Accurate balances are critical in almost every laboratory. Precision balances are considered semi-analytical, featuring a higher capacity than microbalances and analytical balances. There are many different configurations to choose from, with various accessories, compliance features, and settings. When selecting a balance for your lab, the most important consideration is your accuracy requirements. For a list of lab balance manufacturers, see our online directory: LabManager.com/lab-balance-manufacturers
8 Questions to Ask When Buying a Balance:
- With which applications do you intend to use the balance?
- What types of materials will be weighed?
- What degree of accuracy is required?
- Are other components or accessories required?
- Does the balance have any design features to reduce or eliminate electrostatic charges?
- Is the digital display intuitive and is it easy to switch between modes and units of measure?
- Does the balance support compliance and traceability?
- Is the balance easily calibrated by laboratory staff or does it require a call to a service technician?
It is important to make sure that laboratory balances remain compliant and create an audit trail when doing regulated work. To this end, proper maintenance and regularly reviewing the data the balance collects is vital. A crucial component of this is making sure all compliant balances have the correct time on the instrument to maintain a proper audit trail. Checking the time at least once a month helps with keeping your balance compliant, as does checking calibration. LabManager.com/lab-balance-compliance
When buying a new balance, something to consider is the importance of the display screen. Depending on the type of work being done, it might be recommended to buy a balance with a color capacitive touchscreen that can be used by gloved personnel. You may also wish to make sure it has data transfer capabilities such as Wi-Fi or USB ports.