Precision Or Accuracy?

You want to maximize your profits, so naturally, you are on the lookout for industrial scales that are accurate and precise. What’s the difference?


Precision is independent of accuracy. A scale can provide the precise weight of an object and still be inaccurate. The accuracy of a measuring instrument like a scale is determined by how close its measurement of an objects is to that object’s actual value. The precision of a measurement refers to how repeated measurements consistently show the same results. A scale can be accurate but not precise, precise but not accurate, neither, or both. For example, if a measurement of an object’s weight is wrong, repeating that measurement might improve precision, but it will still be inaccurate.


Precision and accuracy also depend on other factors—for instance, readability. Our scales feature digital displays from liquid crystal display (LCD) to light-emitting diode (LED) or vacuum fluorescent display (VFD). They are accurate in that they offer correct measurements, i.e., that closely measure the weight of the object being weighed, and precise in that they can provide highly detailed measurements are, i.e., 0.5 vs 0.456 grams. Precision counting scales, for instance, are typically used to determine the number of parts in a large sample of identical pieces. They determine the number of parts in a sample by weighing the sample and dividing it by the weight of each individual part.  This might be fairly accurate, but it is not necessarily precise.


As the digital scale slowly replaced mechanical scales, the number of its potential applications continues to grow. Digital scales are highly favoured in applications or industries where precision is necessary. Precision balances are significant in scientific laboratories where it is necessary to measure the weight of small amounts of material down to the nearest one-millionth of a gram (3.53 hundred millionths of an ounce). These weighing devices are usually enclosed in glass or plastic to prevent wind drafts and temperature variations from affecting the measurements. Being able to read the results in a digital format reduced human error and added more reliability and consistency to the weighing process.


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