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Case Studies - Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

Case Study #1:
Improving Efficiency on the Farm

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Looking for a Better Way

Based on seasonality and variables such as weather farming as a business must be as efficient as possible to yield both crop objectives as well as profit. It is well known that the operational efficiency of a farm will shape production. That is why farms of the 21st century are more embraced to technology and systems that ensure results. Once such farm in Southern California was looking to improve the process of weighing daily pick results. Contract workers would take to the fields and be paid based on their pick weight. The process deployed at the time required a significant delay as bins were picked up at the staging area an brought by forklift to the main shed that had a floor scale where they were weighed and coded with a picker number. Then they were brought back to the staging area where they were emptied into trucks to be transported for processing. The process, based on the average number of pickers being around 20 per day, was taking too long and needed improvement.

Simple to Use

The management/owners of this farm were looking for a way to weigh bins at the same time they entered the staging area. This would reduce an average of 2 hours per day taking the bins to the shed for weighing as they were using 3 forklifts to shuttle. Right from the beginning one of the main criteria was that the system had to be simple to use. Once introduced as an improved process, supervisors and workers would need to quickly understand and embrace the new system. Therefore, the system would need to be reliable in accuracy, not require on-going calibration and able to withstand weather conditions. As the system was being evaluated as a method of calculating payment, it was very important for the decision makers that they maintain the trust of their employees.
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SkidWeigh ED2-Elite Saves Time and Money

Looking at the entire SkidWeigh ED series check weighing scale systems and the options available it was decided that the SkidWeigh ED2-Elite would integrate best. The compact design along with the large LED display was seen as great way for both supervisor and worker to understand the weight of the bins. In addition, the no button ‘lift-N-weigh’ operational concept of the system was fast and efficient, the forklift operator could get an accurate weight readout in 3 seconds and move on to the next bin. The system is also completely sealed from the elements, able to withstand all weather conditions including extreme heat that is often a part of California summers.

The end result was that one of the three forklifts were eliminated as two equipped with SkidWeigh ED2-Elites was all that was needed to manage the new process. Incurred cost of asset usage along with wages saved helped the farm concentrate on more yield focused activities.
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