Benefits of Mobile Weighing

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The online shopping experience is changing our lives. Customers purchase online and expect their purchases to be at their door the next day.

Companies like Amazon are leading the industry in satisfying this consumer expectation by developing a model that provides convenience and fast delivery to the consumer.

Mobile weighing technologies meet the emerging “need for speed” trend by providing a means of weighment at the point of loading and unloading. They do this while at the same time immediately communicating a wealth of specific business and logistical data, eliminating inefficient traffic patterns, and improving safety by reducing traffic congestion.

New transportation paradigm emerging

Warehouses, manufacturing, and transportation companies are the leaders in adopting mobile weighing technology to respond to the new trend, in which every part of the logistical process requires a higher degree of processing than in the past. Tracking shipments and orders and maintaining visibility is no longer just a convenience – it is a requirement. Existing process are being replaced with more efficient processes that take less time, improve safety, and deliver quickly.

Like many other areas of industry, the transportation sector is examining how the Internet of Things (IoT) can improve efficiency. We have been collecting data for years, but now manufacturers are letting machinery, equipment, and processes start to take actions themselves. In other words, technology, processes and people are converging – and the facilities most affected are those that need to understand the product location, the status of the product, and where it is in the process.

What is needed are technologies that help companies move products faster through the process, know more about where they are in that process, and capture data to understand what is happening each moment.

Weighing technology adapts

In the past, the typical warehouse and manufacturing designs were developed using stationary scales located in strategic areas within the facility. Operators relied on forklifts and pallet jacks to move product from the loading/unloading area to the scale, weigh the goods, and manually record information before returning back to the loading/unloading area.

Static scales can be an excellent option and will always have a place, especially if the product or material moving through the material handling system is cumbersome, or if there are awkward shapes.

However, in today’s fast paced environment, using a process based on a static scale has its limitations. It consumes valuable time and energy resources moving the goods to and from the scale, while producing traffic congestion in higher volume processes. And it just can’t keep up with today’s data requirements. Also, if a scale goes out of operation, everyone sits and waits for it to be fixed.

Wherever there is a demand and a need to satisfy a customer requirement for speed and decrease inefficiencies, users should evaluate mobile weighing technology, especially for weighing pallets, boxes, or other typical units.

Mobile weighing provides a means to weigh and capture critical data at the point of loading/unloading. Instead of securing a forklift and moving the product to a centrally located scale, the load is weighed on the pallet jack or forklift as soon as it is picked-up, reducing time required to weigh and improving safety by reducing traffic congestion to and from a stationary scale, as well as improving forklift operation times.

In addition, critical process data can be captured at the pallet jack or forklift and communicated wirelessly to systems that track and measure the process. Information on the action is instantly communicated to critical systems. This reduces the time required to record critical process data. It also reduces human recording errors, with data flowing straight into a PDA or handheld device; users can even use Wi-Fi and communicate to the infrastructure in a building.

With a mobile forklift there is no travel time, which increases efficiency, reduces congestion and improves safety. If one mobile forklift goes down, others can continue. Since there will be multiple drivers, a higher level of up-front training may be needed to achieve the consistency you might get from having a single forklift driver, but that is a constraint that can be overcome.

Where are mobile weighing applications heading?

Mobile weighing is used for a variety of industries, but is really coming on strong for moving pallets on cross docks from shippers and then reorganizing the product to send out on trucking routes.

The mobile weighing products help end users load correctly; without proper knowledge of weights, they would have to pull back, tie up the loading dock, unload the products and try again to load the semi, which is wasteful and inefficient.

Future systems may contain voice activation or cameras that can take pictures to send to the end user or the next person in the chain of the process. This lets them know what is coming so they can make correct storage and unloading arrangements.

The mobile weighing devices may also soon be integrated with wearables for picking; after an item is flagged and put on the device, the system could communicate to the customer that it has been put in the box and is ready to ship.

In DICEX we understand the importance of being on par with the new technologies that are revolutionizing the world of international trade: in our distribution and storage centers we know that we are part of your process and we guarantee the best service in order to make your supply chain a simpler and more effective process.