Fraud has been on the increase, since 2005 fraud related reports have gone up by 110 percent in South Africa, and of these, 83 percent constitutes white collar crime, while 72 percent of the companies have noticed the rise of fraud as from 2007. In the last 2 years, 3 percent of the companies have lost more than R10 million (US$ 967,523) due to fraud.
According to Aadil Khan, Head of Projects at Sasco Africa, recently, a South African Colliery company’s truck plates were changed and the signage was placed to represent the company that was supposed to have been picking up a full load of coal. The colliery released the coal to the driver only to realize it was not their driver.
Khan adds that most fraud cases are a result of the collaboration between the driver and the weighbridge operator and to prevent this, , unmanned systems (Sasco Mutiweigh) were introduced to the market consisting of Vehicle and Driver Identification, Driver Interaction, Traffic Control, Photographic Evidence of Transaction, Truck Positioning Check, Validation of Information and Real Time Data Reporting.
DD2050 Weighbridge Indicator, the most advanced indicator on the market currently, controls the weighing process using the RFID/ Barcode Readers, and Driver Pinhole Camera, then issues a print out.
Fraud is not the only challenge. Weighbridge operators are not adequately equipped to operate advanced weighing systems. In Australia and other developed countries, the duties of weighbridge operator are controlled by a Trade Metrology Act. In order to align with the standards requirements, a weighbridge operator skills program was designed to train operators on how to correctly complete a transaction, detecting fraud as well as fixing minor faults.
Weighbridge breakdowns affects business negatively, leading to substantial downtime and to reduce this, Sasco Africa developed a software and hardware programme called Sasco Prompt. The system assists the company to monitor the weighbridge from their control centre. “If a load cell is overheating, self-diagnostics detects the problem and alerts the control centre. Sasco Africa will immediately inform their client and dispatch a technician to remedy the problem before it gets worse”, Says Aadil.
Sasco Africa provides a wide range of programs depending on the operational needs of an organization. Smaller companies can also benefit from tailor made programs that are more budget friendly. The key benefit of this is the password protection.
Due to technological advancement in the weighing industry there is an alternative to the costly multi deck weighbridge. Standard Weighbridges fitted with Bilanciai Instrumentation can provide axle weights. This is with the exception of using the weighbridge for prosecution on over loaded axles. A standard weighbridge is now used for sellers who want to monitor axle weights. It is an affordable software that calculates each axle weight as the vehicle drives onto the weighbridge. Monitoring axle weights means less stoppage time by authorities and more importantly no fines for overloading.
Weighbridge inaccuracies have a negative effect on profit margins, hence accuracy is of paramount importance since any variance would translate to financial loss or reputational losses if under-reading and over-reading occurs respectively. To improve accuracy, you do not need to purchase a new weighbridge, but upgrading the old one would do the trick- Upgrading of the load cells and an indicator will suffice. Upgrading to a digital system can increase accuracy by an average of 40-50 kg or more per weighing.
In 2013 after weighbridge upgrade of an old Avery System at Resinkem, Umbongintwini, South Africa, the system produced results that were 99.9 percent accurate.
Advanced weighing technology is inevitable and Africa is enjoying the benefits, thanks to well thought systems such as that of Sasco Africa and role players in the industry. The belief is that a weighbridge is a cash register for a business and it plays a pivotal role,
Jonathan Palmer, Chairman of Sasco Africa says keeping accuracy up, minimizing the risk of fraud and downtime while moving forward in a technology driven world is the key to optimizing profits.