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Harsh working environment is ‘all in a day’s work’ for Parkerfarm weighbridges

Three driver-operated Eurodeck weighbridges supplied by Parkerfarm Weighing Systems are playing an important role at Bioganix plc's organic waste recycling plant at Sharpness Docks near Gloucester. The plant, which opened in the spring of 2008, has the capacity to process up to 50,000 tonnes of waste food material per year.

Composting foodstuffs in such fully approved and licensed plants is now recognised as the only economically viable and long term solution for dealing with the growing amount of industrial and domestic food waste. The proprietary Bioganix process involves in-vessel composting of waste material and the resulting nutrient-rich fertiliser provides an excellent replacement product for use by farmers. The compost is also used for soil conditioning and brown-field site reclamation.

Parkerfarm have a close working relationship with Bioganix, who already operate four Parkerfarm weighbridges at their plant in Ipswich. The 50 tonne, 15 metre surface mounted weighbridges installed at Sharpness have concrete entry/exit ramps and are arranged so that two are used for weighing incoming waste carrying vehicles, whilst the third is used for outgoing vehicles carrying finished compost.

The driver-operated Self-800 terminal is specifically designed to reduce weighing times at busy sites and where applicable can allow weighing to take place out of normal operating hours. Drivers are issued with dedicated swipe cards which can be pre-programmed with relevant data relating to the operator, vehicle and load. When they arrive on site, they drive onto the weighbridge and swipe their card. They are then prompted through the weighing procedure before being allowed to drive off the weighbridge. On exit the process is repeated and drivers are issued with a printed receipt. All weighing data from the weighbridges is transmitted back to a central D800 weight terminal in the site office. This is configured to download data to a designated local PC in spreadsheet format at twice daily intervals. At the end of each day downloaded data is then collated and electronically transmitted to Bioganix's head office in Leominster.

The robust design of the Eurodeck is ideal for such harsh operating environments. The weighbridge features fully welded stainless steel load cells and a special restraint system to minimise the damaging effects of harsh vehicle braking. The structural beams, which support a robust durbar deck, run length ways, consistent with traffic flow and have sufficient depth so that they do not need stiffening plates. This gives a consistent, well-drained weighing surface, avoiding any build up of condensation. The unsupported span between these beams is only 165 mm, which means that with maximum loading in the centre of a standard module, there is minimum deflection.

Bioganix's Technical and Operations Director, Oliver O'Toole, is pleased with the installations and as he concludes: “The weighbridges are a vital part of our busy operations, providing important fiscal and legislative weight-based information. Our harsh and onerous site conditions place considerable operational emphasis on the weighbridges and the Parkerfarm units have proved to be very reliable. The driver-operated terminals eliminate the need for permanent weighbridge staff and minimise any potential bottlenecks at busy times.”

Parkerfarm Weighing Systems Ltd
Titan Works
Bridge Way
Chesterfield Trading Estate
Derbyshire S41 9QJ
Tel: 01246 456729 Fax: 01246 260844

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