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SGS announce DST Lite measuring tool

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Fertilizer,

After a successful pilot project over the past 18 months in the US, SGS has launched its draft survey tool (DST) Lite, which will be of particular importance for the fertilizer industry. The new tool is targeted at the draft survey industry.

A draft survey is a method of cargo weight determination where the vessel’s displacement figures in empty and loaded condition are recorded. The difference between both scenarios will determine the weight of the shipment loaded or unloaded from the vessel. Until the introduction of the DST and DST Lite, the draft reading service had been subjective and totally visual. In the case of the transportation of fertilizer, this ‘hit or miss’ target of providing accurate readings has occasionally led to serious disputes between the shipper and the receiver. For instance, an incorrect measurement of as little as 1cm could result in a 100 t discrepancy in a cargo shipment, which either the shipper or the customer will ultimately have to pay for.

Haritz Solachi, current Minerals Global Field Services Manager and inventor of the DST, created the tool with cost control, accuracy for the customer and safety in mind. Solachi understood the challenges and the dangers of taking measurements visually where weather, water conditions and the experience of the surveyor could impact the results. Over the course of 2 years, Solachi took his knowledge as a former inspector as the basis for his invention, which can be adapted to all vessel shapes, sizes and measuring points.

The DST takes advantage of the latest technologies with an accuracy rate to within 2 mm in 30 m using an algorithm which speaks to the reliability of this method.

The small space between the barges, which frequently transport fertilizer on the Mississippi river, US, when side by side in port being loaded or discharged was another problem to be solved by Solachi. The DST Lite was the result, with a circumference of 1 in.2 allowing it to take accurate measurements in the smallest of spaces, where the regular DST could not fit.

With either tool, the results are digital and are transmitted in real time either to an app on the surveyor’s phone in the case of the DST Lite, or saved on the device in the case of the DST and then stored in the cloud.

“It is a source of pride for SGS to be on the leading edge of innovation once again,” said Carlos Cordoba, SGS Trades Director. “This is not the first time that balancing the needs of our customers through advancing technology that also benefits our employees has happened and is one of the things that is most highly valued by SGS as a global leader.”

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