Friday, 24 October 2014

Not fit for purpose...

That’s what the customer said when we went to look at his axle weighbridge. He went onto explain that he’d had no end of trouble with it.

Thankfully he wasn’t talking about one of ours. We imagine he was also quite pleased that it was his predecessor who bought it and not him.

We’ve mentioned the difficulties that can accrue from trying to do axle weighing on the cheap in the past and no doubt we will come across many similar installations in the future. Something that looked a very good deal on paper but turned out to be a load of trouble. And expensive trouble at that.

On the face of it, it’s quite a neat looking installation in quite a clean yard and not particularly heavily trafficked. But there are a few features that mean the system will not do what the customer wants.

The load cells and their mountings, which are very good quality by the way, are not the right design for a dynamic axle weighbridge application. The type of mountings will wear simply by using the system. Simply driving vehicles across the plate will lead to frequent failures and expensive repairs as this customer has found out to his cost.

The whole area is on a slope which will affect the accuracy. Any weighing machine is only measuring the effect of gravity and no weighing machine can influence that effect. Gravity will always pull in a straight line downwards and load cells are all designed to see weight going through a predetermined path with the strain gauges attached accordingly.
This axle weighbridge at least is up to the job!

This means if the load cells are on an incline, the load is taking a path through them that isn’t directly downwards an inaccuracy will result.

It isn’t the weighbridges fault. It only measures the effect of gravity it can’t influence it but it’s surprising how many people only listen to what they want to hear. They think that the cheaper an installation is, the more of a compromise it is, the more it can bend gravity to its will! The fact is there is a reason why we design, install and test our system the way we do.

A gentle incline won’t put the system outside of its tolerance as long as it is used correctly but it does mean that proper operation is essential.

This customer also has plans to offer the system as a Public Weighbridge and earn some income from it. The only type of system which can be offered in this way is one that has been Approved for the purpose and this one hasn’t been.

The Axtec Dynamic Axle Weighbridge is the only one which achieves this Approval and can thus be offered for this role.

There will be some cost attached but no more than should have been spent in the first place. So with a few modifications the customer will get what he wants and a system that will last him for years and start earning him money rather than costing.