As the second largest producer of palm oil in the world, Malaysia has 5 million hectares of land dedicated to producing over 19 million tonnes of palm oil. Since the very first weighbridge was commissioned for the Tennamaram Estate in Selangor more than 60 years ago, Avery Weigh-Tronix Malaysia has supplied in excess of 600 weighbridges into palm oil mills and plantations countrywide.
David Lee, retired Director of Mills at Harrisons & Crosfield and renowned consultant to the palm oil industry, remembers working with Avery Weigh-Tronix to design and commission his first weighbridge at Harrisons & Crosfield. David recalls, “It is all electronic now but at the time we were still using the great red Avery dial mechanical technology. The equipment was so reliable that we kept it going for years.”
In fact, Malaysia’s first electronic weighbridge was installed by Avery Weigh-Tronix (then Avery) in 1976 for a palm oil bulking facility at Guthrie Plantations. Testament to the strength of the company’s equipment, the weighbridge is still in operation today.
With many large palm oil corporations operating mills and plantations in multiple locations throughout the country and downtime being costly, Avery Weigh-Tronix’s nationwide network of ten service branches offers customers added reassurance.
David explains, “A large palm oil mill may process 100 tonnes per hour of fresh fruit bunches (FFB). Given the number of weighments that has to be done day-in-day-out, the weighbridge vendor’s ability to provide responsive service is critical. Palm oil mills simply cannot afford downtime. Avery Weigh-Tronix understands this and has invested in an extensive branch network to provide prompt and reliable service. This is why they have been the leaders in weighbridges for years”.
Avery Weigh-Tronix Service Manager SC Chan believes that Avery Weigh-Tronix’s knowledge of the palm oil industry helps the company to provide technical support and advice beyond the capability of some other local vendors.
This extends to software integration, SC explains, “The Avery Weigh-Tronix team work extremely closely with customers to conduct audits, recommend solutions and ensure the best possible outcome. Some of the advanced features built into our Weighman 8 software have actually been developed in response to customer feedback – for example, FFB grading capability added to the software in recognition that it is a key factor in managing oil extraction rates and FFB pricing.
“We recently worked on a project to improve data integration from existing weighbridges at multiple locations with the customer’s back-end ERP system. The project facilitated mill consolidation reports and enabled productivity benchmarking, giving the company access to valuable business data.”
When asked about Avery Weigh-Tronix’s experience in the palm oil industry, David Lee concludes, “It is not only their knowledge of the industry. It is their professional and solutions-oriented approach to the business. With Avery Weigh-Tronix, the value of the partnership grows after the sale.”