In-motion rail weighing technology from Railweight is ensuring efficient transport of cement on train deliveries between the Indonesian factory PT Semen Padang and the local port, from where it will be exported. More than 2000 tonnes of cement are delivered every week.

The technology will help reduce a problem that Railweight has identified in the past: Unloading cement at the port was uncontrolled and there was no way of monitoring whether the returning wagons had cement left in them. This affected the efficiency of deliveries.

As part of its continuous improvement process, the company needed to accurately monitor its deliveries as well as identify and repair any faulty wagons as part of a planned process.

Accurate weighing without delay

Railweight installed its in-motion weighing system Weighline so that trains and individual wagons can be weighed as they leave and re-enter the site. They do not need to stop or be de-coupled, so there is no interruption or delay.

Recording the weight of each wagon and train when they leave the plant with a full load and then return from the port empty indicates whether any cement has returned and what caused the problem. The system weighs moving trains to accuracy better than +/-0.25% and individual wagons to +/-0.5%.

“By monitoring our rail transport effectively we can maximise our deliveries to the port,” says Fidel Bastri, head of bagging at PT Semen Padang. “Our wagons have a capacity of between 20 and 30 tonnes and in a normal week we will deliver more than 80 wagons. It is vital that we know that the loads are emptied at the port.”

Quick installation for immediate results

Crucially for the plant, the Weighline system was fast to install and does not involve any major civil work, so disruption was minimal. The specified system has four pairs of Weighline transducers, which were fitted to sections of rails that matched the existing rail type, a TSR4000 weight indicator and I-Line software.

The TSR4000 digital weigh indicator and I-Line software can record, display or print the weight data. Custom reports can be created about the train, including wheel loads, axle loads, wagon type, total train consist and individual wagon tare, gross and net weights.

Engineers replaced sections of the on-site rail with the Weighline system. Unlike rail weighbridge installations, the on-site rail installation only takes a few hours rather than weeks.

Within weeks of the installation a number of cement wagons were identified for maintenance. Before the system was installed wagons could remain undetected for weeks, which had a serious effect on the amount of cement delivered and the number of extra wagons required.

Benefits of the Weighline system

  • Improved cement deliveries with minimal wastage
  • Immediate identification of faulty wagons for planned maintenance
  • Wagons and trains weighed while in motion
  • Fast installation ensures minimal disruption