FAQS

Frequently Asked Questions By Our Customers

  • Do I need a commercial scale which is approved and Legal-for-Trade in order to conduct business?
  • If your business buys or sells any commodity or service by weight you are required to have an approved, legal for trade device on which to conduct sales by weight.
  • What constitutes a Legal-for-Trade scale?
  • A Legal-for-Trade scale is one which meets the requirements of National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Handbook 44 and is approved by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). Legal-for-Trade devices will have an accuracy class designation.
  • What is Handbook 44 (H-44)?
  • NIST publishes Handbook 44 each year after the annual meeting of the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM). It is developed through cooperation of the Committee on Specifications and Tolerances of the NCWM and the Weights and Measures Division (WMD) of the NIST. The book is a comprehensive set of requirements for weighing and measuring devices that are used in commerce and law enforcement activities. The complete title of Handbook 44 is “Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices”.
  • What is NIST?
  • NIST, commonly known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, formerly the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), is an agency of the federal government to which all precision measurements are traceable.
  • What is NCWM?
  • NCWM, commonly known as the National Conference on Weights and Measures, is an association of local, state, federal and industry representatives that adopts uniform (model) laws and regulations (e.g., NIST Handbook 44). The body of officials sets NTEP policy and has final say in disputes at the National Conference on Weights and Measures.
  • What does it mean when a device is NTEP Certified?
  • The (NTEP Certificate of Conformance) Certification means a device meets all applicable requirements of Handbook 44.
  • Do I need to register my weighing device?
  • Everyone who operates or uses a weighing device for commercial commodity purposes within the states of California and Nevada should register their device. A commodity is defined as any article of food, drink, trade or commerce, or any service or amusement, goods, wares, merchandise or fuel measured by any weighing and measuring or counting system.
  • How do I register my weighing device?
  • To register your device, you must obtain and complete a Registration Application from the State Office of Weights and Measures or your county office of Weights and Measures. A registration fee is also applicable. The cost of the fee depends on the type of weighing device you are registering.
  • Can I use my new scale for commercial transactions right out of the package?
  • No. A scale intended to be used commercially must first be inspected and approved by a state inspector or tested and placed in service by a registered scale service company such as Quality Scales Unlimited.
  • What does Placed in Service mean?
  • Placed in Service means that a registered individual using certified testing apparatus has inspected and tested the device and certifies that the device meets all applicable rules and regulations. After certifying the device, the registered repair person will affix their seal on the device, which will allow that device to be used commercially until such time as the device has an official inspection performed on it by a Weights and Measures Bureau official.
  • How often are commercial weighing and measuring devices checked for accuracy by a state inspector?
  • Weighing devices are inspected and certified annually by the Bureau of Weights and Measures. To determine if a weighing device has been certified, check for a current Weights and Measures seal.
  • What is scale calibration?
  • Scale calibration is to check, adjust, or determine by comparison of load cell outputs against standard test loads.
  • What is a calibration error?
  • A calibration error is the difference of what the instrument reads on the display and the item’s true mass.
  • What is an IP rating?
  • An IP rating consists of the letters IP followed by two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures.
  • What are tolerances?
  • Tolerance is the amount of error that is allowed in a value. It is usually expressed as a percent of nominal value, plus or minus so many units of measurement.
  • What is overloading?
  • An overload capacity is the maximum load, in percent of Rated Capacity, which can be applied without producing a structural failure.
  • What is capacity?
  • The capacity is the amount of weight the scale is capable of weighing accurately.
  • What is a tare weight?
  • This is the weight of all wrapping, packaging, or any other material used to contain or transport the product. Items must be sold by net weight (weight of the product itself). Selling a product by gross weight (net weight plus tare weight) is illegal.
  • What is count?
  • The count is the smallest increment of weight displayed.
  • What are divisions?
  • The divisions determine the number of increments a scale offers between zero and the capacity.
  • What is the nmax, or the maximum number of scale divisions?
  • The nmax (maximum number of scale divisions) is the maximum number of scale divisions for which a product has been approved. The nmax must be greater than or equal to the number of divisions for which the scale will be configured.
  • What are grads or graduations?
  • Grads specify the number of full scale graduations. Capacity = Grads X Count By.
  • What is a load cell?
  • A load cell is a device which produces an output signal proportional to the applied weight or force. Types of load cells include beam, S-beam, platform, compression and tension.
  • What is CLC, or concentrated load capacity?
  • CLC is the maximum load designated by the manufacturer that can be placed anywhere on the platform of a vehicle, axle-load or livestock scale using the prescribed test pattern (an area at least 4 feet long and as wide as the scale platform).
  • What is accuracy?
  • Accuracy is the precision in the measurement of quantities and in the statement of physical characteristics. Accuracy is expressed in terms of error as a percentage of the specified value (e.g., 10 volts ± 1%), as a percentage of a range (e.g., 2% of full scale), or as parts (e.g., 100 parts per million).
  • What is mass?
  • Mass is the quantity of matter in a body.
  • What is an error?
  • An error is the algebraic difference between the indicated and true value of the load being measured.
  • What is an intrinsically safe system?
  • An intrinsically safe system is a safe assembly of interconnected intrinsically safe apparatus, associated apparatus and interconnecting cables in which the parts of the system, which may be used in hazardous (classified) locations, are intrinsically safe circuits; may include more than one intrinsically safe circuit.