Keep Fleets Moving for Big Performance Gains
By BRAD HUDSON, Marketing Specialist, Vehicle Weighing Segment, METTLER TOLEDO
Many companies believe unplanned truck scale downtime is unavoidable. However, this costly downtime is not a necessary variable in the productivity equation. Newer technologies, such as self-monitoring load cells and the elimination of troublesome junction boxes, help keep scales operating and ensure in-plant performance gains are not made in vain.
No matter how excellent in-plant operations are, process gains are lost if goods cannot flow in and out of the facility due to unplanned truck scale downtime. Water ingress/lightning, heavy loads, high volume, rodent damage or debris threaten scale performance and squeeze margins. Newer, more reliable technology combats these threats, while enhancing scale uptime and performance.
Enhancing Accuracy — Microprocessing
Innovative technology provides first-line defense. Replacing analog load cells with microprocessor-equipped load cells is a good start. Microprocessors offer assurance that a vehicle scale is accurate. They also alert operators to potential problems, so they can be prevented or pinpoint existing problems for quick correction. Time-consuming troubleshooting and parts-swapping is eliminated.
Encased Electronics & No Junction Boxes
Smart physical design also helps. Encasing critical electronics in hermetically sealed, fully welded IP68/IP69K enclosures ensures flooding does not impact a company’s maintenance budget. Eliminating junction boxes — which reduces the number of scale connections by at least 25 percent — prevents ingress, and simplifies installation and maintenance for continued performance enhancement.
Breach Detection & Lightening Protection
Built-in networked breach detection can indicate accidental load cell puncture or tampering to prevent failure with quick component replacement. On-board surge protectors, which redirect voltage, offer lightning protection. Single-point grounding keeps scales running in circumstances in which electrical damage would previously have knocked them out of operation for added uptime.
Better Performance — Real ROI
Eliminating unplanned service events can result in significant savings and productivity increases that continue adding up. In a high-volume throughput situation, avoiding just one day of downtime can offset the cost of a new vehicle scale system. An upgrade should pay for itself in less than 12 months — and some times just one or two — in performance gains and bottom-line results.