How to choose the right load cell for any project

Matt Fellows
Matt Fellows

Sales Distribution Manager Europe MEA, VPG Force Sensors

Load cells play a critical role in ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and safety in measurement or weighing systems across a wide range of industries. Whether you are designing a new device or upgrading an existing machine, selecting the ideal load cell is a decision that requires careful consideration. To help you make an informed choice, here are six key factors to keep in mind:

1. Understand the Unique Requirements of Your Application
Every project is unique, and understanding the specific requirements of your application is crucial. Consider factors such as the direction of force, desired capacity, required accuracy, and environmental conditions. These details will greatly influence the type of load cell that will best suit your needs.

2. Explore different load cell types
There are several types of load cells available, each with its own set of characteristics and advantages. Some common types include single point, S-Cell, pancake, and bending beam load cells. Research and evaluate the features of each type to determine which one is most suitable for your application.

3. Consider capacity and size
Selecting a load cell with an appropriate capacity is essential to ensure safety and avoid overloading. It is advisable to choose a load cell that exceeds your maximum anticipated load. Additionally, keep in mind the physical size constraints of your system, as the load cell should fit seamlessly within your setup.

4. Evaluate accuracy specifications
Accuracy is a critical aspect of any measurement system. Evaluate the accuracy specifications of the load cell within its specified range to ensure it meets your project’s requirements. Pay attention to factors such as the load cell’s resolution, hysteresis, and nonlinearity, as they can impact the overall accuracy of the load cell.

5. Account for environmental factors
The operating environment can greatly impact the performance and longevity of a load cell. Consider the expected temperature range, presence of moisture or corrosive agents, and pressure levels in your working environment. Look for load cells that are specifically designed to function efficiently in these conditions by selecting the right materials, surface treatments, and sealing options.

6. Verify certifications and standards
To maintain quality assurance and reliability, it is essential to verify if your chosen load cell adheres to the various industry-specific certifications and standards. This ensures that the load cell has undergone rigorous testing and meets the required performance criteria. Always opt for load cells that are compliant with relevant standards to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your measurement system.

For more details on all those parameters, see our technical notes.

By carefully considering these six key factors, you will be well on your way to selecting the right load cell for your project. It is always beneficial to consult with experts in the field who can provide guidance and support throughout the decision-making process. Their expertise and insights can help you make an informed choice and ensure the success of your project.

Remember, choosing the right load cell is a crucial step towards achieving accurate measurements, improved efficiency, and enhanced safety in your application. Invest the time and effort upfront to make an informed decision, and you will reap the rewards in the long run.

Contact us to get help from a VPG Force Sensors expert who can help you evaluate the suitability of our standard products or work with you to develop a custom solution that perfectly fits your specific needs.


About us

An all-in-one solution for e-bike motors helps manufacturers meet demand for diverse functionality and high quality, with a smooth, single-vendor supply chain

VPG Force Sensors provides the performance, precision and expertise that only one of the largest load cell and transducer manufacturers worldwide can deliver. Tedea-Huntleigh, Sensortronics, Revere and Celtron – brands recognized as high-quality suppliers of weighing and force measurement products for decades – are united under VPG Force Sensors to bring demanding customers a wide range of solutions and dedication to uncompromising quality.

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