Precia-Molen system improves weighing and traffic management at Drax

A new Precia-Molen weighing and loading management system at Drax Power Station is helping to move materials used and produced in the electricity generation process.  Every day materials are delivered and collected from the site by road; the new system has greatly improved the efficiency of the operation.

The largest, cleanest and most efficient coal-fired power station in the UK, Drax is owned and operated by Drax Power Limited, an operating subsidiary of Drax Group plc. The company is currently executing plans to transform the business into a predominantly biomass-fuelled generator through burning sustainable biomass in place of coal. Drax currently provides enough power to meet 7-8% of the UK’s electricity needs.

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Replacing the existing system
Following a vendor assessment programme, Precia-Molen were awarded the contract to install a system based on the highly regarded GeneSYS™ and GSM software.

The new on-site weighing and load-management system had to seamlessly integrate with several existing systems and provide a number of fixed criteria:

• Interfaces with several existing systems
• Print tickets at the driver consoles (eliminating driver dismount)
• Automatic process
• Secure process
• Full in-house technical support

Removing the old manual system and replacing it with a new system has delivered many benefits for the Drax operation over and above the original project expectations.

The new system
With the main materials handling gatehouse processing vehicles across four weighbridges the new system has increased the speed of vehicle throughput.

GeneSYS™ has enabled Drax to optimise the existing process, ensuring secure entry of all vehicles to the site, track deliveries on site and interface weighbridge operations with existing logistics processes.

Precia-Molen technicians worked with Drax and their third party providers to deliver a solution that enables GeneSYS™ to communicate with Drax’s control systems. This has improved the efficiency of the lorry loading process at Drax, helping them meet a key strategic target.

Commissioning
Adhering to Drax’s industry-leading safety policies, a dedicated on-site Precia-Molen project manager and team, ensured that the weighbridge installation was completed over two weekends, with minimal downtime. The need to remain operational throughout the installation was achieved by building a contingency into the design and by splitting the installation.

The software installation was fully supported by Precia-Molen technicians with on-site assistance when required, ensuring a quick turnaround on changes and configurations.

Overall, Precia-Molen have provided a powerful and flexible on-site weighing and load-management system that has met the needs of this busy and diverse power plant operation.

Graham Backhouse, Head of Supply Chain and Logistics at Drax, commented, “We now have a sophisticated system that is fully integrated with our existing systems. The GeneSYS™ based solution, has created a stable and expandable platform supporting our objective to improve the weighing interface between our systems and traffic management of the site. Precia-Molen completed the work, and managed additional works identified, in a timely and professional manner.”