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A transformation in transportation

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World Cement,

Kerry Dougan, Command Alkon, describes how the digitalisation of transportation operations in the construction materials industry could greatly improve site productivity, efficiency, and flexibility.

Aggregate producers face many challenges in the industry – employee retention and hiring, compliance concerns, sustainable growth issues, and balancing production requirements with demand. As the construction materials industry in the US expects growth in the coming year due to the new infrastructure legislation, aggregate producers must turn to automation and collaborative solutions to best meet these challenges.

Technologies that automate manual processes, improve communications, and foster internal and external collaboration are key to a successfully running quarry. In today’s markets, aggregate producers must undergo a digital transformation using robust technologies that make a profound impact on site productivity, efficiency, and flexibility.

Automation gets trucks in and out faster

Apex scale ticketing and automation solutions can help to increase efficiency in daily operations, enhance decision-making, and optimise customer service. The technology helps with transport planning by enabling dispatch to oversee activities through a quick and simple order entry system and useful scheduling boards. It delivers real-time overviews of pick-up schedules that indicate where possible obstructions could occur.

The Vehicle/Order Dispatch and Local Dispatch modules allow users to plan, schedule, and track loads and deliveries from the plant location to customers. These functions allow suppliers to provide up-to-the-minute details to the customers enquiring about their orders, as well as optimise efficiency in this crucial area of business.

A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) kiosk is used to streamline the check-in process. Drivers can enter the location via a ‘fast track’ lane, swipe their card and receive product/loading directions into the quarry. This check-in process integrates with a tablet in customers’ loaders so the loader operator knows exactly what truck, product, and target weight to load. The loader operator and weighbridge staff can see exactly how many trucks are in the quarry and for how long. This streamlines the ticketing process on the outbound scale, reducing both overloading and underloading.

Apex scale ticketing records point-of-sale transactions based on readings from the digital scale indicator. Ticketing is also used to create manually entered transactions for deliveries of multiple weighed products through the miscellaneous ticket screen. Features include multiple units of sale, bulk, and bagged goods, along with tracking of freight and material quantities.

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