Cement Distribution Management (CDM) ties business requirements and process automation for cement logistics. The CDM suite handles bulk loading of cement and other powders, bag shipping and receiving of raw materials. Cement companies across North America, large and small, have implemented solutions based on this suite of products.
The suite has been interfaced to several corporate financial/ERP systems, including SAP®, Oracle® Financials, Marcam Solutions Inc.® Protean™ and J.D. Edwards® OneWorld™. Interfaces are customized to the requirements of the client. A number of modules are available to manage orders and complete cement loading transactions. Solutions range from operator interfaces to control one or more alleys to unattended loading systems that extend your operating hours and help optimize staff levels in your loading facility.
Bill of Lading System
A comprehensive and flexible front end ‘Bill of Lading’ solution for the Cement, Lime and related industries and the foundation of our Cement Distribution Solutions Portfolio. Order Management is able to create and manage a full range of sales and material transfer transactions in cement specific applications and can be interfaced with a number of different financial / ERP systems. From a single sales person to centralised customer service centres, order Order Management supports the following transactions:
- Preloads (or ‘speculative’ loading)
- Multiple line item shipments
- Bulk loading and Bag products.
- Alternative product names (‘aliases’)
- Certification/specification requirements
- Shipping document requirements
- Pickups AND deliveries
- En route diversions
- Order type changes
- Full and partial returns
- Third party orders
Loading Management is the operator interface for material sales. Integration can be as simple as capturing scale weights or include loading process control for silo selection, spout movement, and loading flow control. Our process integration experience helps us work with the control system teams in large plant environments, adapt existing control with minimal intrusion, and build new control solutions in green-fields environments.
For attendant loading, staff can load multiple alleys concurrently even from remote buildings using video monitoring. Loading Management can have contracts and orders passed directly from an ERP, and seamlessly integrates with Order Management, allowing selection and assignment of previously created orders to loading alleys, or creation of a new order for customer pickups. Pick lists, Bills of Lading and Return Receipts (if required) may be formatted to client specifications. Loading automation functions also include:
- Tare checking: Preventing contamination by alerting the operator that a vehicle may contain retained product from a previous load
- Automatic setting of cutoff weights (setpoints): Preventing overloads, based on truck loading pattern and silo-specific setbacks
- Controlled silo selection and lockout: Ensuring that only silos containing the material specified in the order can be selected for loading. Preferred product and silo mechanisms automate the process of assigning products to contracts – helping you match certificates to specialised client requirements.
- Maximum load and over-load permitting: Loading Management will not issue a bill of lading for over-loaded trucks without specific authorisation. Over-load permits can be manged.
- Second BOL Page: A second non-printed page can be added to the PDF copy of each BOL that contains images captured during loading. An event system allows different aspects to be stored, for example the drivers face when a card is swiped, the spout camera when loading starts, and the front licence plate when a gross weight is taken.
Bag orders can be managed and loaded with consistent Bills of Lading including split loads and multiple destinations. Loading updates inventory, tracking availability in real time for sales and marketing groups.
The same technology that automates loading trucks is part of our rail loading solutions. The CDM rail options include:
- Train tracking
- Automated pre-load
- Electronic Document Interface (EDI) to Class 1 railways
- Partial returns
- Top-up capability
- RFID solutions for standard rail car identification.
Off-scale Loading and Ticketing Solutions
Many sites separate the loading process from the scale. Our ticketing solutions use the same consistent bill of lading but get the weights from bar code tickets or manual entry. This also facilitates third-party swap transactions.
Our Self-Service Loading has been widely accepted across North America, and with over 170 installations is quickly becoming the standard in cement unattended automated loading systems. Self-Service Loading allows your plant or terminal to deliver product 24 hours a day – 7 days a week without increasing staff costs.
Radio Frequency ID (RFID) cards help you control which drivers can access the system, and where they can haul products. Video monitoring and image capture ensure security. Images can be included on an internal copy of the BOL or printed to display another identifier for the load such as the license plate. Process integration allows for safe operation of your loading process.
Self-Service Loading systems can range in automation – from simple ticketing solutions to integration with the loading equipment at your site. Ticketing can also be used for third-party swaps and off-site distribution. Solutions have also been provided for sites with high security network needs in the energy sector.
Plant Portal Loading
Plant Portal provides increased throughput and redundancy for driver operated loading sites. The Plant Portal solution puts a kiosk at the entrance and exit locations, and can direct drivers to the correct loading / unloading location. At the loading point. our Autoload panel gives the driver a simple interface with minimal controls to integrate the process system.
Plant Portal helps on-site truck logistics management and optimizes the use of scale time as a resource. Benefits of Plant Portal include; improved efficiency, reduced costs, improved customer service and overall system flexibility.
Plant Portal allows complex loading scenarios such as simultaneous loading for dual-trailer trucks.
Receipts of raw materials and other deliveries that need to be scaled can be handled by the Self Service Kiosk in a Plant Portal or Self Service Loading environment. The same integration with the scale and ERP systems lets you accurately capture material receipts. Inbound shipments can be handled with RFID identification of drivers or a barcode printed on a purchase order.
Raw Material Receiving can be integrated into the plant process automation, ensuring that materials are delivered to the correct location.