Gaining operational efficiency and insights by automating scales

Gaining operational efficiency and insights by automating scales

The following was PREPARED FOR Swanapallooza 2020

Automation is often feared. By reviewing current culture and the daily activities that have been automated like bank tellers and grocery checkouts as well as looking into the future of automation for other industries first and then diving into the specific example below from the waste industry I hope to lower the fear of adoption of automation.  Telling the history of one  organization’s experience with automation and a live demonstration of certain aspects of the system the hope is to get the audience thinking about how they could rethink their operations and what automation could do for them.

An automated scale system shifts responsibility for verifying the load details to the site, where the waste can easily be viewed, instead of the scale, where it’s often hidden and traffic jams occur. Load details are captured automatically on the scale for faster, simpler customer intake. Site personnel are able to see the actual waste the customers are delivering and change the load details on a mobile device, if necessary, before the customer leaves. The scale attendant can now spend more time with the public in the site educating or other tasks.

The data captured by this process provides insights into the waste being delivered, which is critical for planning and measuring success. Tracking diversion rates and tonnage trends from residential and commercial customers becomes as simple as clicking a button to access real-time reports, helping managers stay on track against their strategic goals. 

Central Newfoundland Waste Management is using the Strong data system to manage 7 transfer stations for both residential and commercial, with just one employee per site.

Technology and automation can help landfills keep their quality of service while keeping tipping fees down. In particular, the scale system is an area that can deliver high returns in both efficiency and insight.

Learning Objective 1

Participates will gain greater knowledge about automation and be able to describe examples of it to others

Learning Objective 2

Participates will be able to challenged to think about their own operations and how they can automated process to increase efficiency

Learning Objective 3

Participates will be able to defend a move to automated scales with real examples of organizations that are using it now.