Save Time in the Handling of Bulk Material Deliveries

Heiko Redmann

Heiko Redmann

Handle bulk goods more efficiently with a smart yard management solution

Bulk cargo is one of the most transported types of goods, traded especially in the food and building materials industries or as chemical raw materials. In most cases, transport to the site is by truck or rail, but also by inland waterway vessel. At the same time, bulk goods present a number of challenges. For example, it is often subject to quality inspections at the incoming goods stage. Trucks are jammed on your plant premises, even though they “only have to be dumped”? Missing notifications cause workload peaks in the morning? Seasonal peaks lead to overload and chaos in production? Then smart yard management in combination with the right hardware could be right for you. 

Automated delivery and handling of bulk materials brings many benefits

The delivery process of bulk materials in particular offers a lot of potential for process automation. The diagram shows which steps in intelligent yard management not only save time and costs, but also streamline processes and reduce possible manual errors. 

process bulk materials
Example Process for Automated Bulk Material Delivery
The advantages of automated processing lie in particular in the following criteria:
  • Structured guidance of truck drivers during the registration process through self-check-in: Since the delivery is always based on delivery papers on which the quality of the goods is also noted, a lot of time can be saved by scanning the papers at the terminal in contrast to manual registration. 
  • Fast processing thanks to fully automated unloading (turnaround time less than five minutes) 
  • Up to 4,000 tons of delivery possible in 8 hours 
  • Automated inspection lot creation through direct connection to the ERP system 

Bulk materials: Intelligent yard management streamlines many processes

With the help of a digital solution such as leogistics Yard Management, processes upstream and downstream of delivery also offer plenty of opportunities for digitalization and optimization:  

Notification
  • Ideally, the truck is notified at the beginning for the day of unloading. For larger contracts, partial deliveries can be formed and notified via a delivery platform. While open quantities remain, released quantities reduce the contract or automatically form a purchase order. In addition, a delivery time slot can be booked directly by the supplier or the carrier for the delivery.
Connectivity
  • In the best case, the systems communicate with each other in such a way that orders from SAP ERP are known on the delivery platform and information can be transferred directly to the booked time slot. Once the truck has arrived at the site, the driver registers at the self-service terminal or directly via license plate recognition (OCR camera). In both cases, the driver does not necessarily have to leave the cab. This not only speeds up registration, but also ensures greater safety. 
Automated quantity recording
  • cales can be integrated into a yard management system with or without middleware. The coupled scales record the full and later also the empty weight of the truck, allowing the exact delivery quantity to be determined. 
Quality management
  • In order to further fully automate the process, a sample is taken by a suction mechanism after the weighing process. Information on the sample (sampling location, time, etc.) can be stored on the yard receipt and can thus be audited. After all, humidity and temperature, for example, are important criteria for storage in open areas or in silos, as many bulk materials can be very sensitive to weather conditions. Sample data is forwarded via coupled automatic sampling machines from Yard Management to SAP ERP with automatic inspection lot creation and evaluation.
Unloading
  • After the QM process has been completed, the barrier opens and the truck can dump the bulk material or pump it into the silo. The stock posting is not triggered by the system until the delivery quantity has been fully determined, i.e. after empty weighing. 
Exit
  • At exit, empty weighing takes place at the exit scale, with the vehicle and the associated process again being completed via license plate recognition (OCR camera). Those who rely on a provider that offers both software and hardware from a single source save a lot of time and nerves, both during implementation and during maintenance. Now all the information is available to print out the proof of delivery for the driver at the self-service terminal after the goods have been automatically booked in the ERP system. With the appropriate body height, drivers do not have to leave the cab to pick up the documents and can simply remove the proof of delivery through the window. Finally, the barrier opens and the truck can drive out. Verification mechanisms in the yard management system and connected sensors for the goods prevent the incorrect recording of weights. 

We are here for You!

Have we sparked your interest in an intelligent yard management solution for your bulk goods delivery? In any case, it is worth taking a closer look at the initially seemingly simple handling of bulk goods (“just dump them”) in order to dovetail check-in, weighing, quality management, unloading, etc. as closely as possible. In particular, the seamless integration of software and hardware, i.e. terminals, barriers or OCR cameras, by having them provided by a single supplier can make a lot of things easier here. Do you have any questions? Feel free to contact us at any time at blog@leogistics.com.

Heiko Redmann
Senior Technical Consultant SAP Logistics

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