Weighing is an integral part of any port operation, providing the data required to bill accurately and ensure the safe loading of ships and ongoing intermodal transport. Westports is a multi-cargo port which handles all types of cargoes in containers, break bulk, dry bulk, liquid bulk, vehicles and more. Grain (maize) is one of the port’s major dry bulk imports. With each ship carrying up to 60,000 tonnes, the port needed to find a way to accurately weigh and discharge the grain without slowing down the port’s operation.
The former weighing system, which used a conveyor and hopper weigher solution to transfer grain from the ships to the various warehouses, was not performing accurately. As well as requiring manual intervention at set weight intervals, the system lacked data storage, which meant all of the transaction data had to be manually written down and compiled. These time-consuming processes were compounded by the fact that the incumbent supplier was unable to offer any maintenance or calibration service on the scale.
With nine Avery Weigh-Tronix weighbridges already operating efficiently and benefitting from a maintenance contract at Westports, the terminal operator called on Avery Malaysia to find a solution to their grain weighing issue.
By converting the existing hopper weigher and installing Avery load cells and an indicator, Avery Malaysia devised an automated weighing solution. The new indicator was accompanied by a computer with customised software to automate the grain transfer process and to generate useful grain transfer reports. The computer software stored weight data along with date, time, type of grain and the names of the ship and warehouse in which it was stored, along with discharge batch count and the batch weight, speeding up processes and giving Westports access to invaluable data.
Mr Ragu, Westport Maintenance Manager commented “The computerised grain transfer system has saved us a lot of time. Previously, we had to collect the data manually and then feed it into Excel to generate reports. Now everything is done automatically by the system and we no longer have to worry about missing data. We also need less people to operate the system because we can pre-set and control the entire operation with the computer. This is a big advantage especially during the night shifts“.
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