Digital Load Cell Amplifier for Controllers (LAC) Can Improve System Performance by a Factor of 10

Digital Load Cell Amplifier

You’ve got the most expensive load cells, high-quality data acquisition systems, and very smart technicians working for you. What if your only problem is that the digital load cell amplifier you are using, is drastically hindering your total system performance?

Digital Load Cell Amplifier

Morehouse Digital Load Cell Amplifier for Controllers (LAC) Can Improve System Performance by a Factor of 10.

We have searched for a suitable amplifier for load cells capable of generating both a 4-20 mA scale as well as a 0-10 V scale outputs. In our search, we discovered most amplifiers were simply not very stable. The resolution was 4 decimal places at best, and most were only stable to 3 decimal places. If you are concerned with TUR (Test Uncertainty Ratio) and meeting a tolerance, this lack of stability and/or resolution is a very dominant contributor to your overall uncertainty.

Obviously, this impacts the calibration uncertainties. Furthermore, an unstable amplifier can drastically undermine the performance of a load cell and lower the measurement quality even though the user has invested in acquiring a high-quality load cell. In summary, the best way to evaluate the performance of an amplified load cell system is to consider all the influencing factors and evaluate the overall performance of the system.

Ultra Precision Load Cell

To assess the performance of Morehouse LAC amplifiers, a 10,000 lbf Morehouse shear web load cell was coupled with an amplifier and calibrated in our 12,000 lbf deadweight frame at various test points. The amplifier was set to generate an output of 4-20 mA for the range of load cell capacity. The output of the amplifier was then read at each load point to the last most stable digit. This test was conducted in accordance with the ASTM E74 procedure and load cell performance factors such as lower limit factor (LLF), and class A verified range of forces on the obtained data. LLF is really the expected performance of the device.

Most of the amplifiers available on the market gave us an overall LLF accuracy of 0.02 % of full scale. However, the Load Cell Amplifier for Controllers (LAC) allowed us to read to 5 decimals on this 10000 lbf load cells, and the overall accuracy was better than 0.005 % of full scale. Table 1 displays the results of the load cell amplifier system calibration and resulting accuracy values.

Table 1: ASTM E74 Calibration Results for 10,000 lbf Load Cell System with Digital Load Cell Amplifier LAC

Factor Output mA LBF %FS
LLF 4.0004401 0.28 0.003
Class A 4.1760276 110.24 1.102
Class AA 4.8801378 551.20 5.512

At this point, we knew we had to test another one. We did the second test on a 1000 lbf Morehouse Ultra-Precision Load Cell, and the test proved conclusive. Table 2 contains the calibration results for the 1000 lbf load cell system with LAC. Furthermore, Figure 1 demonstrates the non-linearity analysis performed on the 1000 lbf load cell. The maximum non-linearity observed was around 0.007 % of the full-scale output. It is noteworthy to mention that the rated non-linearity of the Morehouse Ultra-Precision Load Cell is 0.02 % FS. This test proved that LAC did not undermine the performance of the load cell system with regard to non-linearity.

Table 2: ASTM E74 Calibration Results for 10,000 lbf Load Cell System with Digital Load Cell Amplifier LAC

Factor Output mA LBF %FS
LLF 4.0003742 0.02 0.002
Class A 4.1496986 9.35 0.935
Class AA 4.7484929 46.77 4.677

Digital load cell amplifier

Figure 1: Non-Linearity Analysis of the 1000 lbf Load Cell System with Digital Load Cell Amplifier LAC

By conducting this set of performance tests, we finally found a load cell amplifier that would not degrade the accuracy of the load cell.  We are very pleased to add the Morehouse Digital Load Cell Amplifier LAC to our product line. This is an exceptionally stable amplifier with high versatility which can help make your industrial control or automation system more effective.  It offers bipolar voltage output ±10V and current output of 0-20 or 4-20mA. It can drive up to 8 Pc 350-ohm load cells and features a wide voltage range and isolated power supply. More information on our new LAC amplifier can be found on LAC web page or by contacting

If you enjoyed this article, check out our LinkedIn and YouTube channel for more helpful posts and videos.

Everything we do, we believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration.  Morehouse believes in thinking differently about force and torque calibration and equipment.  We challenge the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters, and what causes significant errors, and focus on reducing them.

Morehouse makes our products simple to use and user-friendly.  And we happen to make great force equipment and provide unparalleled calibration services.

Want to watch the video on why use Morehouse for your load cell calibration? That can be found @

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