Advice for Weighing in the Field

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Advice for Weighing in the Field

When collecting data, it is not always efficient to take samples back to a laboratory. Sometimes, weighing needs to be done in the field. This does pose many influencing factors on the measurements due to the different environment you are using your scales in. Here we will help you with your measurements out in the field and keep protected from the elements.

Precision balances and compact balances are the most common and suggested balance for the field. More about different types of laboratory balances can be found here.

There are many key points to factor in when working with laboratory scales out in the field.
These include:

  • Environmental conditions
  • Making sure you keep your equipment clean
  • Battery life of your instrument

Environmental conditions

One thing to keep in mind is the weather conditions. Winds that are strong, rainfall and snow can make it difficult to take measurements. Consistency in environmental conditions is important. Some balances have a draft shield and this can be important for environments where winds are unavoidable or when measuring light samples.

Altitude may affect your balance, so it is suggested to bring calibration weights out to the field if altitude changes are something you may deal with. Calibration weights are expertly machined to give an accurate weight - but they must be handled with care to maintain this accuracy!

Vibrations can influence readings, so it is suggested to work away from any vibrational sources if possible.

Not all areas in the field are level and some balances have features to inform you and assist with this.

Keeping equipment clean in the field

As working out in the field can be messy and a fully sterile environment is not possible, keeping the laboratory balance as clean as possible is important. Wipes and sponges can be brought along and used to clean debris off of the steel pan. Weighing boats and sample pans can be used to make cleaning easier and also prevent cross contamination.

A clear cover (as shown on the right) can be used to protect your balance. This can help with keeping the balance clean, as well as prevent dirt and small particles damaging the inner mechanics.

Battery Life

Certain worksites may have plugs for your balance, however most likely while out in the field there will be no outlets. For this, you may be best with a battery operated option of balances. Many options out there are rechargeable so be sure to make sure that it is fully charged. The Adam Latitude industrial bench scales feature a USB interface, which allows it to be changed in a car or with a portable power bank, with 240 hours of battery time.

Extra features

There are extra features available that can help in the field. Balances with ShockProtect are more protected when it comes to falls or potential damage. To save time, balances with internal calibration may be useful when moving around often.

Conditions in the field are very different from in the laboratory. Extra precautions are needed to ensure accurate measurements. For more information for instruments needed to measure in the field, contact us by email to or by phone on 01954 233120.

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Lily Bridgers
I had no idea that strong winds, heavy rain, and snow can make it challenging to conduct measurements since environmental uniformity is crucial. You even said that when measuring light samples or in locations where winds cannot be avoided, certain balances incorporate a draft screen that can be useful. I will share this with my husband who works at an industrial company and needs a weighing scale that can make their operation more productive. Thanks for the info!
Some good advice on the different types of balances. Thank you.