Ageing Weigh Hoppers Get Digital RetrofitAgeing Weigh Hoppers Get Digital Retrofit
- 16 March 2012
- Company & Industry News
Avery Weigh-Tronix has retrofitted seven ageing mechanical weigh hoppers with a fully digital solution for Irish fuel importers and distributors Top Fuels, saving the company the expense of replacing the entire system.
The company imports and distributes heating oil and coal. The old mechanical system used by subsidiaries Bruce Lindsay Coal and Kelly Fuels for filling coal sacks, was proving difficult to maintain. With replacement parts becoming difficult to source a decision was made to retrofit the weigh hoppers with newer electronic systems.
The new system uses electronic load cells and an indicator with a fully digital read out, resulting in a system that is more accurate and easier to maintain than the old mechanical dial system.
Using an electronic based weigh hopper system gives the company several distinct advantages. It is notoriously difficult to maintain a repeatable zero state with mechanical systems, but with electronic load cells the zero state never fluctuates. Accuracy is also improved with the resolution of the scales reduced from 200 grams to 50 grams.
A modern system also allows better management of the product. In this instance no coal bags can be discharged from the weigh hopper until they have reached a pre-programmed weight. This eliminates the problem of under loading bags, so the customer gets what they pay for, but product giveaway is also minimised. Prior to the retrofit of the weigh hoppers any variation in product being fed into the hopper had to be manually configured. The addition of the electronic system allows up to ten presets or product look ups can be configured for instant changeover.
Systems Sales Engineer for Avery Weigh-Tronix Ireland, Michael Curran comments on the success of the retrofit, “The coal weighing system is something we’ve been working on for some time now, the successful implementation of the system with Top Fuels proves the viability and cost effectiveness of retrofitting old mechanical scales.
“There are a lot of mechanical weigh hoppers still out there that could benefit from this kind of retrofit. The fact that we were able to do seven retrofits across two sites for just £30k means it’s a cost effective solution that many people will now be looking at.”