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On-board weighing and telemetry system helps increase site efficiency.

In order to further increase site efficiency and reduce wastage costs, British Sugar has recently invested in a RDS Loadmaster 9000i on-board weighing system supplied by RDS South East Ltd and the Load 2000 telemetry software package from Derbyshire-based CC Software Ltd for their Volvo L70F wheeled loader.

In addition to being the leading supplier of sugar to the UK market, British Sugar is also the largest supplier in the UK of agricultural fertiliser to the landscape and amenity industries. All topsoil products are recycled and developed from the soil that adheres to the sugar beet delivered to British Sugar's factories and as such comes from the best agricultural soils in the country. After separation, the soil undergoes a gravity settlement stage prior to a lengthy conditioning process and careful storage ready for delivery to customers all year round.

At British Sugar's Wissington plant in Norfolk, the topsoil site is located over 1 1/2 miles from the central weighbridge and handles over 50,000t of topsoil per year either loaded onto trucks or as a bagged product. This can mean vehicles spending a large amount of time on site, which may lead to higher haulier rates.


Given the remote location of the site and the distance from the current weighbridge, British Sugar opted to have the Loadmaster trade-approved making it legal for the sale of goods direct from the weighing data on the loader. This data is transferred directly from the loader to the corporate Integrated Weighbridge System via a two-way telemetry communication link. This, coupled with the Load 2000 programme, allows the operator to interface with the central system giving live updates of job status. New jobs are now despatched to the loader immediately and once complete the load information is transmitted to the central system for recording and invoicing purposes.

The advantages of implementing this system include reducing vehicle turnaround time, thus saving costs on hauliers, ensuring the accuracy of truck loading and reducing the environmental impact of the operation.

Alongside the Loadmaster a rugged in-cab touch-screen computer is installed and connected to a transmitter that sends data to the central network hub via a 5MHz mesh router. British Sugar has worked closely with CC Software and RDS Technology to develop the system, ensuring its ease of use and utilising all required software features to their full capability.

Andrew Dear, area and beet supply manager at British Sugar Topsoil, says he is impressed with the way the weighing and telemetry operation is working, commenting: "This has been a worthwhile investment and the continual development of the project in partnership with CC Software and RDS is creating a successful system that helps us achieve all of our objectives.

"Many of the objectives that the project set out to achieve have been met and exceeded." Dear continues to explain that: "Vehicle turnaround time between entry and exit has been drastically reduced and we are now loading every vehicle to its full capacity."

The implementation of this advanced weighing data transfer method has already brought clear benefits to British Sugar's topsoil recycling and waste management operations.

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Title Annotation:HANDLING & STORAGE
Publication:Plant & Works Engineering
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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