Weighbridge : INNOVATIVE ON-SITE WEIGHING AND LOAD MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FORTARMAC
The construction of a new cement plant at Tarmac’s Tunstead Quarry in Derbyshire has helped to create one of the busiest sites in Europe, with product movements in excess of 6 million tonnes per annum.
With more than 650 vehicle and multiple train movements every day Tarmac needed an integrated weighing, automated cement loading and traffic management system capable of
interfacing with its own SAP system. The new system would also have to encompass the
neighbouring Hindlow site and remote rail fed cement loading depots.
Following a comprehensive process of vendor assessment, Precia-Molen was chosen to design and build a bespoke system based around the market-leading GeneSYS™ and GSM software, utilising a weighbridge management system developed in-house by Precia-Molen to increase flexibility and allow for future development.
The system integrates the operation of 8 weighbridges, two batch weighers for rail car loading, and 18 driver consoles which enable fully integrated automated dispatch operations with Tarmac’s own sales order management system.
Depending on the status of the vehicle visiting the site an RFID card is utilised for fast identification and verification with additional details being entered if the vehicle is new to the site.
Bulk loading is also verified by GeneSYS™ by one of the numerous driver-operated loading points which feature automated loading. GeneSYS™ verifies the vehicle is at the correct location and signals via the integrated PLC that the loading operation can start. For vehicles being directed to the aggregates stock pile area, the order details are sent to the loading shovels via a telemetric link to verify that the vehicle is to be loaded with the correct product and tonnage. Once loaded the vehicle proceeds to the check weighbridge where the order weight is checked against the loaded weight and if within tolerance is directed to the exit weighbridge.
For bagged cement or lime products, the driver simply presents his loading slip to an operator, confirmation is then entered into GeneSYS™ and the driver proceeds to the exit weighbridge.
All drivers returning to the exit weighbridge insert their RFID card into the console, to confirm the final weight and receive the relevant documentation. Where multiple loads are required, the RFID card is returned to the driver for future use – otherwise it is retained.
In addition to the continual road traffic, multiple rail dispatches of either cement or aggregates leave the site every day, delivering product either to major customers or to Tarmac’s remote dispatch depots.
Whilst reducing road vehicle movements Precia-Molen has also built in system resilience and data replication to allow remote dispatch depots to continue operation in the event of a communication failure.
This single system is one of the most advanced automated loading operations providing a powerful and flexible system which has met, or surpassed the needs of the Tarmac operations.
Nick Thomas, Buxton Lime and Cement Distribution Manager for Tarmac, said: “The installation of Genesys has brought about many benefits for Tarmac Buxton Lime & Cement. We have greatly improved our throughput of vehicles without increased staffing and enabled our remote cement depots to function as driver operated units.
From the standard system originally purchased Precia-Molen and Tarmac have developed the
program to meet the needs of the business and integrate all parts of the various units. We are
delighted with the functionality and flexibility of the current version.”