Five Percent More Load Per Vehicle and No Returns for Recycling Facility

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SCA Recycling is loading up to five percent more recycled waste per outgoing vehicle at its new £15 million Southampton materials recycling facility (MRF) by using Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales. The solution has also eliminated the problem of over- or underloaded vehicles needing to return after truck scale transactions to be reloaded.

The company is the UK market leader in paper reprocessing with eight sites in the UK. It is extending this capability into recycling a wide range of dry materials.

The new Southampton MRF can sort up to 200,000 tons 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 high quality recycled material.

Bales of recycled waste are loaded onto trucks, which then proceed to the site’s truck scale. If the vehicle is overloaded it must return to have bales removed. In addition, if it is significantly underloaded, the truck must also return so that bales may be added, since SCA Recycling pays for freight by load rather than weight.

“Our experience from other sites shows that about 20 percent of vehicles need to be returned,” said Robin Collier, operations director for SCA Recycling. “Returning vehicles cause congestion both in the facility and at the truck scales, plus poses an additional health and safety hazard. This is an issue that we needed to address. At Southampton, the forklift scales weigh and record the bales as they are loaded onto the truck. This has eliminated the problem.”

Collier adds, “We can also confidently load the vehicle or shipping container close to its maximum legal weight. Average bale weight is about 900 kg, and all vehicles at Southampton are loaded to within one ton of gross vehicle weight. At other sites we have found that up to 30 percent of vehicles leaving are two to three tons under gross vehicle weight.

“We are always keen to improve our efficiency. The Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales enable us to load vehicles and containers accurately the first time. This improves our on-site efficiency, as we do not need to deal with returned vehicles from the truck scale. It also improves our profitability from each load and reduces our carbon footprint, since we need fewer trucks and shipping containers. The last point is very important to us, because as a recycling facility we are always striving to improve our green credentials.”

Weighing is a critical part of SCA Recycling’s operations, but the company must also avoid or minimize downtime. SCA Recycling already uses Avery Weigh-Tronix to maintain and service weighing equipment at the company’s other seven sites. Now, SCA Recycling employs Avery Weigh-Tronix for both the truck scales and the forklift scales at the new Southampton site.

The service coverage provided by Avery Weigh-Tronix includes two scheduled maintenance visits per year, regular calibration of the equipment, an emergency callout response of four working hours for the truck scales and eight working hours for the forklift scales, and technical advice. The premium coverage package selected for the truck scales also includes labor costs and parts for repairs caused by normal wear and tear.

“Regular service and calibration is vital for weighing equipment to maintain its reliability,” said Maureen Bott, product manager at Avery Weigh-Tronix. “At SCA Recycling, the truck scales and the forklift scales are vital for the Southampton MRF operations. We have created a service package to suit the customer’s shift patterns and site requirements.”

The Avery Weigh-Tronix onboard forklift scale transforms forklifts into scales that deliver trade-approved weight verification of a load. It enables SCA Recycling to lift, weigh, move and record a load in one operation. It is easy to use, with the in-cab indicator guiding the driver through the loading process. The system records the weight of each bale and can totalize the weight and number of bales loaded onto each vehicle or container.

This durable forklift scale system is designed for harsh environments. The scale’s patented design features two metal plates that are coupled together by the company’s Weigh Bar sensors. These deliver accurate readings even when the forklift positions change, when the wheels are on an uneven surface or if the mast is tilted.
“Our investment in this technology has already proven its worth,” Collier said. “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 analyze different recycled product streams from different sources.”

For more information on Avery Weigh-Tronix forklift scales, visit our website.

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