I Need an NTEP Certified Laundry Scale
But, what does that mean?
When you purchase a laundromat scale, you will be told, (or maybe you already have been told) that you need to be sure it is an NTEP Scale. What does this mean? The short answer is that an NTEP approved scale is approved for conducting business over the counter with customers. Any business that sells to customers based on weight - from farm stands, to laundromats to candy stores is required to use an NTEP Scale. The NTEP approval means it is able to be certified for over the counter sales, or that it is Legal for Trade.
Your scale will come with an NTEP Certificate of Conformance from the National Conference on Weights and Measures, as well as an NTEP Seal.
What is this document? What is the Seal? What does it mean?
The National Conference on Weights and Measures is supervised by the National Institute of Standards and Technology - NIST. The NCWM is the organization that administers the NTEP program, which stands for National Type Evaluation Program. The NTEP program ensures that the equipment we use as a society conforms to known standards of measurement and accuracy to known measurements. The standards used for these weighing machines are explained in what is called the NIST Handbook 44:
Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices
For the APM Laundry scales from Summit Measurement for example, they have issued the Certificate of Conformance # 03-055A1. You can look it up on their website at the link below, and download a copy of the Certificate of Conformance:
SEARCH FOR CC 03-055A1
The scale also comes with a physical NTEP Seal, which is a little bag containing a piece of lead and 2 wires. The wires are used to "activate" the scale for business by sealing the scale, meaning you can't open it up and manipulate the mechanics without breaking the seal. It is not a shiny gold emblem or anything like this. This process of sealing the scale is not something we do because it has to be done by a certified sealer in the state where you will be using the scale. It is unlawful for us, or you, or anyone other than a certified sealer to seal your scale. This could be a local scale dealer who is certified in your state, or an authority in your state, city or county weights and measures department. They will inspect the scale to be sure it has the NTEP conformance, and then seal it. If you do not know how to find a certified sealer, you can locate your state weights and measures director with the tool below:
Summit Measurement offers a variety of Legal for Trade Laundromat Scales, the most popular being the APM-NTEP Laundry Scale and the UFM-B60 NTEP Laundry Bench Scale.
When you buy an NTEP Laundry Scale from Summit Measurement, you can feel confident knowing it will pass these stringent requirements.