ThyssenKrupp Waupaca (TKW) is the largest non-captive iron foundry in the world. A global producer of iron castings, the company makes components for light and heavy vehicles, construction, agriculture, HVAC and other industrial and commercial applications. Its largest facility is located in Waupaca, Wisconsin, USA, and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With 700 employees, the site melts more than 2,800 metric tons of metal per day.
Keeping the operation running requires trucking large amounts of material to and from the facility. There are constant deliveries of steel ingots, scrap steel, sand, limestone and other raw materials. Outbound trucks carry finished products and waste materials such as refuse sand.
TKW uses a single truck scale to weigh inbound and outbound trucks. The scale is essential for inventory and purchasing management of the raw materials and for ensuring compliance with highway weight limits. As the facility's only truck scale, it sees heavy use. During its busy periods, the scale handles 30 to 35 dump trucks in short order. TKW weighs more than 3,500 trucks annually.
Although TKW's previous truck scale was only 8 years old, it had become a source of headaches. Brutal Wisconsin winters caused the I-beam weighbridge to corrode badly. Snow and ice built up within the scale structure, accelerating its deterioration. Additional problems resulted from the scale's analog load cells and from rabbits chewing on the load cell cables.
The scale was not standing up to the harsh environment. It experienced frequent breakdowns and required numerous expensive service calls. TKW was spending nearly $13,000 annually on unscheduled scale service, repairs, and recalibration. These costs were compounded by downtime spent waiting for parts to be shipped and for service personnel to
Finding the right scale
The need for a better truck scale was evident. Superintendent of Maintenance Bill Heschke and his team studied six proposals. Knowing the importance of the truck scale, the purchasing team asked the prospective suppliers for references. They contacted aggregates operations and other facilities with truck scales that experienced a similarly heavy duty cycle.
The TKW team also thoroughly evaluated the structural designs of the different scales. "It's got to be built to last," explained Heschke, "and cheapest is not always best." The high service costs of the old scale taught TKW to read the fine print regarding warranties. Some suppliers warranties would not cover a scale experiencing the duty cycle that TKW requires.
TKW accepted a proposal from Valley Scale, Inc., an authorized METTLER TOLEDO distributor that was providing excellent service for other industrial scales at the facility. It called for installing a METTLER TOLEDO steel deck weighbridge with an orthotropic rib design, which is a good alternative to I-beam designs. The combination of the high-quality weighbridge and POWERCELL® PDX® load cells addressed many of the concerns about operation during the winter. POWERCELL PDX load cells use digital compensation to ensure accurate weighing at all temperatures. Their built-in predictive diagnostics system helps protect the scale's reliable performance, and load cell cables with rugged stainless steel sheathing resist damage from rodents.
TKW's final requirement was a smooth installation process. To help, the new scale was built to fit the existing foundation with limited modifications. Valley Scale and TKW began removing the old scale on a Friday. By 5:00 p.m. the following day the METTLER TOLEDO scale was installed and ready to weigh. "We were very pleased with how it went together," said Heschke. "It was nice, fast, and simple."
After two years of use, the quality of the METTLER TOLEDO truck scale continues to pay off. The new scale has solved the downtime problem and saved TKW thousands of dollars in service costs each quarter. Valley Scale continues to provide prompt, personal service to TKW, including an annual preventive maintenance program for the new scale. Having a reliable truck scale helps keep TKW's facility operating efficiently, saving money and providing peace of mind.
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Mettler-Toledo International Inc.
Im Langacher, Zip Code 8606
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