Speedy weighbridge system keeps waste moving at the NEC

Speed was of the essence when Weightron Bilanciai won an order to install a new 50 tonne weighbridge into an existing pit outside one of the main security gates at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. The requirement arose towards the end of 2004 when Cleanaway was awarded the waste removal and recycling contract at the NEC by the overall facilities management company, ISS UK.

With 21 halls totalling 200,000m2, the NEC is the largest exhibition centre in Britain, staging around 160 exhibitions each year. Some 7,000 tons of material are generated annually including card, paper, plastic, carpet, wood and metals. To handle this, Cleanaway has around six compactors and 80 containers of different types located across the site and, at busy times, up to five Cleanaway vehicles are in operation, going to and from the centre via the weighbridge. The weight data from the different locations around the site provides important management information used for fiscal and logistics reasons.

For Cleanaway, there were a number of important factors in the decision process of choosing the weighbridge supplier, and as its Project Manager, Phil Bentley, explains: "This new contract came at a very busy time for the NEC and therefore the weighbridge installation had to be carried out with the minimum of disruption. Weightron ensured us that they could fit the new bridge into the existing pit and certify it for Weights and Measures use within a 24 hour period."

Weightron's Sales Director, Nick Catt, was confident that it could carry out the complete project within the required time frame.

The company is part of the international Bilanciai Group, Europe's largest weighbridge manufacturer. Weighbridges are fully fabricated and tested with live load cells in the Weightron factory at Chesterfield and then fitted with dummy load units for shipping. The main cabling out to the junction box is also laid in prior to shipment. Once installed on site, the dummy load cells, which exactly replicate the live units, are replaced.

An important feature of the Weightron weighbridge is an innovative, yet simple, restraint system. When vehicles drive onto a weighbridge, considerable end-to-end forces can be generated. The restraint system, which is set up prior to shipment, limits both front to back and side to side movement without affecting performance. Weightron sees this as a prestigious installation that will serve as a useful live demonstration site for the forthcoming Recycling and Waste Management Exhibition at the NECin September.


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