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Conveyor Belt Scale

Care and Feeding Instructions

 What is a conveyor belt scale ?
 What can I do with it ?
 What I shouldnt do with it ?
 How does it work ?

What is a Conveyor Belt Scale ?

A device that incrementally
measures and totalizes a
continuous flow of bulk
material moving on a

( A gizmo that weighs the

stuff on the belt every couple
of inches as it goes from
here to over there )

What can I do with it ?

A conveyor belt scale can be an accurate
means of inventory control and process

( It will tell me how much I have, and let me

know if I am putting enough of it where it
belongs. )

Inventory Control
Material test




Material Test Results

Belt Wts.

Truck Wts.

Wt. Err

% Err






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No span adjustment was made to 6A.

Process Control

What I shouldnt do with it ?

A conveyor belt scale is not accurate at measuring
fluid material, small discrete weights, or material
traveling vertically.

( Dont weigh water, individual diamonds, or stuff that

is falling )

How does it work ?

 Rate = Weight x Speed
 Total = fWeight x Speed DTime

How does it work ?

 Speed Signal = A frequency signal proportional to belt travel.

( As the belt moves every couple of inches, the speed sensor gives
a pulse.

How does it work ?

 Weight Signal = A voltage signal proportional to force.

( As weight is applied to the scale carriage, the output from the

loadcell increases )

Technical Stuff
 Loadcells 101

( everything you ever wanted to know about a loadcell,

that you were afraid to ask )

Strain Gauges
The Wheatstone Bridge

Sensing Weight

Almost Sensing Weight

 Deflection , Side Loading and Binding

Weighing with Idlers

 Weighing on an Incline
 Weighing through a conveyor belt
 Idler Spacing

Weighing through a conveyor belt

 The troughing angle
The higher the angle, the rigidity
of the belting increases.

 Belting construction
Size does matter!
Thinner is better.

Idler Spacing
 The idler supports the belt half the distance from the

previous idler to half the distance to the following


Material Speed

 We can measure the belt speed, but what we really

need to know the material speed.

Sensing Speed
 The speed signal is just

as important as the
 A 1% error in the speed

input will cause a 1%

error in the scale

Conveyor Properties
 Belt Tension
 Belt Tracking
 Idler Alignment
 Side Loading

Belt Tension
 Things that mess up the tension

Applying load
 Letting the belt track into the structure (drag)
 Curves in the conveyor
 Tracking the belt to run in a straight line
 Running the motor

Belt Tension

Belt Tension
 Things that help keep tension consistent

Gravity Take Ups

 Good belt tracking
 Good Idler Alignment
 Location of the scale

Idler Alignment

 Allows for best transfer of weight through the

conveyor belt.

How do we know if it is right?

 Test it, compare it, run it fast, run it slow, and

then test it again!

( If you have no way to check your scale, then I
can guarantee that the weight is close
enough. )

Material Test
 Check it against a know load.

Test Chains

Test Weights

Simulated Load

The Hard Part

 What makes it stop working ?
 What makes it work poorly ?
 What makes it work well ?


Conveyor Maintenance
 I still havent figured out

why you would store the

water hoses on the
wing rolls of the scale

What make it work well?

Thats easy
Just dont do all the things
that make them work