Salt management to get through zero winter

19 January 2010

To prevent ice and snow chaos in winter, road services have to be well-organised to keep traffic moving. A major part of this operation is ensuring consistent supplies of road salt for gritting.

In Germany, to ensure sufficient provisions are distributed and replenished, “Intelligent Inventory” management of road salt is implemented. To provide this, they have integrated this data into a management system to optimise distribution and logistics processes.

The result is an inventory management system “Salt Manager”, based on a Vendor Management Inventory(VMI) model. It ensures demand-actuated replenishment of the storehouses and silos of the users. The salt suppliers and distributors monitor the stocks and co-ordinate deliveries to the local councils as well as regional motorway maintenance authorities.

The basic salt stockpile level data is provided by VEGA non-contact radar sensors that measure the levels in storage silos and storehouses to deliver the groundwork information needed for uninterrupted re-supply. The measured data is usually sent automatically via telemetry system and can be accessed via the web at any time.

In addition to the data transfer to Salt Manager, the level can also be displayed locally on site with the weatherproof, backlit indicating and adjustment module PLICSCOM mounted at ground level.

From the very beginning of the VMI project VEGA have worked closely together with the customers. With its radar sensor VEGAPULS 67, VEGA provides crucially reliable measurement technology that is simple, easy to use and immune to dust clouds, condensate and salt build-up.

Being non-contact there is no risk of abrasion damage to the sensor. Thanks to its plastic-encapsulated antenna system and highly resistant plastic housing, the sensor is optimally protected against this extremely corrosive medium and environment. The compact sensor design makes mounting directly into the manhole of a silo or in the roof of the stockpile house.

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