Wednesday, December 13, 2006

FB3000 vs 920i vs Combics Pro

Who comes out on top in my opinion is the Sartorius Combics Pro. Why? well though I love the 920i and the FB3000 for what they are, the Sartorius Combics Pro is the best mix of both systems. Here's the deal, the 920i is a great batching system with a great track record. I have put those scales through all kinds of torture. It does lack however in its out of the box communications and lack of a file system to facilitate simple data transfer. All data must be run through a serial port, even the ethernet card is converting to serial. Although I still sell many of them , it is becoming dated. The FB3000 is a great unit, but due to a lack of external commands, if you plan on writing programs, you end up communicating to the scale via a streamed serial string and rewriting the whole scale app anyway . It is a Windows XP machine however which gives you great flexibility and all kinds of connectivity, once your app is complete. This streaming serial communications method however dampens its chances of becoming a good batching system. Now enter the Combics Pro. This unit has both. It is a truly programmable scale with a full file system and a true ethernet connection. Get this , I can browse to the scale and control it and view the screen as if I was in front of it. Very nice and well thought out. Anyway thank you for stopping by and checking out our blog. If you ever need any scale system or bar code system support check us out. Till next time -John Russo

Monday, November 06, 2006

Fairbanks FB3000

Well everyone, I turned on the Fairbanks FB3000 today. I have never been a real big Fairbanks fan. This is a huge leap for a company that in the past has had to me seemingly out of date equipment ideas. So far it it very nice. It is however a little easy to hack or better said, screw around with using standard windows key commands, but I have not really got into it yet. It's a nice enclosure with everything you could need to communicate right out of the box. The touch screen is very responsive. It comes with a slick little mini keyboard, though I think the majority of my clients would be better served with a full size keyboard. I think in most industrial environments, a larger keyboard is better. What would be cool is to set this up with a wireless mouse and keyboard. Anyway I will be getting into it further tonight, but so far for Fairbanks I am impressed
John Russo , Senior Engineer Weight Scale Systems

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fairbanks FB-3000 and Sartorius Combics Pro

Alright everyone, I am excited because I just got my first job with the new Fairbanks FB3000 windows based scale indicator.  If is a fully programmable touch screen windows XP machine.  I do not have it yet but my client is sending it this week.  Ladies and gentlemen if this thing works it will be NICE.  I also have some interest in the new Sartorius Combics Pro programmable indicator as it has some very nice features as well.  I sat in on a demo of this indicator and was impressed. How does this all compare to the Rice Lake 920i? Well, the 920i is a great instrument but it is quickly becoming dated as it has limited memory, 3rd party Ethernet networking, no file structure and needs some overall updating.  The Pro to the 920i is its age. It is proven and I have put that thing into all kinds of harsh environments, and done just about anything you can think of with it and will continue to.  Don’t count it out by any means.  I will let you all know how I make out with the new stuff as I am sure it will be buggy and take some teeth pulling to get going.

John Russo – The worlds greatest scale blogger and Weight scale systems man.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Scale Calibration Procedures

Alright guys…what you have all been waiting for

Scale Calibration Procedures

Yes we found a  post of many scale calibration procedures for you!!  If you have some you would like to share then post some. This was done by the creators of X-Calibar the original calibration system that was ruthlessly copied by other manufacturers, and they still didn’t get it right.  X-Calibar scale calibration system goes WAY beyond!! That is at  If you need a demo they will walk you through step by step online and their model is by scales in the system so there is really very little start up costs unlike the 8-10 thousand dollars plus ongoing licensing with the other guys


Over Engineering

I am so tired of running into clients who could have spent half the money for a system just as effective as the one they purchased. The reason for the over spending is typically over engineering. I am currently working with a client that hired a scale manufacturer to build them a custom batching system. It is a very basic automated fill application, but it has some problems and I am being called in to rescue. Well here’s what I am getting at. This system has WAY too much “What If” factor built in. To index 2 boxes on a conveyor the control panes has 14, 3 position control buttons and all to fill 1 box because they could not get the slow fill (2nd scale) to work. You have got to be kidding me! I understand that these are really smart guys developing these systems and so am I , but you do not have to prove your batching and design prowess on a simple scale batching system at the clients expense.

-John Russo

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quickbooks Integration Problem

Well everyone I just wasted a week. I had good working code for a quickbooks custom interface but thought I did not and spent a week trying to fix something not broken. Here’s what happened, The company I made the interface for used 2 quickbooks datafiles. To my dismay they added the products I was invoicing to only one of the quickbooks companies, therefore I was trying to invoice something that wasn’t there on the second data file. I got no errors but no invoice either. I finally decided to look at the items and found the items I was invoicing did not exist in this company file. If you ever need some quickbooks interface sample code follwo that link. I went through hell to get this to work and maybe I can make someones life a little better. Maybe throw me a link on your site to because I just saved you HOURS of work alpha geek peter vogel watch out!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

My Scale System Does Not Work

Scale dealers often call me in the same situation. They hired a scale manufacturer to do their scale programs yet they are not delivering or they are too hard to deal with, and here’s the kicker..I could actually help these people if I could get the original source code. Most of the programmers however will not release that and the client is left to start over from scratch. The key is, next time you sign up with a programming house, find out if you will have access to the source code or not. If not please choose carefully as you can get really stuck if they do not deliver.
John Russo

Monday, October 09, 2006

The First Scale Systems Blog

As a very interested party in the scale and bar codes sytems field, we thought it would be important to have a blog about scale companies, scale systems and the like. Well here it is. As the owners of and , we thought it important to create a forum for those who are just starting up in the scale or bar code business or those seasoned veterans who just need a place to vent or rave about the newest countng scale or bar code scanner. I have been in the business for over 14 years and have seen many changes in technology and the scale and bar code business. Many scale and bar code businesses are faced today with the ever growing need for system support. I will try through this blog to do just that. If you have any techy computer questions, I would love to answer them here. My company has expertice in, 920i programming, rs-232 communications, label printing, bar code labeling and standards, printers, calibrations and much more. Please contact us through our site and we will do our best to post the answers here.