Automatic bags counting solution

The SLV Cement automatic bags counting solution

Cachapuz Bilanciai Group has revealed the new SLV Cement Bags Counting Module, which improves the bags loading and counting processes in cement plants. This new module, which relies on a proprietary algorithm to ensure an automatic and accurate counting even in case of abnormal situations, can be applied in both truck and wagon loading machines and can be seamlessly integrated with the customer's ERP with great benefits.

Amreyah Cimpor Cement Company
Alexandria, Egipto
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The problem

In cement plants in India, Egypt, Angola, among other countries with large production and demand for cement, the cement is normally packed and dispatched in paper/plastic bags. To leverage the vast production and dispatching capabilities of these plants, smooth logistics processes for the bags loading, counting, weighing and dispatching processes are critical.

Some of the biggest plants can easily dispatch more than 1000 trucks per day and, to achieve these figures, the plant operators must be assisted by automatic systems to reduce errors and faults (and even fraud) and reduce the bureaucratic procedures and paperwork which consumes huge amounts of time. Additionally, the bags loading processes are normally based on entirely manual or non integrated systems, which create several difficulties in the exchange and validation of the information from the purchase orders (registered in the ERP) to the packing plant operators and require an additional operation at the end of the process – the recounting of bags (and necessary adjustments, if required).

The manual counting of bags is one of the main problems in the manual or semi-automatic loading of bags, because it is often subject to errors. The plant needs to make sure that the amount of bags requested by the customer for each particular loading operation is met, in the shortest time possible, in order to satisfy the customer’s expectation. Cachapuz Bilanciai Group is aware of all these limitations and problems in the bags loading processes and is offering to the market the possibility to overcome those problems, improving the loading, counting and dispatching processes in cement plants.

The solution

Cachapuz Bilanciai Group is a global reference in the implementation of innovative and highly technological software and automation solutions in the logistics, dispatching and weighing areas. In the case of cement plants, Cachapuz provides the SLV Cement solution, which improves the logistics and the inbound/outbound processes and provides the complete automation of the main functional areas.

The new SLV Cement Bags Counting module introduces in the manual and semi-automatic bags loading processes accurate and automatic counting features. The system relies on a proprietary algorithm developed by Cachapuz Bilanciai Group to ensure an accurate counting even in abnormal cases, such as jointly bags. This algorithm takes into account the characteristics of the bags, the speed of the belt, and the type of conveyor belt or truck/wagon loading machines installed on the cement plant to count every bag loaded.

The module is composed of one SLV Cement Bags Counting Kiosk (to be installed in each loading line), which is RFID activated, controls the speed and counting sensors and uses alert lights and information panels to inform the operators about the status of the loading and counting processes.

The SLV Cement Bags Counting module can be integrated with the customer’s ERP to automatically exchange information about the number of bags associated to the loading/purchase order in the ERP and Loading Memo and the number of bags actually loaded into each truck or wagon.

To complement the automatic and accurate counting, this module generates and registers a set of data, which will be aggregated to deliver comprehensive reports and KPI about the performance of the bags loading zones:

  • Number of bags loaded per operation (and excess loading, to monitor destroyed bags);
  • Start/end date and duration of each operation;
  • Statistics and performance per loading line (speed, average time per loading, etc.);
  • Statistics per loading line/shift;
  • Quantities per product/customer/transporter;
  • Anomalous operations (operations with speed sensor deactivated, abnormal number of bags jointly detected, etc.).
Some advantages of SLV Cement Bags Loading module:
  • Accurate and automatic counting of bags due to an internal and proprietary algorithm;
  • Avoiding of the trucks’ return to the packing plants to add or remove bags due to an incorrect number of bags loaded;
  • Detection and counting of jointly bags;
  • Registration of extra bags loaded;
  • Extra control due to an external speed sensor;
  • Information panel and alert lights to indicate the status of the operation;
  • RFID activated to enable the automatic identification of the loading operation;
  • Possibility to automatically control the loading machine;
  • Compatible with different types of loading machines (flexible installation for truck and wagons loading);
  • Standalone and integrated modes (with/without SLV Cement/ERP);
  • Detailed logs and reporting features;
  • Alerts and notifications through email/SMS;
  • Elimination of manual counting of bags;
  • Reduction of paperwork and manual operations;
  • Reduction of human errors and fraud;
  • Reduction of Turnaround Time of the loading and counting processes.
Recent orders

Cachapuz Bilanciai Group and String Automation Pvt. Ltd. (Cachapuz’ exclusive partner for the Indian market) have recently received two orders to implement SLV Cement Bags Counting Module in two plants of Jaiprakash Associates Limited (Jaypee Group), to improve the bags loading processes of the 12 loading lines in Rewa Cement plant (the main production unit of Jaiprakash Associates Limited, located in Madhya Pradesh) and 10 bags loading lines of Chunar Plant (located in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh). These new projects will be implemented during April and May 2012, to complement the SLV Cement solution and to offer important improvements on the dispatching processes.

SLV Cement

SLV Cement is a dispatching and truck management solution that automates all the processes, from the trucks arrival at the cement plant, to the dispatching of cement/clinker, reception of raw materials and automatic printing of the necessary documentation at the end of the process. SLV Cement not only enhances the logistics processes inside the cement plant, but also guarantees all the data exchange between the logistics and commercial departments efficiently and automatically by being integrated with the ERP. SLV Cement complements the business software (ERP) with automation features, creating a vertical and tailored solution for cement companies. The main functional areas covered by the solution are:

  • RFID access control and identification (both short and long range RFID technologies)
  • Cement and Clinker Dispatching
  • Automatic truck parking management (queue and calling)
  • Entry/exit gates control
  • Self-service and unmanned weighing
  • Self-service bulk loading (cement, clinker and fly ash) for trucks and wagons
  • Bags loading and automatic counting
  • Raw materials unloading control
  • Fleet management (GPS/GPRS)
  • Business and KPI analysis and rich Reporting features
  • ERP integration in online and offline modes (contingency)

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About Cachapuz Bilanciai Group

Cachapuz is a Global Reference in the implementation of innovative and highly technological solutions in the dispatching, logistics, automation and weighing areas. Cachapuz is a Portuguese company that belongs to Bilanciai Group, one of the biggest industrial weighing groups with representation in more than 30 countries worldwide, with years of experience in the development and implementation of automated solutions in cement plants, quarries, cereal factories, maritime ports, power plants, waste management sites, among others. With a modular and scalable software and hardware platform, together with a wide expertise and know-how on the field, Cachapuz is able to meet the needs of a wide range of business areas worldwide, with proven results.

This article was published in the Bulk Materials Handling Review (a supplement to World Cement Magazine), in September, 2012.