National Physical Laboratory

Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC) logo InstMC Weighing & Force Measurement Panel

Considering and promoting standards, codes of practices, and general understanding in all areas of industrial process weighing.

What we are

The Weighing and Force Measurement Panel (WFMP) of the Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC) reports to the Learned Society Board of the Institute and was formed in 1990, with a remit of considering and promoting standards, codes of practices, and general understanding in all areas of industrial process weighing. This includes load cells and their associated signal processing equipment, their design, and their application.

The membership of the Panel has varied between ten and twelve members of eminent standing in the field of weighing or force measurement. The Panel has taken great care to ensure there has always been a balanced representation from academia and research organisations as well as end users and the manufacturers.

What we do

The Panel has produced four major documents during the last 14 years. The first of these documents is titled 'A Procedure for the Specification and Testing of Strain Gauge Load Cells for Industrial Process Weighing and Force Measurement'. This document, published in 1993, was the forerunner of British Standard BS 8422.

The second document, entitled 'A Code of Practice for the Calibration of Industrial Process Weighing Systems' (PDF 1.46 MB), originally published in 1996 and most recently revised in 2011, was produced to establish uniform criteria for the on-site calibration of load cell-based process weighing systems. It is now well established as an authoritative document in this field and a number of blue chip companies have adopted it as their standard operating procedure.

The third document, published in 2000 and most recently revised in 2014, is titled 'A Guide to the Specification and Procurement of Industrial Process Weighing Systems' (PDF 2.83 MB) - it is 97 pages long and reviews all the principal requirements for an industrial process weighing system at its conceptual stage, and establishes a uniform guide for specifying the system. It arrives at a standardised specification form to provide the basis for efficient communication between the user and the provider.

The fourth document, published in 2010 and entitled 'A Guide to Dynamic Weighing for Industry' (PDF 3.77 MB), is a comprehensive review of all types of dynamic weighing systems, including batch weighers, belt weighers, and road and rail weighbridges. It draws on the experience of many industry experts and, as with the other documents, is likely to become an invaluable resource for industrial practitioners.

The Panel is also responsible for reviewing and maintaining the Institute's 'Guide to the Measurement of Force' (PDF 1.8 MB), originally published in 1998 and most recently revised in 2013. This document acts as a basic introduction to force measurement, with emphasis on the practical aspects for all users of force instrumentation.

In addition, the Panel has worked on the collation of documents related to weighing and force measurement. The result, 'A Guide to Weighing & Force Measurement Documents and Standards', is published on this website via the links to the right and is regularly reviewed and updated.

The Panel's monograph 'Digital Load Cells - A Comparative Review of Performance and Application' (PDF 409 KB), originally produced in 2003 and revised in 2011, has also been published on this website, with a view of addressing subject areas including, but not limited to, the definitions, principles of operation, typical performance characteristics, merits, and comparative specification to analogue devices, and possible future developments. It is hoped that this document will dispel some of the misconceptions and promote a better understanding of these devices.

The Panel welcomes any constructive comments on their publications and would consider any suggestions for future study. Any communication should be directed to the Chair of the Panel: Mannie Panesar at NMO (E: mannie.panesar@nmo.gov.uk).

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