Companies collect data every day from critical parts of their operations like inventory, labor hours, production, and quality control logs. Weighing and counting scales often provide an important part of this data, but many companies are missing a prime opportunity to automatically integrate their scale data into a digital format that instantly provides real-time information to improve productivity and process efficiency.

A survey conducted by InfinityQS queried 260 manufacturers—including some of the world’s largest organizations. Surprisingly, 75% of respondents are still manually collecting statistical process control (SPC) data. And 47% of those are still using pencil and paper!

Source: Quality Magazine Info Center, 2018

Pencil and paper scale data collection may be free, but it will cost you

A pencil, a clipboard, an Excel spreadsheet—having personnel manually enter process data, including weights and counts from scales, is still a common system of data collection within many manufacturing environments. While this method seemingly costs nothing to maintain, it quietly produces a host of hidden costs across the enterprise. When personnel manually record scale data, that data takes time to record and is often later entered into a computer. That means it passes through two human beings who are naturally prone to errors. It also takes those two human beings time to collect, enter, and evaluate the data, which delays access to the data and slows process improvements.

The real cost of manual scale data collection

  • Productivity killers like downtime, breakdowns, or other smaller issues go undetected, either because they are not recorded or they are treated as not relevant. Instead of accurate, objective data, you receive subjective data from personnel who may be missing key actionable items.
  • Manual scale data collection takes time. Your team may have to spend large parts of the shift tending to this low-productivity task. Not only are mistakes easy to make and guaranteed to happen, but people who are normally productive are tied up in an inefficient and boring task that could easily be replaced by a scale system that records this data automatically.
  • Real-time information is not available. You’re only getting backward-looking historical data. This “old” data makes quick reaction to production or process issues impossible due to the time lag between the event that occurred and its assessment.
  • Manually collected scale data is inconsistent, ineffective, incomplete, and inaccurate. Evaluations and improvements are based on flawed or old data that impairs the achievement of higher productivity, greater efficiency, and cost reduction.

How Pennsylvania Scale can help 

Since 1908, we have designed and manufactured high-quality, high-accuracy counting and weighing scale systems that thrive in harsh, real-world industrial applications. We offer powerful, intuitive systems and software to automate and validate count or weight data from your process or production line. Our scales are flexible enough to work with many third-party software systems, and our application support team is ready to provide expert assistance to help with this integration.

Learn more about how to start automatically collecting scale data.