07/16/2004 • Metrology

DISOBOX® - The Key To A Digital Scale

Load cells with digital output are designed to offer additional applicability and to facilitate their use. Despite some improvements, previous solutions of this kind left much to be desired. As a consequence, none of these load cells really gained acceptance on the market.

DISOBOX® in contrast is visibly smarter! With the multi-channel analog-to-digital DISOBOX® converter unit, Schenck specialists developed weighing electronics that add a whole variety of reasonable and useful features to the advantages of digital load cells.

Equipped with the DISOBOX®, a conventional analog scale is converted into a digital scale that proves its worth in both legal-for-trade and industrial process applications. Combined with weighing electronics of the DISOMAT® family or the DISOVIEW-E PC software, highly precise multi-talented weighing systems emerge.

The most vital feature of the new electronic unit is that the output signals of all connected load cells are digitised one by one, so that the measuring voltage of the individual cells can be accessed at any time. Upon commissioning, this permits an exact analysis of deadload distribution and convenient electronic corner comparison. During operation, the load distribution on the scale is analysed and, at the same time, every load cell is individually monitored. In case of faults, the affected component is detected in no time. In the end, this means a considerable savings in time, material and cost and distinctly improves process safety.

Mounted in a rugged housing of protection type IP 65, the DISOBOX® is directly connected to the scale. The unit comprises up to eight high-resolution signal channels measuring synchronously and additional binary inputs and outputs. Data acquisition is decentralized. They are directly transmitted to the host system using state-of-the-art communication modules, e.g. PROFIBUS DP, DeviceNet or Ethernet (MODBUS /TCP).

DISOBOX® is suited for use as data acquisition and control unit for almost any weighing system, whether combined with Schenck weighing electronics of the DISOMAT® family or as extension of PC-based weighing systems. The integrated weighing functions permit its use as complete multi-channel scale, e.g. in conjunction with a PLC system.

Thanks to the system's intelligent sealing concept (no plug-in jumpers), DISOBOX® can be kept closed after installation/commissioning. The system is parameterised and calibrated via serial interface or Ethernet. The legal-for-trade part of the system is protected by an electronic modification counter monitoring the relevant adjustment parameters. Hence, there is no need any longer to open the DISOBOX® for adjustment and calibration, thus eliminating the risk of grime and moisture entering during maintenance/adjustment.

Universal usage

Thanks to its virtually endless opportunities, the DISOBOX® proves its worth whenever highest flexibility and fail-safe digital signal transmission is an important consideration.

Typical applications are truck and train scales as well as crane and hopper scales. Used on systems where proper load distribution matters most, e.g. wheel-load scales, test systems, or scales designed for centre of gravity determination, the DISOBOX® displays the entire spectrum of its strength.

In industrial processes, too, the DISOBOX® brilliantly masters the many and varied duties. Whether as weight transmitter for fill-level measurement in hoppers and silos, as independent system for limit monitoring or simple feeding tasks. In any application, the DISOBOX® replaces conventional analog transmitters or PLC modules resp., and makes life easier for plant engineers and fitters.

When used as 8-times converter, up to eight hopper scales can be acquired decentrally and interfaced with the existing host system via Profibus or Ethernet.

Ethernet offers the additional possibility to access individual scales and - dependent on the configuration - individual load cells via the user's intranet, so that remote diagnostics and maintenance can be effected quickly, easily and at any time, independent of the location.

With conventional systems the user, up to now, has the restriction that all load cells of a scale must have identical rated capacities and electrical characteristics. Here, too, DISOBOX® opens up new horizons:

In asymmetrically structured systems, load cells of different rated capacities can be combined to form a scale even in legal-for-trade applications.

Maintenance, repair, and modernisation made easy

The described DISOBOX® properties facilitate the repair of systems where types or rated capacities of the existing load cells are no longer available.

There is no need to equip the scale with new sensors as it used to be. The old summation box is simply replaced by a DISOBOX® and the defective load cell is exchanged against a type with a different rated capacity. Inevitable repair work thus becomes an attractive modernisation that pays off. All advantages at a glance
  • Local weighing electronics in IP 65
  • One measuring channel per load cell
  • Monitoring of the individual load cells possible
  • Electronic corner comparison
  • Digital transmission of measured values
  • Field bus connection
  • All components exchangeable without re-adjustment/re-calibration
  • Use in combination with Schenck weighing electronics, legal-for-trade PC programs, or standard PLC
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Schenck Process GmbH

Pallaswiesenstraße 100
64293 Darmstadt

Phone: +49 (0)6151/32-2987
Fax: +49 (0)6151/32-2754