Most people in the United States are familiar with the English units of measurement. When stepping on a weighing scale in the US, the unit displayed is most likely given in pounds, represented with the letters “lb”. This is the basic unit of weight which is proportional to mass. Weight conversion may be necessary for someone coming from a place in which the Metric System is the norm, such as in Israel or Great Britain. While the pound can be broken down into ounces for a more accurate measure, the Metric System is organized in a much different way. In a pediatrician’s office a baby may be weighed on a hanging scale which displays the weight in ounces. For a baby, every ounce is significant. Many weighing machines today are equipped to handle weight conversion in order to meet the needs of any given situation.
For those involved in the food industry, food scales play a leading role. Whether it is a packaging plant, grocery store, or food laboratory, scales are a necessary component for a successful operation. You may hear terms such as “short ton” and “long ton” when in a large storehouse of food that is great in mass. A ton is the equivalent of 2,000 lbs. This may be referred to as a “short ton”, while a “long ton” is 2,240 lbs. One million pounds is simply put as 500 short tons. This is an ideal way for those dealing with extremely large units of weight to simplify terms.
It is interesting to note that there is a system of weight that is used exclusively for precious metals. This is known as the troy system which seems to have originated in Troyes, France. One troy pound is the equivalent of 12 ounces. One troy ounce equates to 20 pennyweights and this breaks down into 480 grains. Each troy pound is the equivalent of 5,760 grains. Weight conversion to ounces and grams is also commonly seen in the precious metals industry. Having a scale to assist with the weight conversion makes business transactions much smoother and more efficient.
If a manufacturing plant is exporting to a country in which a different unit of measure is used, they will most likely be required to use a weight converter to convert the units from one system to another so that consumers can easily read and understand the labels on the food item packaging. An example of this would be if a manufacturer produced chocolate bars weighing 30 grams (based on the Metric System) and in order to enter supermarkets in the United States, the chocolate bars would need to also state the equivalent weight conversion in ounces, represented with the letters “oz”.
Weight conversion continues to be a necessary component in any and every given industry found in the world. Transitioning from one unit of measure to another is no longer only for those interested in doing mathematical gymnastics. Many food scales and weighing scales are fully equipped to do the calculations within a matter of milliseconds while presenting the weight conversion in a clear easy to read format.