Digital vs. Analog Scales

January 7, 2019 10:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If your company or operation relies on industrial, mining or agricultural scales and you’re in the market for a new one, you might be wondering: which scale type is better, analog or digital? While many companies will push for digital, it’s important to think twice about this distinction and truly understand which type of scale you need.

Both analog and digital scales use load cells to measure weight. Essentially, load cells convert physical force, or weight, into measurable data through electronic signals. The load cells in both digital and analog scales are very fast and supremely accurate. But which type will work better for your operation?

As a premier provider of scales in Montana, the Rockwell Scales team urges consumers to consider analog for a number of reasons. Here’s why.

They’re almost exactly the same

That’s right—analog and digital scales are essentially the same. Both types of scales produce a digital signal at some point. The difference between the two is that digital scales convert that signal at the load cell.

In digital scale operations, this distinction might make problem diagnosis or individual adjustments easier for your provider and team. However, this also comes at a price, both initially and at the time of parts replacement. Adding digital technology to every load cell in your scale can rack up the cost significantly.

Analog is more widely available

Analog load cells are widely available and compatible with other scales on the market, which is something digital scales cannot boast.

Instead, digital load cells tend to utilize proprietary information and technology, which makes them incompatible with other scale parts and accessories from different providers. You’ll be forced to work with that particular scale provider for the lifespan of your current scale for any maintenance and repairs.

Analog load cells, on the other hand, can be compatible with other providers’ parts, so you can get parts and repairs done as fast as possible, even if your scale provider is unavailable. With analog scales in Montana, you get true control over your scales and operations.

You likely won’t need digital

Digital load cells offer great flexibility for operations with more complex needs, including off-site scale monitoring, remote diagnostics or other more high-tech features. If you need these options for your company, digital load cells are the way to go.

But if you don’t, buying digital scales will cost you (and waste!) much more money than if you were to buy an analog scale. The difference between the two could come down to thousands of dollars! If you don’t require it—and many operations do not—then why splurge for it?

Scale companies should be replaceable

When working with digital scales, as we said before, technology is proprietary, and you’re limited to using that particular provider’s parts and services. If you decide that your scale provider is just not working for you—perhaps they are unavailable for maintenance when you need them, or their prices are just too high—you should be able to part ways with them and find a new one.

However, because of that proprietary information, you may need to replace your entire scale system in addition to the scale provider itself. Most customers will not do this because the cost is just too high.

With analog scales, this problem simply doesn’t exist. You can get rid of your old scale company and hire a new one, receiving interchangeable parts and service with ease.

Rely on Rockwell Scales

If you’re in the market for a new scale, contact Rockwell Scales to discuss your needs. We won’t try to upsell you on a digital scale you don’t need if analog will work just as well. As a premier retailer and service provider of scales in Montana and across the nation, you can trust us to find or build a solution that works for you.

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