10 Steps to Selecting the Best Weighbridge Software


Keeping accurate records of bulk material transfers in and out of the factory is vital to managing an efficient operation. Companies make significant investments in weighbridge equipment to measure materials in and out of the factory. This includes load cells, boom controls, cameras, guide rails, marshalling yard equipment and much more. However, at the heart of an effective weighbridge system is the software that collects the information, coordinates activities and automates many steps in the process. In terms of capital outlay, the software is usually a small percentage of the total installation cost. Over the lifetime of the operation however, preventing losses and accurately tracking bulk materials can significantly save operating costs which affect profitability and this is where the weighbridge software plays a very important role.

Selecting the best weighbridge management software is, therefore, an important decision. It is easy to overlook essential items unless a systematic approach is followed to choose the system you will use. This article highlights 10 of the most important considerations for selecting the best weighbridge management software system.

  1. Location in the factory

Many weighbridges are located at the factory boundary, and this might be some distance from the centre of operations where bulk materials are received or dispatched. The weighbridge might, therefore, need to be fully automated. Deciding on whether you will need a fully automated or a manual process is essential to establish upfront.

  1. Location of the factory

Many factories, particularly those related to mining and agriculture are often located in areas relatively far from infrastructure and support functions. In these situations, the weighbridge needs to be remotely monitored 24X7. Third-party support can range from simple monitoring of the system right up to a fully outsourced service whereby the outsourced partner will track, reconcile and manage actual bulk materials transactions on your behalf.

  1. Network reliability

Whether the weighbridge is located within the factory or at a remote site, the network’s reliability is always a consideration. The system should work in offline mode and synchronise automatically once the network connection is re-established.

  1. User friendly

Weighbridge software needs to be designed with the end-user in mind. Complex screens cause omissions and errors, requiring reversal of transactions and corrective actions. The weighbridge transaction screens need to be simple as possible and guide the user in accurately capturing the correct information. Language and other localisation considerations are also important.

  1. Support for cameras

The risk of fraud is highest when valuable materials are being transported. Cameras at the weighbridge help with remote monitoring of the operation and collect necessary evidence that reduces or eliminates the risk of fraudulent activities. This data needs to be securely stored and retrieved under controlled conditions. A variety of camera types and locations also needs to be supported.

  1. Support for RFID scanning

Companies are now tracking materials with radio frequency identification tags (RFID tags). Where these are present, the weighbridge software needs to cater for the results of RFID scanning of the batch/lot number and other related information where appropriate.

  1. Integration to marshalling systems

Where many vehicles will be queuing to go through the weighbridge, optimising the logistics is essential. Demurrage costs can be high. Any waste as a result of vehicles queuing needs to be minimised. The selected system therefore needs to provide for marshalling and optimising the traffic.

  1. Open integration 

A typical weighbridge system will utilise hardware from a variety of specialised vendors. Therefore it is crucial when selecting weighbridge software to ensure that the system will accommodate multiple hardware interfaces. Even if a proprietary approach is taken upfront, the chances are good that replacement equipment will come from new vendors over the system’s lifetime. Open integration standards are essential, as is the demonstrated capability of the supplier to integrate into a variety of external systems.

  1. Security at the core

The system should be designed with security at the core. It should not be possible to access data without authorisation, and transactions must be restricted to those with the necessary system permissions. It makes no sense to have strict controls in the financial system and poor controls at the weighbridge.  

  1. Business system integration

No weighbridge operates in isolation. Each bulk materials transfer is replicated in the materials management system, forming part of the business system. The selected software needs to be integrated with the business processes used in other business systems. Be aware that not all integrations are equal, and the weighbridge software vendor should demonstrate their system operating successfully with your ERP software.

In conclusion

I have described ten of the most important considerations when selecting weighbridge software. Selecting weighbridge software is a vital decision and cannot be left to chance. The software will need to manage bulk materials for the life of your facility. The vendor of the chosen weighbridge software should be a partner with whom you will work to support the hardware, software and even manage the process itself should you want. They should certainly have a track record in industrial weighbridge systems in your industry.

Adapt IT’s ScaleABILITY is a proven industrial strength weighbridge system suited for remote locations and provides secure, industrial-scale bulk materials management. Adapt IT will work with you to design, integrate and commission the system that meets your exact requirements.  

Adapt IT offers a variety of weighbridge related services ranging from 24X7 remote support to fully outsourced management of bulk materials transactions. For more information, please contact Adapt IT Manufacturing.