Sulo dynamic weighing system gains

Sulo MGB Ltd, which recently moved to larger premises in High Wycombe, reflecting the growing market and an increasing order book in the UK, at the last count reported that more than ten of its vehicle-mounted weighing systems now have local Trading Standards certification throughout the country.

One of the latest local authorities to grant the certification to one of Sulo's automatic waste container weighing systems was Norfolk County Council. The system is fitted to a refuse collection vehicle operated by South Norfolk District Council as part of a new recycling initiative.

Sulo says that Trading Standards certification is an essential requirement where refuse collection is on a "pay by weight" basis, primarily for private sector contractors.

The Sulo system gained type approval in 1999 from the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML), an executive agency of the DTI with responsibility for ensuring that all trade measurements are accurate, legal and fair to buyer and seller.

The Sulo system works on the principal of dynamic weighing. The full waste container is weighed as it is raised by the collection vehicle's lifting gear attachment, and then weighed again as it is lowered after emptying. The computer-controlled system automatically calculates the difference to ascertain the weight of the refuse. Sulo maintains that automatic dynamic weighing is more practical since it does not interrupt the lift-and-empty sequence, and as it eliminates manual intervention it is deemed fairer for the customer. Also, since the weighing process cannot be stopped the system is proof against fraudulent practice.

There is the common practice of conducting tests by simply using a static weight clamped to the vehicle's lifting gear. Sulo believes this method to be quite inadequate, potentially inaccurate and by no means a true simulation of real life operations.

Test load method

Instead, Sulo uses real waste containers filled with rubber sacks containing loose steel disc weights. The test weight can therefore move around inside the container, behaving in the same way that normal refuse would. The tests are conducted with the vehicle not just on level ground, but also fore and aft and on lateral slopes of up to 5°, and in off-set positions.

The Sulo method is applied to both rear- and front-end loading vehicles. "The aim of this rigorous testing methodology is to replicate, as far as possible, any situation a refuse collection vehicle is likely to encounter on its rounds," says Allan Waller, Sulo's General Manager (Weighing and Identification Systems). "The method of testing is simple, but it does ensure the accuracy of the weighing system under all operating conditions - not just in a one-off trail," he adds. Sulo is offering to loan its test weights to local authorities and private sector provides so that they can undertake their own simple and effective testing of weighing systems.

The company's address is now: Sulo MGB Ltd, Century Point, Halifax Road, Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, Bucks HP12 3SL. T 01494 511055 W



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