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Will the annual written Test Report on your scale used for SOLAS/AMSA weighing pass the AMSA Inspector’s audit?

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

any large and very large company’s that have now been subject to an AMSA audit of their existing scales used to determine the sea container’s VGM weight, are now finding out that their test reports are not being accepted as compliant for AMSA weighing.

All written test reports completed by Instant Weighing and then have been submitted by these companies to the AMSA Inspector as part of the completion of the audit requirements, have been accepted by AMSA as a compliant report.

So why are so many of the test reports not being accepted by AMSA during their audits.

The new AMSA laws states the following.

  • The scale used to determine the VGM weight of a sea container does not have to be a Trade Approved scale, but it must be tested yearly as if the scale was a NMI TRADE APPROVED scale.
  • NMI Regulation 13 verified test masses must be used when testing the scales. As part of the AMSA audit, AMSA are now asking for the current NMI Regulation 13 certificates that cover the verified test masses used during the testing of the scale. Only Licensed Scale company’s and Scale Technicians have and use (NMI) Regulation 13 verified test masses.
  • The written test report must show the complex series of tests that must be completed for that type/capacity of scale, that the scale would be subject too, if it was being tested as a TRADE APPROVED scale.

Why are the written test reports that have been completed by a technician from forklift companies not meeting the AMSA audit requirement? Yes, the forklift company will offer to conduct the AMSA scale testing with a one page written test report for a lot cheaper than a scale company.

But when audited, it is costing the company that owns and uses the scale for AMSA weighing a substantial lot more to have a written test report that is compliant for the AMSA audit. This is especially true if the scale is located in country WA and outside a scheduled calibration district-run and this is happening all the time now as the audits by AMSA inspectors are getting more frequent.

The reason why the one page written test report completed by any forklift company will not be compliant is because of points 2 and 3 above.

Point 2. The two photos below show what are not verified test masses and what are verified test masses. All verified test masses must have a waterproof adjustment chamber built into the masses, so that it can be adjusted by adding or subtracting lead to the NMI standards for that test mass. A 1,000kg test masses must be within 70g of the international standards for a 1,000kg test mass. They also must have a current Regulation 13 certificate to be valid for use. To reverify test masses costs a lot of money and the maximum reverification period for these test masses is 2 years.

Point 3. A technician that hold various NMI scale servicing licenses has had to sit many complex tests and questions to demonstrate to the officers of NMI, that he fully understands the type of scale and the complex series of tests that must be conducted to be able to pass that scale as a TRADE APPROVED scale. For the testing of any scale installed on any capacity or type of forklift or reach stacker for AMSA weighing, the tester must know the NMI Class 6.8 complex set of test procedures.

So if the person that is to conduct the required tests for a scale that is going to be used to determine a sea container VGM weight, cannot product the Regulation 13 certificate for the verified test masses that he is going to use, and does not know the NMI Class 6.8 scale complex testing procedures, his written test report will not be AMSA compliant.

How do you achieve correct AMSA scale testing with compliant written test reports anywhere in WA?

Instant Weighing as an NMI licensed scale servicing company with licensed scale technicians who hold NMI Classes 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4 and 6.8 licenses and we have or have access to 38t of current Regulation 13 test masses, plus flat racks, is the company to use for AMSA scale testing. We travel yearly from Esperance to Broome testing scales.

Putting the Australian made COMPULOAD series of digital scales onto forklifts of all sizes and capacities, scales onto reach stackers and scales onto front end loaders and excavators have been the core business of Instant Weighing for nearly 25 years.

With our knowledge, licenses and equipment we can test your existing non-trade approved scale that you have on your equipment and try to pass your existing scale for AMSA sea container weighing. Should the existing scale fail to pass any of the complex set of tests, we will recalibrate the scale if the calibration sequence is known by us, or seek a local (forklift technician that knows the calibration sequence) to recalibrate your scale so that we can try to pass your existing scale which will probably be weighing in STATIC WEIGHING mode. The NMI testing rules set out all the various tests required and the accuracy that must be obtained during the testing.

With our NMI Class 6.8 knowledge, we know that if the weighing mode is changed from STATIC WEIGHING mode to DYNAMIC WEIGHING mode, the NMI Class 6.8 testing rules allows the DYNAMIC WEIGHING scale greater margins of error under the NMI testings rules.

Remember the condition of the hydraulic system of the forklift, reach stacker for front end loader can have a bearing if the scale is going to pass. Should all effects trying to pass the existing STATIC WEIGHING scale fail, Instant Weighing has one further option available for those machines fitted with forks and two further options available for those machines fitted with spreader bars.

Sea Container lifting machines fitted with forks (Method 1 – Weighing container and contents together).

The Australian made COMPULOAD series of digital scales, can be installed and calibrated in DYNAMIC WEIGHING mode. Thus, under the NMI Class 6.8 rules this give the scale a greater error margin, and so far Instant Weighing has been able to pass their new scale where the old STATIC WEIGHING scale has failed, thus keeping the forklift or reach stacker operational with a scale suitable for AMSA weighing.

For forklift up to 8t capacity (Method 2 – Weighing individual pallets as loading the sea container).

Should both the STATIC and DYNAMIC WEIGHING scale on a forklift up to 8t capacity fail to pass the NMI testing, for these forklifts, there are load cell based scales that replicate the accuracy of a platform scale. This is an option available for the lower capacity range of forklifts. These scales will de-rate the lifting capacity of the forklift by about 15%.

Sea Container lifting machines fitted with spreader bar (Method 1 – Weighing container and contents together).

Should both STATIC WEIGHING and DYNAMIC WEIGHING scales working off the hydraulic system of the machine fail to pass the NMI series of tests, the third option is to install a load cell scale into the spreader bar itself, by replacing the hood pins with load cells. Replacing the twist locks with load cell twist locks is another option for the spreader bar scale. As this is UK or Europe equipment, this is the most expensive option.

Remember for all your SOLAS/AMSA weighing equipment testing or new scales for AMSA weighing anywhere in WA > call Instant Weighing today.