This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Sack Handling


Fair for all Weighing up fairer tea collections for Kenyan pickers


Tea pickers in Kenya are getting a fair day’s pay thanks to a weighing solution developed by Avery Weigh-Tronix for the Kenyan Tea Development Agency (KTDA). It will also help to reduce the tea losses of up to 10 percent that occur in transit between the fields and the processing factory. Traditionally tea collection clerks would collect the tea in open sacks from the farmers, weigh it using a spring balance and issue a handwritten receipt. These sacks are then taken back to the factory on a truck. A lot of this tea is spilt on the truck. The receiving bay at the factory then checkweighs the delivery and the factory pay the farmers based on this delivered weight. This can cause a problem since the farmers want paying for the tea that they picked. Also at a time when harvests are low, KTDA is keen to improve its own efficiency and minimise any losses of tea. Twenty of the fifty-four factories are using an alternative solution proposed by Avery Weigh-Tronix. The equipment consists of an electronic scale, a personal digital assistant and a printer for the tea collections; a floor scale and indicator for the factory receiving bay; and a Microsoft server with back office software. Using the system, the factory manager assigns the tea collection clerk a route in the morning. After collecting their equipment the clerk and the truck driver enter their passwords into the PDA before leaving for the first collection point. When they arrive, the clerk hooks the scale onto the back of the truck and enters the farmer’s code into the PDA. Each sack of tea is then weighed and this data is transmitted to the PDA


using Bluetooth technology. After weighing the entire batch, the clerk prints off a receipt and gives it to the farmer. The PDA automatically synchronises and transmits the weight data from the collection points to the main server in the factory using GSM technology. The data is also stored on the PDA’s memory card.


At the end of the collections the truck returns to the factory. Someone then weighs the delivered tea in the receiving bay using the floor scale and indicator, which is connected to the back office software. The amount of tea collected from the farm can then be compared to that delivered. Says John Machagua, product engineer for Avery Weigh-Tronix in Africa: “KTDA is keen to improve its process efficiency, particularly at a time when the tea harvests are lower than normal. To achieve this they need data on which to base decisions. One key area of waste has always been the amount of tea lost during transit.


“In addition, the farmers and pickers, who are shareholders in KTDA, were not happy that they were not being paid for the tea that they actually picked. This is an issue that has now been resolved.


“Using this system all of the weights are recorded and reported in real time directly onto a central server. It removes human error and provides real data that the factories can use to improve their operations.”


For more information please contact Avery Weigh-Tronix on tel: 0845 3 66 77 88 or visit: www.averyweigh-tronix.com


www.solidsandbulk.co.uk May 2012 • Solids & Bulk Handling 27


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68