Retailers should be aware that when a weighing machine is not weighing accurately it may just as easily be under-weighing as over-weighing, which leaks money from the business. Scales should be checked regularly for accuracy.
Weighing instruments, such as scales in a supermarket, must pass certain “essential requirements” to qualify for placement in the EC market, and to be used in trade.
These requirements are governed by the Non Automatic Weighing Instrument (NAWI) Directive (2009/23/EC). A NAWI weighing instrument needs the intervention of an operator to complete a weighing task. A simple example is when a butcher places mince on the platter and presses a PLU to generate a barcode with weight and price information.
A scale must be verified and sealed prior to being put into service, in compliance with the directive. The verification of a weighing instrument is a check on its accuracy and other critical parameters against EN45501 (The Irish and European standard for non-automatic weighing instruments). The seal is a tamper-proof mechanism that prevents unauthorised or fraudulent alteration to the weighing characteristics of the scales. The seal is applied following the successful passing of the required tests.
There are two types of verification:
Initial Verification – the first verification before the unit is put into service. Initial verifications are carried out by the manufacturer or by the NSAI through their Legal Metrology Service (LMS). CBE is in the process of becoming approved to conduct initial verifications.
Re-verification – a subsequent verification that becomes necessary for the following reasons:
A Weights and Measures Inspector checks the scales and finds it fails one or more of the tests. The retailer is given 14 days to have the unit repaired and re-verified.
It may also be that the scales developed a fault requiring the original seal to be broken to enable repairs. The scales must be re-verified and sealed before being returned to service.
Re-verification is governed under the Metrology Act 1996. Under Section 12 of the Act, the Director of Legal Metrology has the power to authorise CBE or other suitable organisations to test and re-seal scales. CBE’s commenced the service on August 3rd 2010.
CBE – NSAI Authorised
The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has authorised CBE, Ireland’s leading EPoS provider, to re-verify all scales types up to class III in retail. This includes all scales in supermarkets such as butchery, delicatessen, and checkouts.
CBE’s Technical Team will carry out this service in accordance with regulations and fees as controlled by the Director of Legal Metrology at the NSAI. The service is available to users of all makes of scales, whether a CBE customer or not.
There are various benefits to the retailer. When the CBE Team repairs a scale, they can now immediately reseal it, providing a convenient all-in-one service. Retailers that have a current scales maintenance contract with CBE will incur no call out or travel expenses. The only cost in such cases is the metrology fee.
Michael Cattigan, CBE Service Director, said “CBE is delighted to be appointed by NSAI to provide this valuable service to retailers throughout Ireland using all makes of scales in retail. Our team of engineers is highly skilled in all aspects of retail technology and systems; this was central to the company’s appointment. We look forward to providing this metrology service to retailers whether they are existing customers or not”
For further information on scales re-verification, please contact:
Noel Quinn, Service Manager:
T: 1890 373000