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Feature: Adding weight to the argument

The weighing process in many weighbridge applications has traditionally been relatively slow, with data collection confined to local printouts of tickets and daily tally rolls.

Now more emphasis is being placed on developing peripheral areas.

This is aimed at speeding up throughput of vehicles, improving security and extending weighbridge operational periods, together with improving and simplifying data collection and distribution.

Technologies employed include Ethernet communication for remote access, automatic vehicle recognition systems, smartcard or key readers, the internet and global system for mobile (GSM) communications, the second- generation digital technology originally developed for Europe but which now has more than 70% of the world market. Bespoke, yet configurable, software packages can now be tailored for specific applications and are designed for the seamless integration with existing management systems.

In parallel with these developments, the advent of predictive maintenance programs is minimising breakdowns and reducing service callouts.

Although most recent innovations focus on peripheral equipment and system integration, the company Weightron has looked at improving the design and structure of weighbridges themselves.

At first sight, there appears to be little scope for improvement, but the company has found ways to reduce costs without compromising strength and reliability.

Modular construction techniques have significantly reduced production lead times, while the use of robotic welding and new surface finishing technology ensures improved longevity.

In addition, improvements in load cell technology and instrumentation offer further enhancements.

Digital load cells are now becoming well established in weighbridge applications and offer a number of advantages over analogue load cells, especially during installation and ongoing servicing.

Weightron has also developed its RoRo-Weigh platform designed specifically to weigh roll-on, roll-off-type waste containers during filling operations on site.

The construction is designed to ensure these modules can withstand the arduous conditions found at recycling and waste sites.

They are designed to have significant overload capability in excess of their 30-tonne working capacity, while the steel deck is supported on four 25-tonne capacity, fully sealed, stainless steel load cells.

The decks have guide rails along their 6.3m length and a V-shaped end locator.

The wheels of the containers run along sacrificial steel strips set into the deck, and these can readily be replaced when they become worn.

Driver-operated systems offer a number of advantages and remove the need to have permanently manned weighbridges.

The Self 800 weight control terminal unit, designed to speed up vehicle weighing procedures at remote or unmanned weighbridges, has full legal for trade approval, ensuring compliance with the latest 90/384 European Directive for non-automatic weighing machines.

Access is via a designated swipe card. The unit provides a complete materials handling management system that not only speeds up weighing operations but also extends the available working period for weighbridges.

The unit recognises registered hauliers and individual vehicle information including tare weights, registration details and even delivery/collection patterns.

The terminal also has the facility to control vehicle access via traffic lights and stop barriers.

For vehicles not registered in the database for a

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