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RFID Keeps Quarry Drivers Moving

U.K. minerals company Longcliffe Quarries is using a Command Alkon solution that includes an HID Global RFID reader at the gate to identify and authorize truck drivers as they enter, and send an alert to bucket operators.
By Claire Swedberg

The existing process for drivers once their tipper trucks and pressurized tankers arrived onsite, Roobottom says, required having them exit their vehicles in order to collect the necessary paperwork and instructions, then return to the trucks to drive them to the loading spot. When a vehicle arrived at that spot, heavy-equipment operators would speak with the driver to confirm which materials he needed. After his truck was loaded with the appropriate materials, he would then drive it to the scales for weighing, and the resulting weight measurements would be forwarded to the Command Alkon software, after which the vehicle would leave the site.

This process sometimes forced drivers to wait in queues at the entrance. In addition, it could pose a safety hazard since the drivers needed to exit their vehicles in an area where heavy machinery was moving around them.

Clare Roobottom, Longcliffe's sales coordinator
With the Command Alkon solution, some drivers have been given HID Global ProxCard II 125 kHz RFID cards, enabling them to proceed to a dedicated, RFID-enabled lane. Each driver's plastic card has an embedded RFID tag encoded with a unique ID number linked to data in the Command Alkon software regarding that individual, his vehicle and the company for which he works.

Upon arriving at the gate, drivers stop beside a kiosk with a built-in HID Global ProxPoint Plus RFID reader. The driver need not leave his vehicle, but instead can simply hold his tag within a few centimeters of the reader, which captures the tag ID and forwards that data to the software residing on Longcliffe Quarries' server. The software confirms that this particular vehicle is expected onsite that day, as well as the type of load it has arrived to collect. The kiosk's video screen then displays authorization to enter, along with instructions indicating where the vehicle should go to receive its load.

At the assigned loading location, a quarry shovel operator has a tablet mounted in the cab of his equipment, which uses a Wi-Fi connection to access data from the Command Alkon software. Once the driver's tag has been interrogated and authorized at the gate, the system sends a message to the shovel operator's tablet indicating that a truck is en route, as well as information about the kind of product to be picked up. In that way, he can be ready to load the material as soon as the vehicle arrives.

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