Loadstar Sensors Blog

Short Updates on interesting applications using our sensor solutions.

StockVUE - an IoT Solution that Makes Inventory Count Itself


Customers want what they want and they want it NOW. In this era of hyper competition, having the right product, in the right quantity, at the right place can mean the difference between survival or extinction for businesses. Inventory Management is the key to satisfy customer demands. Retailers, distributors, and manufacturers are looking for better solutions to manage their inventory.

Even though businesses have sophisticated ERP software, the actual counting and data entry is done by human beings, periodically, in a labor intensive and slow process. As a result the data is not current and is prone to errors. This leads to over or under stocking of items. Under stocking leads to stockouts, shortages, delays, and lost revenue. Over stocking results in space shortages, increased carrying cost, and lower profits.

Loadstar Sensors’ StockVUE addresses these issues head on with an IoT solution based on digital smart-scales, wireless routers and Cloud technology. Smart-scales compute inventory counts based on weight and transmit the data to the StockVUE Cloud using wireless sensor routers. Data analytics, machine language, and artificial intelligence is used to identify items that need to be replenished before a stockout occurs. Real-time inventory counts can be accessed anytime, from anywhere on any device without human intervention.

The StockVUE solution is modular, versatile and flexible. It can be used with any type of rack and shelf system and with pallets placed on the floor. You can even continue to use pre-existing rack and shelf configurations. StockVUE can be used to track discrete items, bulk goods, powders, liquids in tanks, and gases in cylinders. Whereas RFID can only be used to track items that are discrete and have a certain minimum size, StockVUE can track bulk low cost, low value items too. It can track items that weigh just a few ounces to items that weigh hundreds of pounds.

By using weight as the key parameter to track items, StockVUE applies a very simple approach to deliver a powerful IoT Solution that offers:

- Remote Visibility at Remote Locations
- Real-Time Updates
- Accessibility at anytime, anywhere, on any device
- Autonomous operation with minimal human intervention
- Generation and transmission of alerts to designated people
- Automatic report and order generation

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How to add High/Low lines to graphs





You can add High/Low lines to graph by using the Formula Sensors Features of the Loadvue Software family.

Click on Sensors...Formula Sensors...



Then add a formula sensor with a constant value. For example, if upper limit is 20 lb,

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Inventory that Counts Itself!

StockVUE - IoT for Inventory Management

 

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Mouse or Touchpad Problems when a sensor is connected to a PC via USB

Sometimes when you plug in a USB or wireless sensor in to your PC, the mouse seems to go crazy! it will start moving around and open up various menu options etc.

This might be happening because the sensor's output is being mistaken to be a mouse input by the PC.

In order to fix this problem, disconnect the sensor(s) from the PC. The problem should go away. Then you'll need to edit the Windows Registry. 

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DS-3000U Pro - Touch Screen Display for Digital Load Cells and USB Load Cell Interfaces


USB Load Cell Display
Digital Touch Screen Display for USB Load Cells

Loadstar Sensors offers a variety of digital load cells, weight sensors or weight scales with USB or Wireless output.  The iLoad Series and the iLoad Series offer direct USB Output through out S2U UART to USB miniB to USB A adapters.  The DI-100U/DI-1000U USB Load Cell Interfaces can be mated to any of our resistive load cells to obtain calibrated USB output. 

Although any Windows Tablet (e.g. Surface 3, Surface 4 or Surface Pro) or All-In-One PC can be used as a very effective and rich display with a GUI environment using our LV-1000/LV-4000/SensorVUE/ControlVUE software, a number of customers have asked us for a simple, dedicated Touch Screen LCD display for use in factory and laboratory settings where use of PCs may not be appropriate.

In order to meet our customer requests, we have developed a display solution - the DS-3000 Pro - using a Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi3) controller and Touch Screen display as shown below. Our solution comes ready to use out of the box, all you need is to plug in the sensor and power our display using the provided power supply.

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Troubleshooting a DI-1000HS-10K Impact Sensor Interface

DI-1000HS-10K troubleshooting
DI-1000HS-10K troubleshooting

If you are getting inaccurate or noisy readings from a DI-1000HS-10K interface, follow the steps outline below to troubleshoot. You will also need a voltmeter.

  1. Disconnect only the green and white wires (SIG+ and SIG-) from the terminal block. Leave all the other wires (red, black, shield etc connected)

  2. Power the unit using the power adapter. This actually powers the internal signal conditioner
  3. Disconnect the USB cable.
  4. Remove any load from the load cell. If you have any metal plates mounted on the load cell, please remove them as well.
  5. Please check to make sure that all the connections are tight.
  6. Now check the voltage between the red and black wires (pins 1 and 2) using the voltmeter. Red +ve, black -ve. Use DC Volts setting. You should be able to just touch the heads of the screws (EXC+ and EXC-) to read the voltage. You should read about 5 V DC. This indicates that we are supplying the right power to the load cell.
  7. Now check the voltage between the (disconnected) green and white wires.  Green +ve, white -ve. Use DC millivolt settings if you have them. You should read about 0 (zero) or 1 mvolt. This is the output of the load cell at no load and a reading of zero indicates that the load cell is balanced. If you apply some load at this point, you will see the mVolt reading going up. This means the load cell is probably not at fault.
  8. If you do get a high voltage (even 5 or 10 mV) when the load cell is not loaded,  it is very likely that the load cell is damaged.
  9. If you suspect this may be the case, it is probably a good idea to double check by:
    • Complete disconnect all the load cell wires from the terminal block. Power the load cell with a 9V battery - red +ve, black -ve.

    • Then check the voltage between green and white wires at zero load.

 

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Erratic mouse behavior when connecting battery powered DI-1000 units

When using battery powered (or externally powered) interfaces (like DI-1000 or DQ-4000), sometimes you may notice that the mouse pointer jumps around erratically all over the screen. This is due to the fact that the interface may already be streaming data and Windows incorrectly identifies the device as a Microsoft Serial Ballpoint mouse.

This can be fixed by changing the Windows registry as follows:

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Loadstar Sensors Software require Microsoft .NET Frameworks

All Windows versions of Loadstar Sensors software require Microsoft .NET Framework v 4.0 or later installed on your computer.

Some components of the software also require .NET Framework v 3.5 installed. This is because v 4.0 framework "does not automatically use its version of the common language runtime to run applications that are built with earlier versions of the .NET Framework".

Framework v.4 is preinstalled in most versions of Windows beginning with Windows 8. Framework v 3.5 is pre-installed in most versions of Windows 7

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Monitoring plant growth and irrigation needs in a nursery using digital weight sensors

Drought conditions in California has led to steep increases in cost of water for agricultural use this year.  Vegetable and fruit growers as well as nurseries are paying close attention to the amount of water they use for irrigation purposes.  

Farmers typically use sprayers to spray water onto plants at regular intervals.  However, this method leads to uniform spraying across a wide area.  Some plants may be getting more water and some less due to non-uniform distribution of the sprays.  Furthermore, since it is based purely on time, even when rainfall has taken place on some days, the water is still sprayed.

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Sampling of Loadstar Sensors Customers by Segment

NASA
Toyota
Stryker
US Army
Google
Harvard
Boeing
BMW
Merck
General Atomics
Apple
Stanford
Zodiac Aerospace
Honda
BD
General Dynamics
Nokia
MIT
JPL
Tesla
Medtronic
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
RIM
Purdue University
B/E Aerospace
Mitsubishi Motors
Beckman Coulter
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Synaptics
Caltech California Institute of Technology 1891

 

Aerospace

Automotive

Medical

National Labs

Technology

Universities

      
      
      
      
      

 

 

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