Project: Inductive method of mass measurement

The aim of the EXCALE project is to develop an innovative mass measurement system based on an inductive load cell for high precision applications. _x000D__x000D_Mass measurement is the most ubiquitous of measurements, with goods worth several billion Euros being weighed and measured each week in the European Union, affecting a broad range of manufacturing, laboratory and retail industries. It plays a vital role in ensuring product quality and safety, and fair trade; wrong or inaccurate measurements can lead to wrong decisions, which can have serious consequences, costing money and even health or lives. Accurate mass measurement is especially apparent in applications, where tight precision is a must, like pharmaceutical, chemical, food, cosmetics and research laboratories, in precious metals trading and processing industries. The human and financial consequences of wrong decisions based on poor mass measurement being taken in such important fields are almost incalculable. _x000D__x000D_The focus in EXCALE is on designing and prototyping an economically feasible Class II electronic scales with 1 mg resolution and high measurement accuracy as required by the Non-Automatic Weighing Instrument Directive [90/384/EEC, as amended] for Class II electronic scales. _x000D_Within Class II accuracy of electronic weighing scales, two measuring technologies dominate the market, i.e. strain gauge cells, and electromagnetic force restoration load cells (EMFR). Strain gauge weighing cells, due to their simple construction and low prices, are the most applied technology. However, as they are suitable for nominal loads higher then 2kg and have limited accuracy and resolution, they are COly used in low precision scales . _x000D_EMFR technology is well suited for high-resolution, high precision balances, although this technology is sensitive to temperature and magnetic force changes. Its production technology is also much more complicated, which is reflected in their market prices. _x000D_A third technology, frequency-modulated force measurement, is also used, but COly to standard industrial and commercial scales in the medium resolution range (MultiRange resolution 3 x 3000 e OIML class III)._x000D__x000D_Strain gauge cells and EFMR are mature technologies, constantly improved over the years. However, there is a clear need to bridge the gap between highly precise yet technologically complicated and expensive EMFR systems on one hand, and cheap but low precision strain gauge technology. _x000D_MENSOR worked on inductive displacement load cells and demonstrated that this technology could fill the existing gap. The simple structure of the inductive load cell and its working principle brings many advantages in terms of high precision and resolution ranges, but also in terms of competitive manufacturing and COtenance costs. A proof of principle has been obtained during two applied research projects carried out by MENSOR in cooperation with Polish research institutions. Whilst the results from these research projects are promising, further research is required to make this technology suitable for high precision applications. In particular, the metrological characteristics of the inductive load cell (through geometry modelling) need to be increased, and a control system that allows for compensation of mechanical errors needs to be developed._x000D__x000D_Prior to market introduction, the product needs to meet high technological parameters. Therefore, extensive testing is required, both on components and on the integrated system. The research will be performed in accordance with requirements of EN 45501, and will cover optimum metrological and constructional parameters on models of the inductive load cell, the weighing module and the integrated scale. Modelling the inductive load cell geometry and digitally compensating inductive load cell errors are critical for an accurate performance of the scales, and yet to be researched. _x000D__x000D_The project Ps are MENSOR, a Polish high-tech SME in developing and producing mass-weighing applications, and KEMEK, a reputable Lithuanian SME on process automation and weighing applications. Both Ps will intensively cooperate on all tasks, where MENSOR will be COly responsible for most of the mechanical technology development work, and KEMEK will focus on the tasks regarding electronics and control system development. KEMEK will also take the lead in a market analysis, make functional product specifications and (pre-compliance) validation testing. Both Ps have high qualifications and can demonstrate many industrial and scientific achievements regarding innovative mass measurement methods._x000D__x000D_After the project scale based on inductive load cell will be offered to a Notified Body for certification. Once this CE certificate has been obtained, MENSOR will produce the scales in series. KEMEK will take the lead in marketing and sales to the whole Europe.

Acronym EXCALE (Reference Number: 4637)
Duration 01/07/2009 - 30/06/2012
Project Topic The idea of the EXCALE project is to develop innovative mass measurement system based on inductive load cell for high precision applications. The new scale technology will be applied to design class II electronic scales with 1mg resolution and high measurement accuracy.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The CO result of the project is to develop a new type of class II scales especially high capacity scales. New designs of automatic calibration system components, were also developed as well as, new solutions of inductive load beams and many technological processes that would not occur without the EXCALE project.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 2

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 MENSOR Coordinator Poland
2 Kemek Engineering Partner Lithuania