NTEP stands for National Type Evaluation Program. It is administered by the National Conference of Weights and Measures and is endorsed by most states as being the benchmark to allow a device to be used as a legal for trade point of sale weighing device.
NTEP approval basically tells the market that the scale or weighing device has proven itself to be accurate over time. This is vitally important when products are sold by weight, which is virtually all food items.
To obtain NTEP approval, a manufacturer must submit an application, conduct laboratory testing and in most cases do field testing to verify accuracy and performance of the automatic weighing system (i.e. in-motion checkweigher, conveyor scale, etc).
Performance testing can occur at temperature variations from 14º F to 104º F (environmental chamber), often in the field locations to prove industry usage, and permanence testing where they run up to 100,000 weighments across the scale between testing sessions to verify the device’s ability to remain accurate. The testing is very rigorous.
It is a VERY expensive commitment by the manufacturer is a testament to the seriousness and commitment of the manufacturer to a given product design and weighing system application of that product. In summary manufacturers who obtain NTEP approval are serious about the accuracy of their weighing system over the long term. Simply put: it often separates the ‘wheat from the chaf’ in the weighing industry.