensures the best accuracy in case of thermal expansion or contraction. Smaller tanks can be mounted on bench or floor scales, which is convenient for legal-for-trade applications.
Outdoor tanks must have safety features to protect the load cell during installation and operation. Tanks are exposed to wind forces. This requires features for weigh modules to cope with uplift forces on one side and extreme load on the other. Temperature changes can result in expansion and contraction of the support structure. Our weigh modules are designed to cope with such circumstances.
METTLER TOLEDO weigh modules are designed to mitigate uplift forces resulting from wind and earthquakes and temperature-related expansion and contraction of the tank's support structure. We perform Finite Element Analysis on mechanical parts and perform tests to expose even heavy-capacity weigh modules to real-life conditions with full loads.