Defeating Downtime

New Scale Cuts Maintenance Costs

Weighing equipment should increase efficiency, not decrease it. As a truck scale ages, mounting downtime and service costs can turn it into a liability for a weighing operation. New digital load cells solve the problem for truck scale operators by combining high performance with low maintenance.

Inbound/outbound weighing
Powercell PDX

The quarry relies on its truck scales to ensure accurate billing for more than 100 trucks per day.

A quarry uses two scales to process sales of crushed stone for more than 100 trucks a day. One scale serves as an inbound scale that weigh empty trucks as they enter the facility.

The trucks then proceed to the appropriate location on site for loading. After they have been loaded, the trucks return to the scale house to be weighed on the outbound scale.

The scales are vital to the operation because the quarry charges its customers based on the weight of the material being shipped. To ensure accurate billing, the scales must be well maintained and recertified regularly.

When the scales were due to be replaced, the facility manager began investigating their impact on the business. He noted that the periodic certification of the scales was a time-consuming process. Because the scales were equipped with analog load cells, the adjustment required to bring them within tolerance often took a day or more. During that time, the scales could not be used to weigh material.

He also looked at the cost of unplanned shutdowns. In the wet climate where the facility is located, heavy rains and minor flooding are common. Water occasionally leaked into the scales’ junction boxes, halting production until the boxes could be dried out or replaced.

Improving reliability

Powercell PDXWith these problems in mind, the facility manager began exploring options for improving the reliability of the weighing operation. He visited a local site that operated a scale equipped with POWERCELL® PDX® load cells from METTLER TOLEDO. During this visit, he got a firsthand look at the technology and how it works.

Unlike analog systems, POWERCELL PDX load cells use the latest digital technology to measure weight data. Each load cell is equipped with a microprocessor that maintains weighing accuracy by automatically compensating for changes in temperature and other environmental factors. A unique predictive-diagnostics system allows proactive maintenance by constantly monitoring the performance of every load cell in the network.

After investigating the different options for weighing trucks, the customer replaced the old scales with two new METTLER TOLEDO Truck scales that are equipped with POWERCELL PDX load cells and an IND780 scale terminal. This advanced technology provided a single solution to the problems that had been plaguing the weighing operation for decades.

Reducing downtime
Powercell PDX

The facility has eliminated downtime caused by junction boxes that leak during flooding.

With the new scales, the periodic certifications have had minimal impact on the facility’s operation. Gone are the repetitive manual adjustments required by the analog load cells. POWERCELL PDX load cells automate shift adjustment at the scale terminal. Since the new scales were installed, certification rarely takes more than an hour.

The new scales also keep operating during the wettest weather. Their unique POWERCELL PDX networks eliminate troublesome junction boxes. The load cells connect to one another in a water-tight network that is designed to keep out moisture even when fully submerged in water. Load cells, cables and connectors are all sealed to IP68 standards.

The new scales have dramatically reduced both planned and unplanned maintenance. Scale certification can be performed quickly without disrupting service. Because there are fewer service calls and the calls are shorter, maintenance cost have gone down.

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