Your behavior appears to be a little unusual. Please verify that you are not a bot.


Payne & Dolan quarries utilizing cloud-connected belt scales

By |  September 13, 2021

First experience

Payne & Dolan owns and operates pits and quarries in Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Illinois. The company is now utilizing Trimble technology at its Waukesha lime and stone quarry, its Franklin quarry and its Racine quarry – all of which are in Wisconsin. Photo: Trimble

Payne & Dolan owns and operates pits and quarries in Wisconsin, Michigan and northern Illinois. The company is now utilizing Trimble technology at its Waukesha lime and stone quarry, its Franklin quarry and its Racine quarry – all of which are in Wisconsin. Photo: Trimble

Whitmore remained on-site for the first few trial runs to walk Payne & Dolan employees through the application and illustrate how to monitor the system, make changes, email reports and showcase all of the information they wanted to see.

“As we started to watch the scales, we were able to slowly increase the throughput based on a number of factors from the scales and what we saw on our own internal settings,” Bosch says.

In the first month alone, Payne & Dolan says throughput increased 20 percent – and with no glitches or surprises.

“The key is we had a good game plan and worked with Whitmore to get everything set up and installed,” Johnson says.

Live results, more control

According to Johnson, the number of personnel at the plant remained unchanged following the installation.

“What has changed is that the operators have a lot more control over the plant because they have access to something they never had access to before: live scale results that they can see on an iPad,” Johnson says.

Plant supervisors also use tablets to monitor progress on hitting tons-per-hour goals Payne & Dolan sets.

“Now, if they can’t get to that number, they need to be able to explain why – whether that’s truck issues, a torn belt, electrical issues or weather,” Bosch says.

According to Bosch, the technology delineates each element in the system so problems can be isolated and identified.

“The technology doesn’t tell you why things happen, but it’s a great leading indicator that there is something going on, and [it] will trigger somebody to ask why,” he says.

The connected scales provide insight into “black belt” time, as well.

“It’s one of those things that’s great to know,” Bosch says. “The system records that and gives us something to talk to our employees about so we can find a way to mitigate it.”

Having better insight into operational performance also brings better utilization of ancillary equipment. Still, Johnson says operations did not change dramatically after the Trimble connected scales were installed.

“It made us become more efficient with what we had,” he says. “And it’s going to help drive what we need in the future to maximize what we’re trying to accomplish. It’s one of those tools that you don’t know you need until you have it.”

Measurements for management

Since installing the Trimble technology, Payne & Dolan’s Spencer Johnson says operators have more control over their plants because they can access live scale results on iPads. Photo: Trimble

Since installing the Trimble technology, Payne & Dolan’s Spencer Johnson says operators have more control over their plants because they can access live scale results on iPads. Photo: Trimble

By having connected scales in specific areas, Bosch and Johnson can see the inputs and outputs of crushers and create baselines from which they can measure.

“From that, we ran the system for a couple of weeks just to make sure the average stayed consistent,” Bosch says. “Then, we decided to make some screen changes in the plant to redirect material flow based on what we saw on the scales because we identified one spot that was overloaded.”

With proof of the problem in the data, they moved product around to reduce overloading in one part of the plant and distributed material to other parts. This, in turn, let Payne & Dolan increase overall throughput.

“The system showed us that we had room to improve the way we were directing material,” Bosch says. “In the world we live in now, you have to have some numbers and data behind things to make changes. You don’t want to do things on a hunch.”

The connected scales essentially provide a roadmap for the entire plant, he adds.

“It’s a great tool to show everyone the progress we’ve made at improving operations,” Bosch says. “Without hard data to show, you can’t paint the same picture as easily.”

Information for this article courtesy of Trimble.


Comments are closed