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Longcliffe Quarries invest for the long term

RFID kiosk

Company embraces the future with quarry automation system from Command Alkon

LONGCLIFFE Quarries, one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of high-purity calcium carbonate and limestone powders, granules and aggregates, aim to provide their customers with the material they need, when they need it, at the right price.

In various areas of the company’s logistics and operations management, Longcliffe are supported by Command Alkon’s quarry automation software, allowing them to increase the efficiency of their daily operations and, therefore, optimize the service they offer their customers.

Transport planning, in particular, is an essential activity as Longcliffe seek to ensure timely delivery of products whilst reducing the costs of transportation, as Mick Barkley, director of sales at Longcliffe, explained: ‘Command Alkon’s quarry automation software allows our planners to oversee the planning activities by means of a quick and simple order entry system and useful planning boards.’

Longcliffe’s planners benefit from real-time overviews of pick-up schedules that indicate where possible bottlenecks might occur. The Vehicle/Order Dispatch and Local Dispatch modules provide planning, scheduling and tracking of loads, and deliveries from the plant location to the customers.

These functionalities give Longcliffe the capability to provide superior customer service from both their locations, up to the minute information concerning the day’s loads, along with efficient utilization of assets.

In addition, Longcliffe have recently implemented an RFID kiosk (pictured) to streamline the check-in process to their quarry. Drivers can enter the location via a ‘fast track’ lane, swipe their card and receive product/loading directions into the quarry. This check-in process integrates with a tablet in the loading shovel so the loader knows exactly what truck, product and target weight to load.

The loading shovel and weighbridge staff can see exactly how many trucks are in the quarry and for how long. This streamlines the ticketing process on the outbound scale, reducing both overloading and under-loading.

The software is equipped with a Ticketing Module which records point of sale transactions based on readings from the digital scale indicator. Ticketing is also used to create manually entered transactions for deliveries of multiple weighed products through the miscellaneous ticket screen. Features include multiple units of sale, bulk and bagged goods, along with tracking of freight and material quantities.

The main advantages for Longcliffe are:

  • Increase in dispatch efficiency, improved on-time deliveries and reduced delivery/haul costs
  • Improved truck utilization, reduced ‘non-productive’ time
  • Decreased workload and stress for dispatchers
  • Improved health and safety by reducing vehicles and drivers in the yard entrance
  • Provides timely and accurate operational information to enhance decision-making
  • Allows the company to proactively plan for changing job conditions
  • Centralized data provides a complete view of the operation in real time
  • Reduced loading time in the quarry
  • Command performance has vastly improved decision-making, allowing Longcliffe to analyse data quicker and respond to customer’s needs.

‘The automation software provides timely and accurate operational information which operates as a support tool to enhance the decision-making of our staff,’ said Mr Barkley.

‘With Command Alkon, we have made an investment for the long term and are now ready to embrace the future. We’re also looking into the possibilities of Command Alkon’s mobile solutions.’

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