Our StoryA Lifetime Of Experience And Innovation
Bitterman Scales began in 1961 when Chet Bitterman left Pennsylvania Scale Company, a national scale manufacturer in Lancaster PA, to establish a local scale calibration and service company. At first he worked out of his garage where he stored his tools and parts, traveling to client locations throughout southeastern and central PA. Over the years the business grew, and most of his sons ended up working for the business as his apprentices and later his skilled associates.
In 1991, the business moved its offices and shop to the Willow Street area (just south of Lancaster city) where the company could adequately store its equipment, inventory, and fleet of testing and service vehicles. On occasion a customer needed a custom designed solution, and the technicians were able to adapt and build scales and parts to fit the need.
In the days of mechanical scales there was an art to installing a scale properly—one that would last for generations. All of the moving parts required precision alignment, proper lubrication, and periodic fine tuning. If the technician cut corners, the scale would not perform properly and would wear out prematurely. The Bitterman family of scale technicians had as their goal the pursuit of excellence in the weighing industry, and the Bitterman name soon became synonymous with quality scales and premium scale services.
In the 1980’s, the scale industry has changed with the introduction of electronic load cell technology. Load cells (or load bars) are bars of metal that bend ever so slightly when pressure is applied. That bending dynamic is measured by an internal device called a Wheatstone bridge. Electronic load cells were convenient, and didn’t require nearly the labor and skilled finesse to install or repair them. However, they had one major problem; they were electronic, and, therefore, susceptible to moisture and electrical surge issues. Electronic load cells were fine for dry, environmentally-protected applications, but what do industrial clients do who have outside truck scales or floor scales in heavy wash down food applications?
While other scale companies were content to offer mechanical and electronic scales, the Bittermans also offered a third option to its clients—scales with hydrostatic (aka Hytronic®) load cell technology through its relationship with Emery Winslow Scale Company, a national manufacturer in Terre Haute, Indiana. Hydrostatic load cells do not contain any electronics, so they can never fail due to electronic surges nor be damaged by water and moisture. They can literally sit in water for years and work just fine. Hydrostatic load cells have a Lifetime Guarranty. While other companies promoted electronic scales, and enjoyed the residual service opportunities to replace electronic load cells, the Bittermans focused on clients who were willing to pay a little but more up front to gain a lower total cost of ownership over time.
In the past decade, the scale industry has changed, and Bitterman Scales continues to adapt to the changing landscape. Electronic load cells, although still susceptible to moisture and electrical surges, have improved immensely from their earlier years. Better grounding procedures have been developed to protect against lightning strikes, and the load cells themselves are better designed and sealed to protect from the ingress of water and moisture. Although Bitterman Scales still embraces hydrostatic load cell technology for certain high-demand applications, it also offers electronic load cells from a variety of national manufacturers, including: Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Emery Winslow Scale Company, and Cardinal Scale Manufacturing Company among others.
Today Bitterman Scales continues to be trusted by hundreds of industrial clients in central and southeastern Pennsylvania as their scale calibration and service company. It is not infrequent that they are called upon to solve a problem that one or more of its competitors was not able to solve. That’s because Bitterman Scales technicians troubleshoot “from the ground up,” paying attention to weighing fundamentals and dynamics, instead of “from the top down,” being quick to fix symptoms and replace components as the first line of attack.
In addition to sound scale products and services, Bitterman Scales supports its work with Calibration Reports, Certification Letters, and other documentation required to meet commercial (Handbook 44) and/or industrial (ISO 9001 or 17025, AASHTO, etc) requirements.
When businesses with scales and weighing systems require dependable weighing solutions, installed by experienced, professional, and conscientious technicians, the choice of hundreds of Pennsylvania businesses is Bitterman Scales LLC.