Upgraded Truck Scale Maintains Peak Efficiency

Scale Upgrades with POWERCELL PDX

Downtime during the peak season can eat up an agricultural operation’s profits. To improve productivity, a cotton processor needed a solution for the maintenance problems that were plaguing its vehicle scale. Replacing old load cells with advanced technology gave new life to the company’s aging scale.

Originally a family-owned, grain-buying operation, Commonwealth Gin built its first cotton gin in Windsor, Virginia in 1992 and later added a second in nearby Franklin. Both plants weigh inbound seed cotton, separate fiber from seed, and then weigh outbound seed. Comparing weights of incoming cotton against outbound seed helps a grower know his or her yield. Accurate outbound weights also help ensure Commonwealth gets the most profit for its effort.

Costly downtime

Powercell PDX

With POWERCELL PDX technology, Commonwealth Gin is able to meet the demands of its busy season without having to worry about downtime.

After decades of use, Commonwealth’s legacy vehicle-weighing systems at its Windsor facility were showing signs of age. Parts had become difficult to find. Portions of the system had even become obsolete, resulting in less-than-optimal service from the previous supplier.

Resulting downtime ate into the company’s profits. Poor data integrity also created headaches for plant management. Commonwealth Gin’s Shipping Manager Christopher Alphin began the search for a new weighing service provider. He wanted a larger team of technicians with deeper experience troubleshooting such large industrial operations as Commonwealth’s.

Improved service

Alphin’s search led him to Carlton Scale, the third-largest METTLER TOLEDO distributor in North America. Carlton Scale has one of the largest systems-integration groups anywhere, with services that include customizing automated weighing and data-collection systems. ISO-17025 accreditation means Carlton Scale technicians can expertly talk to Alphin and his managers about important quality-control topics.

Ultimately, Alphin and his Carlton representative decided to replace Commonwealth’s legacy vehicle-scale systems after settling on a winning combination: a METTLER TOLEDO IND560 PDX terminal connected to POWERCELL® PDX® load cells. Alphin was impressed by both the equipment’s comprehensive warranty and the load cells’ on-board digital diagnostics. The easy-to-monitor diagnostics constantly analyze scale health. In the unlikely event of failure, the system makes it possible for a technician to find and replace a component in just minutes: not days or weeks.

Zero downtime

Fortunately, the need for such a replacement hasn’t arisen. “We have had zero downtime with the new equipment,” Alphin says. That was especially important during Commonwealth’s peak season, from October to December. Equipment failures at those times used to require truck diversions that cost the company not just in time and labor, but also in fuel.

In fact, Commonwealth’s gains with Carlton and its new METTLER TOLEDO equipment have been so impressive that plant management decided to completely rebuild two other plant weighing/automation systems that were starting to show signs of wear. Both required new hardware and custom software.

Easier expansions

Now, Commonwealth Gin is poised for even greater success. In addition to the excellent day-to-day service Alphin has received during installation, he knows he’s got Carlton Scale and METTLER TOLEDO on his side for future expansions as well: expansions that will be made easier by the smart, modular designs of both IND560 PDX and POWERCELL® PDX® load cells. “We are very pleased,” Alphin says.

Article from the METTLER TOLEDO Vehicle Weighing News 12

Learn more about upgrading your truck scale to METTLER TOLEDO POWERCELL PDX load cells