Five years ago, Trysome and DWS collaborated to distribute and support VEI onboard weighing and payload management systems in the local mining, quarrying, and transportation industries. Speaking to Quarrying Africa, Johan Momberg, Category Manager: Real-time Monitoring at Trysome, says that with the emphasis and focus on real-time monitoring, the collaboration can be rolled out to almost every industry where loading and load-and-haul operations take place.
“At Trysome, we thrive in delivering optimal uptime, which is the ultimate goal of every business. What is imperative, however, is that maximum productivity is not achieved to the detriment of safety or loss of life,” says Momberg. “Our technical depth gives us the competitive edge, ranging from being auto-electrical journeymen and OEM fitment specialists to internationally accredited safety, weighing, and kinetic mesh network installation specialists.”
Leveraging Trysome’s substantial branch network in South Africa and subsidiaries in Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia, the partnership has recorded significant success with a number of systems installed across a wide range of industries, offering customers the benefit of consistent accuracy and ultimately increased profits.
Uptake and trends
The uptake of the VEI systems, says Momberg, has been good in the local industry. “Several flagship quarries such as Midmar Crushers and Blue Rock quarries in KwaZulu-Natal now use our products exclusively. They have been impressed by the reliability and robustness of the units,” says Momberg.
On one site, the same system has been operational for 12 years with no repairs or replacement of parts needed. At Marble Hall, the system improved the throughput of the quarry by 96% by reducing returns from the weighbridge by 99%.
“There has been a marked uptick in interest in load-weighing products,” he says. “Amid a constrained business environment and resultant shrinking margins, quarries continue to feel the pinch. With a return on investment (ROI) of about four to six months, depending on how busy the quarry is, payload management systems are rapidly becoming a no-brainer.”
Quarry clients, he adds, are also becoming less tolerant of vehicles turning numerous times within the plant and are demanding that trucks be loaded correctly from the onset. Digitalisation is also becoming more important, with having an electronic record of hours worked and operator performance, amongst others, becoming crucial within this environment.
Available is a full range of VEI weigh solutions for a wide range of sectors, including but not limited to the mining and quarrying industry. Agricultural, recycling, and timber industries are also serviced with application-specific solutions. Other target applications include scrap metal and refuse loading and monitoring. “Essentially, if it has a hydraulic piston or a suspension, we can tailor a weighing solution,” declares Momberg.
VEI, the global maker of no-load-cells weighing technology, offers accuracies of between 99% and 100% on properly calibrated machinery. The technology has been licensed as “legal for trade” in Europe and many other countries and is being processed in South Africa.
Commenting on some flagship offerings, Momberg cites the HelperX, which provides connectivity options to suit every site-specific requirement. Wi-Fi or LTE connectivity is available, allowing one to analyse data in real-time. The device incorporates all necessary components without needing any external black boxes, which are often damaged by harsh working and climate conditions.
“More importantly, all our products are upgradeable to the next level via a simple software patch. This means that as the client’s needs change, the software system can be updated without having to replace an entire head unit. This is a unique offering in the industry,” he says.
The VEI systems come with a three-year warranty, which is said to be rare in the high-use, harsh environments in which the machinery operates. “For example, we have machines operating at Letseng at 3 000 m above sea level and units deployed 2 900 m underground,” says Momberg.
“The accuracy of the units and their ease of use means that loading efficiency is greatly increased, especially in the third-world environment in which we operate. They can be coupled to VEI’s range of high-speed thermal printers, memory sticks, and either RF, Wi-Fi, or cellular modems,” he adds.
The latter allows for real-time tracking of the client’s production, often important in remote locations where an office may not be present. VEI also provides powerful, multi-user payload management software which quickly puts information at managers’ fingertips. VEI onboard scale solutions can streamline and improve loading efficiency, leading to rapid ROI and increased profitability.
Payload monitoring saves money, reasons Momberg. Haulage costs, he says, are a headache for many mining and quarrying companies who seek the maximum payload and productivity per haul, at the lowest cost per tonne moved. A four-pass load might be less expensive operationally than say, a seven-pass load. So, if available, a larger truck should be used.
With onboard weighing solutions and payload monitoring, VEI can drive down haulage costs with a range of high-tech devices mounted onboard the loader, haulage truck, or excavator. Payload monitoring is delivered by easy-to-use software applications wirelessly linked to the onboard device, or by connecting the VEI device with any make of onboard fleet monitoring system.
“Installations conducted worldwide across Russia, India, Colombia, South Africa, and Brazil for example, have left customers satisfied with their newfound ability to control loads moved and drive down costs per tonne, achieving an increase in production of 15% – purely through payload monitoring,” says Momberg.
The systems enable them to efficiently plan equipment size, quantity, and availability and improve maintenance procedures and operator training. With reports of overloads being reduced to zero, the result is more efficient equipment usage.
VEI’s new generation Millennium5 and HelperX take into consideration cabin space ergonomics, visibility, ease of use, and connectivity while reducing the amount of componentry. In-cab space is optimised by innovative design and applied electronics, with a sophisticated CPU controller board to work with any other peripheral board. The casing design has gone through various stages of prototyping and test application on the machines. The protective upper casing surrounding the display significantly cuts glare.
The optional printer casing, incorporated on the bottom of the device, requires minimum space and the vertically fitted unit allows excellent visibility from the machine when attached to the cabin pillar, enabling ease of manoeuvrability, without being obstructive.
The components of the display have been chosen from existing components and the screen provides clear visibility in bright sunlight. VEI’s extensive technological expertise has developed a powerful CPU to drive the detailed display graphics and, coupled with the user-friendly interface that assists in accurate navigation, the device has found popularity amongst customers and operators. This is especially important in third-world countries where the cell-phone-type keyboard is intuitive to use.