Automation of Loading Bays: Why ?
- faster loading.
- overall loading volumes of the depot increased.
- reduction in labour costs.
Managing predetermination of loads reduces the time drivers spend at the loading gantry,
and reduces time wasted waiting for administrative documents.
Automation makes the printing of necessary documents simple and systematic.
Automation eliminates the tiresome task of collecting and manual sorting of loading tickets.
Automation makes available up to date and reliable information on quantities of products delivered,
either globally or by client, which can be exploited by marketing, customer services, or purchasing departments.
Automation allows optimisation of the depot, from the availability of detailed information on the time spent at each island,
on those which are busiest, on the peak hour usage....
The fight against fraud is facilitated by automation, which ensures:
- access control using 'smart' cards, with a unique confidential code identifying
the driver which operates the exit and entry barriers.
- identification of the driver at the loading gantry via a dialogue terminal together with a card reader.
- control of amounts actually delivered against predetermined loads.
- control over quotas authorised, product by product and client by client.
The communication of the exact data concerning product delivered between the supervisor
and the invoicing system ensures that product actually delivered is invoiced.
Real time measurement of the quantity of product delivered and
the delivery temperature thus allowing leaks and fraud to be minimised.
Direct surveillance of the movement of each product allows the operator
an overall view of the depot and efficient control over losses.
All events, be they from the site or operator input,
are listed on the event printer and stored for future analysis.
Sophisticated audit functions allow events to be explained and fraudulent operations to be avoided.
Automation makes the depot safer as it eliminates dangerous actions.
For example, if the earth connection is not properly made, or if the loading arm is not in the expected position,
an alarm can be raised directly at the bay terminal, indicating to the driver the reason for which loading has been blocked.
The alarm management system enables the number of alarms presented to the operator to be limited,
and for them to be better highlighted and more relevant.
The security plc can be programmed to interrupt loading in case of a problem
(emergency stop, overflow, presence of gas,...). It controls the emergency stop valve.
The operator can stop loading 'manually' from the control room when he considers it necessary.