Stornoway is on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, 30 miles off the North West Coast of Scotland, and has some of the fiercest weather conditions in the UK. The previous steel weighbridge was pit mounted to be flush to the road and was close to the sea front. It was subject to an extremely corrosive atmosphere and could be exposed to seawater due to back flooding when there was a high spring tide.
The challenge for Avery Weigh-Tronix was to find a solution that could overcome such an aggressive environment. A one-piece pit mounted concrete weighbridge manufactured to fit into the existing pit proved to be the best option. Salt water will not affect a concrete weighbridge and it will therefore have a much longer service life, with lower maintenance costs than one manufactured from steel. Concrete weighbridges have a design life of up to 40 years.
The weighbridge is used infrequently, but needs to be fully operational at all times since the cost of delaying freight shipments can run into thousands of pounds per day. The Port Authority therefore also needed a service contract. This includes two service visits per year, an annual calibration and also gives them piece of mind that Avery Weigh-Tronix will respond within 8 hours if an emergency occurs. Avery Weigh-Tronix now maintains all of the serviced weighbridges on the Western Isles.
Says Maureen Bott, Service Product Manager for Avery Weigh-Tronix: “This contract clearly demonstrates the scale and capability of our service organisation. With more than 250 technicians spread across the UK, no other weighing manufacturer can provide the whole of the country with a truly local service cover. Very few, if any, of our competitors could provide a solution and service contract for such a remote project as this.”
“Downtime costs for a weighbridge can be significant, so it pays to check the fine details of any contract that you have. Preventative maintenance is vital and so is emergency cover.“
Says Harbourmaster for Stornoway Port Authority, Captain Torquil Macleod: “Weighbridges used at ports face an incredibly demanding and corrosive environment. We needed to find a solution that was cost effective for the long term. The best solution was an Avery Weigh-Tronix concrete weighbridge, particularly as it was sized to fit in the existing pit.
“The company has also provided a software solution that is tailored to meet our particular needs and, bearing in mind where we are, a service and maintenance contract for all of our weighbridges.”
The weighbridge solution also included a data management system to better record the details of shipped goods. The software runs on a laptop which plugs into the system when required. Its easy to use interface means that any of the sixteen Port employees can use it when a vessel is loaded or unloaded.
Since the installation, a second weighbridge has had its weight indicator converted so that the same software can record data from both of the Authority’s weighbridges.