Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Open Letters to NCWM by Rudy Kolaci, President of Totalcomp (Letter 3 of 3)

Letter Three: NTEP is good for the scale industry.

The initial concept of NTEP was well founded and I support it. Prior to NTEP each of the (50) states had their own standards for Type Approval. The scale manufacturer had to get separate approval from each state to be able to sell legal for trade scales in that particular state. NTEP simplified that process and reduced it from (50) to (1).

That was a good cost savings and the consumer benefited because the lower overhead cost for simpler approval was passed on with lower prices for their weighing equipment.

The sealing of a Legal for Trade scale by a local Weights & Measures official was the confidence builder that both the consumer and merchant needed to be assured that the scale was accurate and neither of them would be cheated. To this day it is still the most important task of the government to make sure that scales are accurate. This can only be done with local testing.

So many things can go wrong that would make a scale weigh inaccurately. A few stones crushed in between a truck scale platform and the foundation coping. A build up of fat and grease in a poultry scale.

A scale that was accidentally dropped and became slightly bent. A scale that was overloaded and not recalibrated. The list can go on and on. The merchant that owns the scale wants to make sure that they are not being cheated and the weights & measures inspector will make sure the scale is accurate for both buyer and seller.

VCAP will not help to improve this condition. Nor will NTEP for load cells. They will simply add additional burdens to the scale manufacturer. This additional costs will be added on to the cost of the scale and the purchaser of the scale will pay more and get no benefit from the VCAP program nor from having NTEP for load cells. All the problems previously mentioned can still happen. VCAP and NTEP for load cells will still be a waste of time and money.

The local testing of scales by weights & measures officials should continue and be encouraged to expand to make sure that all Legal for Trade scales are sealed often to assure that both the consumer and merchant benefit from accurate weights.

Featured in the Weighing & Measurement magazine, December ‘09 issue.

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