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What You Need to Know When Buying a Balance

Choosing the correct balance for your application, or a series of balances that suit all of your application needs, is the first step in good lab weighing practices.

By Jason Kerkhof

If you choose the correct balance, calibrate it regularly— including any time the balance is moved to a new location—and keep it clean, your balance will reward you with many years of accurate operation.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Laboratory Balance

  1. What are the heaviest and lightest samples you will weigh (including container weight)?
  2. What is the required +/- tolerance of your lightest sample?
  3. How many decimal places in grams do you require for the displayed weight?
  4. What type of samples will you be weighing and do you need to take into consideration the size of the weighing surface or the securing of a tare container?
  5. Is on-site service available from a factory-trained service technician?
  6. Do you need to interface the balance to another device such as a computer, printer, bar code reader, etc.?

Types of laboratory balance used by survey respondents:

Analytical balance 89%
Precision balance 64%
Micro balance 18%
Ultra-microbalance 4%
Other 12%

Weighing applications, according to survey respondents:

Differential weighting 51%
Dynamic weighing 49%
Pipette calibration 47%
Mass comparison 32%
Filter weighting 27%
Other 11%

Most common problems users experience when using their balance:

Weight readings do not stabilize 55%
The unit is out of calibration 17%
Display problems 14%
Poor repeatability 13%
Cornerload errors 7%
The unit does not respond to weight addition 6%
Readings moving only down 3%
Other/None 32%

Factors that would help users overcome their weighing challenges:

Newer equipment 46%
Improved maintenance 38%
Better training 22%
Better technical support 18%
Newer accessories 14%
Other 28%

How does readability influence which balance is ideal?

Use the Lab Manager Product Finder to find the perfect balance for your needs.

LabManager.com/ProductFinder/Balances

For more information on balances, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit www.labmanager.com/balances

 

Categories: Surveys

Published In

Building a Future-Friendly Lab

Published: July 12, 2018

Cover Story