Actuator repairs ensure optimum performance

Author: Ian Aitchison | Published on Wednesday 12 September 2012 (12:05pm)

Ian Aitchison, Technical Director at Yamato Scale UK, explains the role of an actuator and why actuator repairs are essential

Yamato prides itself on the integrity and reliability of all its weighing machinery. However, parts replacement becomes necessary at some point of the machine’s life due to general wear and tear and external influences. Actuators are essential to your machine's performance as they contain the ‘load cell’ or ‘weighing scale’ of the machine, as well as the motors and levers which control the movements of the buckets.

Zero drift error

A Zero Drift Error (reading) can have a serious and detrimental impact upon production – this is where having re-zeroed an actuator, the zero value drifts, thus showing a weight which does not exist. If this is not addressed, this can become exacerbated over time affecting accuracy and resulting in overweight packs and expensive product giveaway.

The risk of underweight packs being produced is also increased and such packs are illegal under certain Weights and Measures legislation. Actuator failures can have a detrimental impact upon weighing performance, reducing the number of heads available for weighing and potentially reducing production output.

If, in the event of a general actuator failure, whereby weigh heads are inhibited as part of the fail safe action and the actuator repair has been neglected, production levels, as well as the speed and accuracy of your weighing machine, can be significantly reduced.

How to tell if an actuator repair is needed

The main indicator for repair is a zero drift error, which means that your weighing machine will display weights which are inaccurate which could have a severe detrimental impact upon production.

Zero drift error can become apparent after removing, cleaning and replacing the buckets, then undertaking a rezero in the manual operation screen. The display should be observed for a change in weight - any movement beyond +/- 0.5g over a ten minute period most certainly requires the attention of a Yamato engineer. The more severe the error, the greater the weight shift will be over a shorter period of time.

Other indicators may include:

  • Bent lever(s)
  • Load cell strain
  • Excess movement of drive arms and levers.
  • Unable to “Original point” a motor when the bucket has been removed

Why repair actuator units?

Repairing actuators is vital to guarantee optimised and accurate production at all times, as well as the longevity of your weighing machine.

Actuator repair ensures:

  • All packs are accurately weighed to ensure compliance with Weights and Measures regulations as required by Trading Standards
  • Product giveaway and waste is reduced - an important consideration in the current economic climate
  • Optimum production levels and speed at all times

Why choose Yamato Genuine Spare Parts for Actuator Repairs?

Only Yamato can supply Yamato Scale Dataweigh guaranteed parts. These parts are genuine, certified and specific to your weighing machine and any repair requirements will ensure the durability and reliability of your weighing equipment.

It is important to ensure that cost-saving measures do not compromise the quality, performance and longevity of your machine for the sake of short-term gain. Using non-Yamato load cells can increase the likelihood of breakdowns as components are often of an inferior quality. These are far less accurate and are often constructed using cheaper components which are significantly less hard wearing than Yamato Genuine Parts.  

All machine repairs are carried out by dedicated and experienced Yamato engineers who have undertaken rigorous Yamato training to equip them with unparalleled knowledge of Yamato’s range of weighing machines.

To avoid long downtimes when problems occur, we offer a service exchange. A Yamato engineer should always be called because their knowledge and experience will ensure that any issues are resolved promptly and professionally; whereas a general technician may only compound the problem – increasing downtime and ultimately costs.

If you suspect your actuator may need to be repaired, or your machine would benefit from a service visit, please call our Service Team on 0113 322 1546 or email

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