Laser scanning for large scale projects

Loadscan mobile Load Volume Scanners (LVS) are helping civil construction operators acquire accurate truck haul readings and optimise efficiency— food for thought as the federal government pumps $100 billion into the infrastructure industry.

When the federal government announced its 2019 Budget earlier this year, the infrastructure industry took note.

The record $100 billion investment was focussed heavily on roads, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiling an allocation of $4 billion to reduce road congestion and $4.5 billion for the Roads of Strategic Importance Fund.

The obvious outcome of this kind of spending is an explosion of new, large-scale civil construction projects, and a rise in demand for efficient and effective contractors.

Loadscan’s Managing Director, Carey West, says one way to boost efficiency, and therefore make your company more attractive to the bodies that award these contracts, is to ensure you’re equipped with accurate load measurements.

Getting a precise truck load measurement reading the first time, every time, eliminates potential customer and supplier disagreements over quantity and ensures trucks are not under-utilised, or equally important, overloaded. Mr. West says Loadscan’s Load Volume Scanner (LVS) can do just that, highlighting the mobile versions application that allows portability onsite.

According to Mr. West, the installation of a Loadscan LVS-3TMM trailer mobile-mounted scanner creates a stable and consistent work environment necessary for large-scale projects with the benefit of being versatile.

The device uses laser measurements and custom software to determine the exact volume of material being loaded into a truck — with readings accurate within plus or minus one per cent.

Measuring loads purely off weight often leads to inaccurate measurements that fail to calculate the effects of water, waste and debris.

“If you’re not getting accurate measure reads on each truck coming and going, you’re not working to optimal efficiency. When you put that in the context of one of these large-scale projects, your losses are going to be significant,” Mr. West said.

When a truck enters the site, it is scanned by the fully automated Loadscan LVS to create a profile and 3D map of the empty truck’s volume.

When the truck leaves the site it is scanned again, and the Loadscan LVS makes a comparative calculation.

“If you think about the amount of material coming in and out of these massive sites, and the sheer volume of work going on, you realise you can’t afford to waste time on inaccuracies,” Mr. West said.

The Loadscan LVS can scan drivers up to a speed of eight kilometres an hour — saving time because, unlike traditional measuring systems, the driver is not required to stop.

Mr. West says the Loadscan LVS laser is the only laser on the market that has passed the metrological and accuracy testing required for trade approval, meaning it’s the only laser suitable to this kind of work.

The unit includes a complete LVS system mounted on a purpose-built, single-axle galvanised trailer featuring four stabiliser legs, two tool boxes to secure the touch screen PC, LED message board, cabling and generator.

Mr. West says the radio-frequency identification tag (RFID) reader is another core feature of the scanner, accelerating automatic vehicle identification. Fold down pole structures and a mains line power configuration enables an “always on” system.

Mr. West says the Loadscan LVS system stores a data file of every scanned load, which is then encrypted on the unit’s computer and sent to site head office.

This gives instant load data access to operations staff — also providing the added convenience of out-of-the-weather operation.

According to Mr. West, when using the device, companies are able to keep track of exactly what material is being moved and where. A necessary capability when one is dealing in large-scale infrastructure projects.

“Companies are able to better understand the exact quantity of material being hauled in or out of a construction site and can manage multiple contractors using the radio-frequency identification tag system,” Mr. West says.

Recently, a Brisbane-based civil construction company enlisted the help of Loadscan to assess its quantities received and delivered. Each truck was fitted with a RFID tag for automatic identification before going through round-trip scanning.

After accessing the loads, and comparing them to the company’s standard measurements, Loadscan found there were significant inconsistencies. Using the companies agreed truck rate, Loadscan found the difference was costing the company $3,085 a day.

Mr. West says this case study illustrates the big opportunities a Loadscan LVS can open up to reduce export carting costs and increase profits.

“The Brisbane case study highlights how a Loadscan LVS can generate improvements in loading consistency and productivity, while also helping companies better manage target loads and truck specifications,” Mr. West said.

“Once you have an accurate volume measure,you can determine the maximum payload capacity of your bin. Increasing your payload will increase your efficiency and output, so you’ll move more material for the same cost.”

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