In the world of contract crushing, every ton of material matters, both from a financial perspective and when contractual obligations are in place. While belt scales have long been a staple in tracking production, they are prone to errors. Slight deviations in scale readings can accumulate over time, leading to significant discrepancies in production reports. Enter SR Measure, an iPhone app designed to provide an additional layer of verification and ensure that contract crushers both deliver on their promises and don’t undercharge for material processed.
The Risks of Over-relying on Belt Scales
Belt scales, though widely used, will yield inaccurate readings due to calibration drifts, wear and tear, and material buildup. Over the duration of a project, minor inaccuracies can become massive errors in total production figures.
Imagine a scenario where a belt scale consistently over-reports production by just 5%. In a project that produces 50,000 tons of material, that’s an over-reporting error of 2,500 tons. This could lead to a contract crusher believing they’ve fulfilled their obligation when, in reality, they’ve fallen short. Such discrepancies often result in friction with clients, potential financial penalties, and a damaged reputation.
SR Measure: A Game-Changer in Bulk Material Production Verification
SR Measure delivers a solution to the belt scale challenge by offering a preliminary “sanity check” of the stockpile’s volume. A user simply walks around a pile while recording a video on an iPhone, and the app converts the footage into an accurate volume report on the spot. Here’s how SR Measure can complement belt scales and ensure production accuracy:
- Real-time Verification: By periodically using SR Measure to check production volumes, contract crushers can immediately identify discrepancies with belt scale readings. Early detection means early resolution. Crushers won’t undercharge for undetected material overages.
- Ease of Use: With its intuitive design, SR Measure doesn’t require specialized training. Anyone with an iPhone 12 or newer can quickly generate a stockpile volume measurement.
- Cost-Effective: Compared to other verification methods like drone imagery or third-party audits, SR Measure is the most cost-effective solution that doesn’t compromise on accuracy. Plus the labor cost to generate a measurement is seconds, not hours or days.
- Building Trust with Clients: By using SR Measure as a secondary verification tool, contract crushers can provide clients with added assurance about production figures. Transparent communication backed by data can build trust and long-term business relationships.
- Avoiding End-of-Job Surprises: By regularly verifying production figures with SR Measure, contract crushers can ensure they’re on track to meet their obligations. This reduces the risk of last-minute scrambles to produce additional material and potential conflicts with clients.
Steps to Validate Belt-Scale Volumes
Ensuring that the tons per hour (TPH) rate from belt scales aligns with the actual production is crucial for maintaining an accurate perpetual inventory system. By periodically measuring production stockpiles, contract crushers can cross-check and validate the readings from belt scales. Here’s a step-by-step guide to effectively use SR Measure for this purpose:
- Develop a Schedule: Depending on the scale of the operation and the duration of the contract, determine a schedule for stockpile measurements. This could be daily, weekly, or at other intervals that make sense for the specific project. (Our typical SR Measure user checks production daily.)
- Determine Your Conversion Factor. Your belt scales report in tons and the SR Measure app reports in volume, so you’ll need an up-to-date tons per cubic yard conversion factor. The standard procedure is the ASTM C29/C29M Standard Test Method for Bulk Density and Voids in Aggregate. Use the conversion factor to convert the volume from the SR Measure app to tonnage.
- Get an Initial Measurement: Use the SR Measure app to measure the stockpile. . The app will take you through the process and automatically generate a volume measurement. This will give you a starting measurement for determining your production rate. (You can skip this step if you don’t have an existing pile as you will assume the volume is zero)
- Get a Second Measurement: After a predetermined amount of time, measure your stockpile again with the app.
- Calculate Production Rate: Take the difference between your second measurement and your first measurement. Divide the volume of the stockpile by the number of hours between measurements to get the volume per hour. Convert the volume per hour to TPH using your weight conversion factor.
- Identify Discrepancies: If there’s a significant difference between the TPH rate derived from SR Measure and the belt scale readings, it’s a signal to investigate potential issues with the belt scales or other parts of the production process.
- Document Findings: Maintain a log of all SR Measure reports and TPH rate calculations. This documentation can be invaluable for client communications, audits, and internal reviews.
- Review and Adjust: Based on the findings from SR Measure, review and recalibrate your belt scales if necessary. This may be as simple as removing material buildup on the belts or having a skilled technician check. Adjust production processes to ensure that the actual TPH rate aligns with project requirements.
By following these steps, contract crushers can maintain accurate production inventory records, ensuring that they’re not only meeting but verifying their production targets.
In the competitive world of contract crushing, the margin for error is slim. While belt scales play a crucial role in tracking production, they are not infallible. SR Measure offers contract crushers a powerful tool to verify production figures, build trust with clients, and ensure successful project outcomes. By integrating SR Measure into their operations, contract crushers will confidently deliver on their promises and maintain their reputation for reliability and accuracy.