2393. Aircraft Weighing Equipment: A Cost Analysis


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E Peterson: 2393. Aircraft Weighing Equipment: A Cost Analysis. 1997.



Since 1990, the technology of weighing equipment used on commercial aircraft has improved tremendously. The weighing equipment of today’s market enables users to complete weight and balance tasks more efficiently and reliably while improving the overall accuracy of the results. The decision of the potential buyer on which type of equipment is best for their application – top of jack load cell kits or drive on platform scales – depends on both their objectives and budget. An analysis must therefore be made to explore advantages and disadvantages of each method and then relate them to the initial up front investment as compared to the long term operational cost. As a manufacturer of both types, we are frequently asked which method is better. It is our position that each company’s objectives and requirements may immediately indicate which method is best for the application. We therefore assist them in analyzing all of their requirements in an attempt to determine the answer. The decision of which type of weighing equipment to purchase must therefore be based on two criteria: 1. Does the weighing equipment meet the objectives and is it suitable for the application? 2. Is the price of the weighing equipment within budgetary limitations and is it justifiable? Advantages and disadvantages to both methods and their compliance to the application must first be considered to ensure either method will meet the objectives of the user. The purchase price may not even be an issue if one method is not suitable for the application. But because the purchase price of top of jack load cell kits is so much less than that of a platform system, potential customers often do not consider the latter method because it is seen as prohibitively expensive. This study will identify the main advantages and disadvantages to each method to demonstrate how an airline or maintenance center can determine if the weighing equipment can meet the objectives and criteria of the user. The main purpose of this paper, however, is to demonstrate the operational costs of either method in an attempt to identify any savings derived therein. For it is the operational cost savings, and not just the purchase price, that must be considered to determine which method is most cost effective and thus, best suited for the application. In order to determine if the type of weighing equipment available in the market can meet the objectives and criteria of the user, a brief description of the weighing equipment and their inherent advantages and disadvantages must be reviewed.


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