The accuracy of a weighing system is essential particularly in commercial and industrial operations. Erroneous results will interfere with the quality and the quantity of your products leading to losses. Moreover, you can be exposed to legal and financial liabilities if your goods do not conform to the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) standards.

You can avoid these problems by engaging licensed laboratories for periodic calibration services of your weighing instruments. In addition, it is important for you to understand the common sources of errors during your weighing operations. Here are the primary environmental factors that can affect the precision of the results:

Wind Currents

Wind loading is a common source of inaccuracy especially in outdoor weighing systems as well as indoor low-capacity scales. Basically, when wind blows over an outdoor scale, it exerts pressure on the load which leads to higher readings. Crosswinds can also destabilise the load such that one section of the platform is overloaded leading to errors.

Low-capacity indoor scales such as analytical balances are mainly affected by air conditioning drafts since they are highly sensitive to any changes. You can prevent the erroneous readings by closing the doors of indoor scales while weighing and creating a shelter for outdoor platforms to divert wind currents.


Vibration cause mechanical 'noise' which affects the internal components of the weighing instrument. This effect will result in a shift of the readings and the scales may be damaged over time if the environment is not stabilised. The vibrations can come from process equipment in the lab, heavy construction equipment in the area and even passing trains and vehicles. You can mitigate vibration errors by isolating your weighing system from the pertinent sources. If this is not possible, consider replacing your scales with a model which have special algorithms to compensate for the errors.

Shock loading causes problems similar to vibration effects. This error occurs when a heavy load is dumped carelessly such that the initial force is higher than the actual weight of the goods. You should consider using a feeder such as a loading chute to control the lading process. Alternatively, you can purchase a scale with high capacity load cells to handle shock loading.


Large temperature fluctuations can cause inaccurate readings and damage to the scale since the internal components are prone to expansion and contraction. You should consider using a weighing space with stable temperature to avoid this damage. Additionally, ensure that the platform and the goods do not have a large temperature discrepancy.