Original Date: 07/20/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Automated Scales
(equipment: Fairbanks Morse Automated Scale)
The number of containers being processed by SIAD has increased and as a result, a more efficient method was needed to reduce the amount of time required for handling, moving, and weighing the containers prior to shipment. Previously, a loaded container was moved from a building, loaded on a truck by a large forklift, and transported to a scale three miles away. There, it was weighed and returned another three miles to the building. At the building, the container was placed on pad scales to determine its center of balance. In addition to the equipment and time needed to load, move, and weigh the container, the process included an additional labor expense of five people charging a total of seven man-hours for each container processed. In order to improve this process, a new method has been developed resulting in reduced costs and increased throughput capacity.
Depot personnel provided valuable input toward the purchase of a new automated platform scale, designed and built by Fairbanks Morse. This state-of-the-art scale is capable of simultaneously weighing the loaded container and determining its center of balance. A specific location of the container on the platform is not necessary; however, the container must be placed parallel with the platform to obtain the proper center of balance. A forklift and transport dolly are used to move the container onto the scale and return it to its proper location within the building after its weight and center of balance are obtained. The scale has an accurate capacity of 100,000 pounds and is connected to a personal computer that provides the operating personnel an automated printout. The printout lists the container’s actual weight, length, width, and center of balance. The scale has a built-in calibration feature that is password protected and can only be accessed by qualified personnel when calibration is required. Use of this scale to weigh loaded containers requires three people charging a total of 1.5 man-hours, thereby reducing the cost to the customer by 5.5 man-hours per container, and eliminating the six-mile round trip of movement previously required; and reducing the material handling equipment and lost time of the actual move. While this scale is the first one of its kind to be built, it has met and exceeded the requirements set forth by SIAD.
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