Saturday 27 February 2021

Intercomp outlines latest weighing innovations

Weighing equipment provider Intercomp has highlighted a range of its product developments for the commercial vehicle sector, and described how its technology is being deployed by fleets to help ensure compliance and streamline operations.

The company’s portfolio includes the LS-WIM (Low Speed Weigh-in-Motion) axle scale system, which is said to provide an efficient and cost-effective means of weighing trucks in high-traffic locations.

According to the company, the initial investment for an LS-WIM scale system is less than half that of a full-length truck scale, due in large to fewer civil works requirements.

Among the users of the LS-WIM scales is Melbourne, Australia-based civil plant hire logistics specialist Fleet Plant Hire, which needed a means of ensuring weight compliance of its commercial trucks at its off-site aggregate yard.

Among other responsibilities, Fleet Plant Hire transports construction materials for a large civil infrastructure expansion project. Each departing vehicle is weighed axle-by-axle as it rolls over the weighbridge. Individual axle and gross weight data is shown on high-visibility LED displays, allowing drivers to verify they have a full load while remaining axle weight compliant.

This is all done without the need to stop and retrieve a weigh ticket or talk to a scale attendant. Weight data collected by the scale system also allows managers to study and determine the most efficient operational procedures for the yard.

The effective use of Intercomp WIM systems has reportedly given Fleet Plant Hire a major competitive advantage, and is used to increased profits through better operation. Fleet Plant Hire also provides its clients a reliable safeguard to potential fines by using scales at the jobsite.

“We decided this scale was the best suited for the relatively harsh environment,” said Chris West, managing director at Fleet Plant Hire.

“The solutions presented by Intercomp allow us to track and comply with regulations for gross vehicle weight, while also providing split and axle weight data to ensure legality.

“Right now, we are the only civil plant hire company in our area weighing vehicles with split weights prior to worksite departure, giving us a clear edge on the competition [as it relates to vehicle weight compliance].”

Intercomp also supplies strain gauge Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) Strip Sensors to the global market, a solution that offers minimally-invasive installation by eliminating the need for extensive civil works, according to the company.

Hermetically-sealed sensors are installed and grouted into 3-inch (75-mm) channels cut into the pavement, thereby drastically reducing downtime for installation.

WIM Strip Sensors are built using patented, field-proven strain gauge technology engineered for accuracy and temperature stability, says Intercomp.

Because of the ability to measure weight without needing a vehicle to stop, Strip Sensors promote efficient traffic flow while decreasing wasted time and resources, such as fuel burned by idling trucks waiting to be weighed using a static, in-ground scale.

According to Intercomp, Strip Sensors are also cost-effective due to minimal maintenance requirements, and feature built-in redundancy provided by the multiple sensors used in each installation.Pre-packaged systems include required components for installation and operation of 6- or 8-sensor systems. Both sensor configurations are available as packages for standalone operation or integration with third-party information systems. The sensors can also be customised to include complementary technology.

Fleet Plant Hire deployed Strip Sensors at one of the company’s multiple worksites supporting a large civil works project in Melbourne, but have also utilised the in-ground LS-WIM and LS630-WIM Portable Scale system at other sites.

“Strip Sensors are installed at a location where vehicles travel both directions, and there is not enough room for two access lanes,” explained Garry Higgs, responsible for business development at Fleet Plant Hire.

“This road is used when relocating machinery, including excavators, around this worksite, something that could not be done with a traditional full-length truck scale, due to oversized cargo. We also need to keep the vehicles moving because, at times, 20 vehicles will travel the roadway in an hour.”

Fleet Plant Hire’s Strip Sensor installation curbed exposure to costly citations,  ensuring compliance with all gross, split and axle weight regulations. The compliance program also eliminated liability for the city of Melbourne, and any contractor that utilised the civil plant hire company, to pay commercial vehicle fines. This resulted from changes to national commercial vehicle regulations that hold all parties associated with an offending organisation responsible for any violation.

The company also benefited from greater operational efficiency due to the high-visibility LED displays that allowed drivers to ensure they were not under-filled before leaving the worksite. Aside from making every load count, minimal installation and maintenance needs allowed Fleet Plant Hire to project a lower initial investment when amortised over the operational life of the system.

Fleet Plant Hire uses Intercomp’ LS630-WIM portable WIM system at job sites that require maximum flexibility due to limited space. In this case, the system is used to efficiently monitor the axleweights of trucks hauling material from excavation sites tied to the same civil infrastructure project in Melbourne.

Explained Garry Higgs: “Among our competitors, we are currently the only company offering on-site weight monitoring of our vehicles, safeguarding our clients from potential citation fees.

“Intercomp’s LS630-WIM Portable Weigh-In-Motion system was the most attractive option due to the quick deployment time, increased efficiency while weighing vehicles and flexibility to set up weighing locations where full-length systems cannot fit.”

Intercomp recently introduced the TS30 CPU,  a portable, weather-resitant touchscreen indicator  for use with portable scales. The touchscreen display and intuitive graphic user interface of the rugged, standalone wireless indicator and control unit allows truck scale operators to create tickets and weighing records remotely. This provides the ability to efficiently run monitoring programs for applications like weight compliance, inventory tracking, and safety screening. The indicator also provides the ability to display and save individual wheel, axle, gross, tare, and net weights by communicating with scale pads via RFX Wireless Weighing Technology, on a single screen in real time.

Customisable data fields, such as user session information for scale operation on a particular day and/or location, along with vehicle-specific information, can also be associated with saved records and included on tickets from the integrated printer. Additional customisation options, specifically tailored for unique data needs, can also be added via USB.

The backlit, colour touchscreen indicator makes operation easier and more productive, according to the company, with most weighing options displayed on a single screen, and can display axle spacing in both Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) and static weighing modes. The intuitive nature of the indicator also reduces training needs, claims the company, making it accessible to more employees. The entire system, including RFX radio, is integrated into a self-contained, portable case, allowing a single operator to perform WIM or static weighing operations.

The company has also introduced IntercompWIM Delta software, a stand-alone interface for customers to take advantage of the efficiency and cost-savings of WIM technology while more accurately tracking bulk material inventory, in real time. The software automates weight collection to compare and calculate gross/net weights for vehicles hauling incoming and outgoing goods.

The system compares records with matching vehicle IDs to calculate net, tare, and gross weights. Those values are used to determine the weight of incoming and outgoing materials. The resulting data is then able to be forwarded to third-party inventory software for real-time tracking or exported to a spreadsheet. Vehicle usage and overweight alerts are also saved and can be recalled or exported for later use.

IntercompWIM Delta’s ability to control scales monitoring up to two lanes of traffic – for example, a dedicated inbound and outbound lane – simplifies how WIM scale technology is utilised for daily operations of nearly any type of business. When paired with Intercomp WIM scales, the software completes a stand-alone system for small or large facilities.

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