Used to measure an object’s mass to a very high degree of precision, laboratory balances require high readability, a broad weighting range, and a high degree of accuracy. Uncalibrated laboratory balances pose risk of inaccurate results which would affect lab procedures.
Modern laboratories can choose from various types of laboratory balances based on purpose, type of materials, and the amount of materials such as top loading balances, portable balances, analytical balances, semi microbalances, and microbalances. For measuring microgram quantities of pharmaceutical compounds, a precision analytical balance would be necessary. These balances allow the user to print out weighing data, scale identification, calibration information, date, and time.
Many balances now ensure compliance with numerous quality assurance systems and come with an ISO calibration certificate or verification certificate. It is crucial for clinical laboratories to have a documented calibration audit trail to verify that the equipment is compliant with regulatory guidelines and that the certificates have not expired.
Sources of error for this weighing lab equipment include buoyancy, friction, improper calibration, misalignment, condensation, evaporation, gravitational abnormalities, and seismic disturbances. Installation Qualification (IQ)/ Operational Qualification (OQ)/ Performance Qualification (PQ) protocol can assist in identifying the proper laboratory balance for your application.
While choosing weighing device, lab professionals should consider –
- The maximum weight the balance can measure
- Increment size or resolution of the equipment that will meet your weighing needs
- Accuracy rate of the device. Some manufacturers quote the accuracy on the product datasheet
- Features that you need such as units you want it to weigh in (grams, ounces, milligrams)
Leading manufacturers offer high quality analytical and precision balances that are compact, ergonomically designed and offer traceable results. Popular models include the Adventurer Pro Model AV64 that comes with SmarText™ software to guide the user through application use and balance setup, the Pioneer 1500g x 0.01g that offers uncomplicated performance for all your basic weighing needs and the Hand-Held 120g x 0.1g that provides convenient, compact and portable weighing capability in the palm of your hand.