Coillte “See the Wood from the Tree’s” by Investing in New SoloWeigh Driver Operated System
Mark Carlin, Harvesting & Logistics Manager for Coillte, believes that:
“Since we updated our weighbridge system to the SoloWeigh, we have dramatically reduced operational costs and greatly improved day to day business transactions. The SoloWeigh’s are linked to our back office systems so we have real time information at the touch of a button. We can cross check data that we suspect may be incorrect or be unaccounted for, providing us with full accountability and a comprehensive audit trail.”
Established in 1988, Coillte owns over one million acres of land in Ireland, most of which is forested. Coillte are responsible for the innovative and sustainable management of these natural resources. Coillte’s trees are harvested and are processed by a number of independently owned sawmills and their own panel-board mills. Once harvested, logs are transported to these mills by truck. Before a truck enters one of Coillte’s forests it must have a permit to collect the load of timber. Once the load is delivered to the mill, Coillte must determine the weight of each truck-load of timber and must convert this weight into volume. The rationale behind this is the fact that, unlike volume, the weight of timber is not constant and varies greatly depending on moisture content. Therefore, in order to accurately value each truck-load of logs, a volume / weight conversion must be carried out. To do this sample logs are removed from selected trucks at the weighbridge to determine their weight. After the weighing process, the volume of these logs is determined and a conversion factor is calculated. The weight information along with the conversion factor must then be entered on Coillte’s management information system.
In an effort to increase operational efficiency and enhance security, whilst improving customer service, Coillte needed to automate the weighing and sampling process whilst streamlining the issue of timber removal permits at numerous mill locations nationwide. Included was a requirement to allow truck-drivers to self-administer timber removal permits, capture weight and conversion factor data electronically, download this data automatically and instantly onto Coillte’s MIS, and overview the entire process using an innovative CCTV system.
Riteweigh supplied a bespoke version of the SoloWeigh driver operated kiosk at each mill location. The SoloWeigh ensures that each truck-load can be securely weighed with pre-determined driver instructions at each stage of the weighing cycle. The SoloWeigh captures and stores all information including weight of load, camera image of driver, barcode, timber type and sample log details. All of this information can be accessed locally by the sawmill or remotely on Coillte’s MIS, providing up to the minute timber movement details.
At the start of each timber removal transaction, a timber removal permit is issued to the truck driver from the SoloWeigh kiosk located in the weighbridge office. This permit informs the driver which forest they have to collect the timber logs from and what type of logs to collect. On arrival at the forest, the permit is deposited into a docket-box and the truck is loaded. On returning to the mill, the driver presents their key fob at the SoloWeigh kiosk and scans the barcode that is presented on the timber removal permit. This validates the load and the driver then inputs data as prompted by the SoloWeigh to successfully register the load and complete the transaction. The volume / weight sampling process is controlled by SoloWeigh, which selects which trucks are to be sampled. When the weighing cycle is completed, the data is automatically sent back to Coillte’s MIS for further processing.
One of the main business issues for Coillte prior to installing the SoloWeigh kiosk was tracking the weighing process and accounting for all the logs that leave the forest. For instance, irregularities in the net weight of a truck which may be the simple result of a wheel not being correctly positioned on the weighbridge can now be traced by reviewing the CCTV footage of the weighing process through video or still images stored within the SoloWeigh database.