Category Archives: Agriculture Industry

Keeping Biomass Facilities Efficient and Safe

Biomass ready for transport
Biomass ready for transport.

Rarely will you find a scale installation or application that can be set up right out of the box, so to speak. Carolina is in the business of scales, so we’re in the business of custom constructions and configurations, and a recent job for a leading biomass company located in Georgia allowed us to show the range of our capabilities. Biomass is simply organic material that can be converted into energy or another form of biofuel. It can consist of anything from tree stumps to mulch to yard clippings, and more. Once a niche energy source, the growth of biomass and biofuel has led to the construction of several new facilities in the South.

This project required two inbound and two outbound truck scales, as well as a fully unattended kiosk for check-ins and check-outs. The unattended kiosk has quickly become nearly a standard feature for loading and unloading zones, allowing for better vehicle flow, higher accuracy, and easier reporting. As full-service experts in scales and weighing systems, Carolina Scales was able to develop and install this fully integrated system in conjunction with the truck scales themselves. We also included a dedicated scaling software for use with the facility owner’s maintenance system.

From concept through to installation, this project took us about 6 weeks, enabling the biomass plant to increase their capacity in the service of cleaner energy. For more information on our line of scales, visit our site today: www.carolinascales.com.

How the Price of Cottonseed Affects the Sale of Scales

It always amazes us at Carolina Scales how sales for particular types of scales can surge due to something unforeseen by our staff.  It is definitely a lesson in world commodity markets, global economics and how each of those can have an effect on a company located in West Columbia, South Carolina.

Cottonseed
The cottonseed, used for cooking oil and livestock feed, remains after the cotton is ginned.

This global story begins with the cottonseed, something that many in South Carolina and throughout the South have seen being planted in local fields throughout the years.  Cottonseed has been used for many decades as a source for creating cooking oil and in particular it a highly prized supplement for livestock feed.

In June of this year, the rumblings of shortages began to be heard throughout the agricultural sector that produces cottonseeds.  It has been known for some time that the number of acres of farmland being devoted to cottonseed production was on the decrease.  Several sources have noted that cottonseed production was likely to drop to a 3-year low due to these smaller plantings.  This was partly due to the movement of farmers from planting cottonseed to other more lucrative crops.  Couple this with the ongoing drought in places like Texas and the affect the drought has had on the overall corn crop and a sudden demand by China for cottonseed. Now with corn production predicted to be at historic lows and since corn is the main ingredient for feeding livestock, alternatives will be in greater demand.  Cottonseed can be added to other feed like soy, wheat for added nutritional value and to “fill” in the gaps left from lower corn production.

Now how does this seed affect Carolina Scales?  These increased demands for the product have made the industry make some hectic moves to obtain appropriately sized shipping containers and scales to weigh the crop.  At first we were quite surprised by the surge in interest for scales to weigh cottonseed.  Fortunately, we were and are ready, willing and able to provide the necessary scales to help cottonseed producers get their product out the door and into the marketplace.  Whether it is cottonseed, other crops or materials, we have a variety of scales, balances and weighers to meet your needs.  Give us a call to discuss!