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SCA Recycling is loading up to five per cent more recycled waste per outgoing vehicle at its GBP15m materials recycling facility (MRF) in Southampton by using Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift-truck scales.

This solution has also eliminated the problem of over- or under-loaded vehicles returning for reloading.

The new Southampton MRF can sort up to 200,000 tonnes a year of paper, plastics, metals and glass from both households and businesses.

It uses the latest technology, such as high-speed near-infrared technology, to produce recycled material.

Bales of recycled waste are loaded onto trucks, which then proceed to the site’s weighbridge.

If the vehicle is overloaded, it must return to have bales removed.

In addition, if it is badly under loaded, it will also return to have bales added, since SCA Recycling pays for freight by load rather than weight.

Robin Collier, operations director for SCA Recycling, said: ‘Our experience from other sites shows that about 20 per cent of vehicles need to be returned.

‘Returning vehicles cause congestion both in the facility and then at the weighbridges and are an additional health-and-safety hazard.

‘This is an issue that we needed to address.

‘At Southampton, the forklift-truck scales weigh and record the bales as they are loaded onto the truck.

‘This has eliminated the problem.

‘We can also confidently load the vehicle or shipping container close to its maximum legal weight.

‘Average bale weight is about 900kg and all vehicles at Southampton are loaded to within one tonne of gross vehicle weight.

‘At other sites, we have found that up to 30 per cent of vehicles leaving are two to three tonnes under gross vehicle weight.

‘The Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift-truck scales enable us to load vehicles and containers accurately first time.

‘This improves our onsite efficiency since we do not need to deal with returned vehicles from the weighbridge; it improves our profitability from each load and reduces our carbon footprint since we need fewer trucks and shipping containers.

‘Weighing is a critical part of our operation and we need to avoid or minimise downtime.

‘We already use Avery Weigh-Tronix to maintain and service our weighing equipment at our other seven sites and have decided to use them for both the weighbridges and the forklift-truck scales at our new Southampton site,’ he added.

The service cover provided by Avery Weigh-Tronix includes two scheduled maintenance visits per year; the regular calibration of the equipment; an emergency-callout response of four working hours for the weighbridges and eight working hours for the forklift-truck scales; and technical advice.

The premium-cover package taken out for the weighbridges also includes labour costs and parts for repairs caused by normal wear and tear.

Maureen Bott, product manager at Avery Weigh-Tronix said: ‘Regular service and calibration is vital for weighing equipment to maintain its reliability.

‘At SCA Recycling, the weighbridges and the forklift trucks are vital for the Southampton MRF operations.

‘We have created a service package to suit the customer’s shift patterns and site requirements,’ she added.

The Avery Weigh-Tronix onboard forklift-truck scale transforms forklifts into scales that deliver the trade-approved weigh verification of a load.

It enables SCA Recycling to lift, weigh, move and record a load in one operation.

It is said to be simple to use, with the in-cab indicator guiding the driver through the loading process.

The system, designed for harsh environments, records the weight of each bale and can totalise the weight and number of bales loaded onto each vehicle or container.

The scale’s patented design features two metal plates that are coupled together by the company’s Weigh Bar sensors.

These are designed to deliver accurate readings even when the forklift positions change, when the wheels are on an uneven surface or if the mast is tilted.

Collier continued: ‘In the future, we may upgrade the system so that it can report data automatically as part of an inventory control system.

‘This will help us analyse different recycled product streams from different sources,’ he added.

Avery Weightronix

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