Load Cell Installation Tips

August 30, 2019

By Dara Trent, Technical Content Director

Tank Weighing

The installation process for a load cell or a system with multiple load cells can vary significantly. Factors such as the type of load cells, loading axis, application, environment, and whether a tension load cell or compression load cell is used contribute to this variability.There are, however, some universal practices that greatly reduce the risk of equipment damage and mechanical error during your load cell installation.

Installing a Load Cell

Each load cell and application is different. It is necessary to approach the removal and installation of each load cell, or system of load cells, as a distinct process from any other load cells you may have encountered before. Please refer to our load cell installation tips and recommendations on how to mount a load cell and install it.

1) Consult the load cell datasheet prior to installation to verify the wiring color codes.

2) Load cells must be installed on stable and fixed structures. The mounting assemblies should address any misalignment of supportive surfaces.

3) In multi-load cell setups, all load cells must be installed on the same horizontal plane. Use of mounting assemblies will enable compensation of height variations.

4) Ensure cleanliness on both the mounting and loading surfaces, keeping them free from any dirt or debris.

5) The loading surface must be perpendicular to the loading axis to prevent lateral, bending, or torsional forces.

6) Treat load cells with care. Sudden impacts or drops during the installation process may damage the load cell and compromise accuracy. 

7) Do not cut the load cell cable. The length of is a component of load cell calibration and is factored into the calibration data. Cutting the cable negates the calibration and accuracy cannot be verified. 

8) As the application allows, use mounts and assemblies with overload limiters and stops to prevent damage to the load cell and other equipment. 

9) Load cell accuracy relies on the stability of the environment surrounding the installation. Vibrations from equipment, vehicles, intense wind, seismic activity, and the like must be considered and compensated for. 

10) Each load cell and the system as a whole must be properly grounded. 

Construction11) Avoid welding with load cells already installed. If this is unavoidable, place the welder ground clamp close to the required welding point to prevent sending current through the load cell body. 

12) Load cells must be protected from moisture. Waterproof coverings and connections should be used in damp, humid, or rainy environments to protect load cells and cables from corrosion. (This does not apply to specialized submersible and water-resistant systems.)

13) Protect all system components from dust, dirt, and debris. 

14) Reduce variations in temperature. Always ensure that the operating environment is congruent with the compensated temperature range listed on the datasheet.


Does a load cell always require a mount?

Load Cells do not require mounts, but they do require being mounted and loaded properly.  There are many considerations like using a level surface, loading each load cell correctly, and allow you to focus on getting your new system up and running.

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