How to Lose Money on Load Cell Calibrations ($1000s)

How to Lose Money on Load Cell Calibrations

How to Lose Money on Load Cell Calibrations -Intro

A low-cost system may increase the need for more frequent calibrations. This can cost more money than equipment that does not need to be calibrated as frequently.

The formula for reliability is simple: the number of calibrations that pass / the number of calibrations.

When companies try to save money on equipment purchases, the likelihood of reliability typically decreases.  A potential solution is to remove the failing equipment or shorten the calibration cycle to a point where it will pass.

Load Cell Calibrations - Purchasing the "right" load cell system is critical for the application and obtaining reliable results.

Purchasing a system merely based on cost and not looking at the right specifications is how to lose money on load cell calibrations. If the system chosen does not perform well in the environment it is being used, the resulting measurements may not be meaningful.

Morehouse realizes some of the better load cells may be out of people's reach. Therefore, we have designed an economical load cell line that does not sacrifice too much performance. Our budget load cells are known to be better than 0.02 % of full scale at a fraction of the cost.

How to Lose Money on Load Cell Calibrations

Questions to ask when purchasing a load cell system:
  • Does it meet my mechanical and environmental requirements?
  • What is the cost?
  • How easy is it to use?
  • How accurate is it?

Morehouse load cell systems consist of one or more Morehouse load cells, a digital indicator, a cable, possible adapters, and a quality shipping case with custom-cut high-density foam.

When a buyer evaluates a system based on meeting requirements such as cost, ease of use, and accuracy, they often forget to look at what really matters.

Buyers often get caught up in marketing claims and overlook the fine print. Things that are commonly missed are environmental, side load sensitivity, and stability. This is how to lose money on load cell calibrations.

All of these can have a significant impact on the load cells' performance and make the original accuracy claim, you know the one you read in the marketing literature, false!

If the load cell is not temperature compensated, the expected performance may decrease by about 0.015 % per degree C, resulting in a decrease in accuracy. In fact, a few degrees C deviations from the calibration temperature may cause more errors.

Side load sensitivity (eccentric loading) may have the most significant impact on the expected performance of the system.

Morehouse has done several tests and demonstrated side load sensitivity could vary from 0.002 % on a Morehouse load cell system up to 0.75 % of full scale on some other load cells.

Depending on the load cell application and mechanical design of the system, off-center loading can simply happen even if all loading points and adapters seem to be in line.

If you are buying a load cell with a 0.5 % accuracy specification, do you think it is really accurate when the slightest bit of off-center loading, produces a 0.75 % error?

The final specification, often neglected is stability. Stability will have a significant impact on your cost of ownership.

If the system is not stable, it will require more frequent calibration. More frequent calibration means a higher lifetime cost of ownership.

It is not uncommon to compare a $ 1500.00 system with a $ 3,000.00 system and have the lifetime cost of ownership end up being closer to $ 10,000.00 versus $ 5000.00.

The only way to address these issues is to educate customers. In an effort to educate the end buyer, we have developed videos, training classes, and webinars, and often do several speaking engagements per year.

The videos and training material can be found on our website

Have the customer start asking, how well does it actually accomplish the measurement for my application? Try to persuade the buyer to purchase based on overall value and not the upfront cost alone.

How to Lose Money on Load Cell Calibrations -Conclusion

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

Interested in learning more about selecting the right load cell calibration system? Check out this webinar for more info!

4 Steps for Choosing the Right Load Cell Calibration System

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Wanna do business with a company that focuses on what matters most?  Email us at

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