Available as a stand-alone system, or as an easy-to-install connection for its FLX-128 Plus material handling control, the new Conair truck-fill line-proofing system safeguards the process of transferring truckload-quantity material to silos. It prevents expensive material mix-ups by remotely locking access to silo-fill lines, preventing trucks from connecting to any silo line until the correct line is confirmed and remotely unlocked by an authorized user.
The new truck-fill line-proofing system consists of a PLC module, wiring leads, and one electronically-controlled interlock device per silo line. The “plug-and-play” system control, which when connected directly to the FLX-128 Plus control panel, is pre-loaded with line-proofing software. From it, power/communications wiring extends to each of the remotely-mounted interlock devices at the end of each silo fill-line. Each provides a new 4-inch quick-connect point that is protected by a hinged, electro-mechanical access gate.
In normal operation, the gate on each interlock device is locked by default to prevent unauthorized silo-line access. When truck unloading is required, authorized plant personnel log into the control, complete a brief list of required information for each delivery, and then select and electromechanically unlock one silo-fill line. Outside, at the silo location, a green indicator light indicates the open interlock. The trucker simply lifts the interlock gate to open it, connects to the silo-fill line, and fills the silo. When filling is complete, the trucker disconnects from the fill line and closes the interlock gate, which automatically re-locks the device.
“Unfortunate silo filling mistakes happen all the time, and they’re expensive to clean up, often requiring offloading and sortation of silo contents,” says Doug Brewster, Conair conveying systems manager. “Our new truck-fill line proofing system prevents this problem by making it impossible for truckers to connect to the wrong silo. They can’t even begin the unloading process until an authorized person logs into the plant’s FLX-128 Plus control, fills in required details about the material shipment, and selects and unlocks the proper silo location.”
The shipment data required by the line-proofing software is customizable. Required data may include truck numbers, material numbers, order numbers, passcodes, barcode scans, or other information. Every transaction is time-stamped, and logged for accountability.