On-board weighing goes digital for reliability.
- 21 February 2008
- Product News
Chris McAllister, market manager for transportation and logistics at Avery Weigh-Tronix says: "More and more organisations are realising that accurate on-board weighing is fast becoming a necessity. VOSA are targeting overweight vehicles more effectively with their new high-speed check weighing system called VIPER. There will be 14 of these sites by April 2008 and more are already planned."
"Overloading a vehicle is legally an absolute offence, which means that the haulier is responsible. Equally with fuel prices increasing and margins tight, you do not want to ere too much on the side of caution and significantly under load your vehicle.
"Unfortunately on-board weighing systems have in the past proved unreliable, with poor service and maintenance aggravating this problem. As a large organisation we have addressed both of these issues."
The reliability of a digital load cell system is better because the temporary presence of moisture in connectors does not affect digital data transmission. In an analogue system this would stop it working.
Continues McAllister "On-board weighing systems have to be robust because of the environment they operate in. Consider that the load cells and cabling are located under the body; an area constantly exposed to mud, water and grit. Even skip weighers are subjected to extremely harsh environments."
Avery Weigh-Tronix believes that their system will reduce downtime by up to 80 percent and state that it is also easier and faster to maintain. The underbody and skip weighers use digital load cell technology with two-wire data transmission through standard auto-electric cable - a first for the UK.
Using this technology halves the number of wires in the chassis cable from four to two, while a single ‘daisy chain' configuration reduces the amount of cable and eliminates the need for a junction box. The load cells clamp onto this ‘daisy chain' cabling with only two contact points, so a four load cell system only needs eight chassis contacts compared to the 60 needed for an analogue system.
Says McAllister "Quite simply there is less to go wrong with a digital system. While other analogue load cell based systems sometimes have more ‘bells and whistles' we have concentrated on what really matters - does it weigh the load and does it do this accurately and reliably."
If maintenance is needed, using an auto electric system means that spares are easier to source and maintenance is simpler and quicker. Avery Weigh-Tronix can also call on a national team of more than 250 service technicians and a bespoke calibration service.
Underbody systems allow the driver to check the vehicle's gross and net weight and load distribution. This information is viewed on an easy to use display unit and can be downloaded onto a PC or printed as a permanent record.
For skip weighers an elasticated type cable, originally developed for the defence industry, connects the load cells for telescopic systems. These run down the inside of the lifting arms for protection and are connected to the truck for power. The system is easily fitted to both new build and existing vehicles.
Comments McAllister: "Skips tend to be charged by size rather than their weight at collection. This can give the industry problems of overloading since human nature makes customers want to squeeze extra waste in. The result is an overloaded and unsafe lorry, or the operator having to return with a larger vehicle.
"Charging by weight rather than volume overcomes this problem and will increase efficiency and profitability."
Operation is simple and quick. The skip is weighed as it is lifted and there is an audible warning if it is too heavy. Finally an optional printer in the cab allows the collector to present an on the spot ticket for the customer.
Concludes McAllister: "Avery Weigh-Tronix is committed to meeting the needs of this market sector. These products will help vehicle operators stay legal and improve profitability."
For further information about underbody weighing contact: