[ID] => 10265
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-10-22 08:44:02
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-22 07:44:02
[post_content] => Tank cleaning is such a fundamental part of the bulk liquids supply chain that industry operates a Europe-wide system to ensure that tanks are properly cleaned. Oversight of the cleaning process also ensures safety and operational efficiency. The uniform European Cleaning Document (ECD) was introduced by the European Federation of Tank Cleaning Organisations (EFTCO) in 2005 and has proven so effective that more than 3 million paper ECDs – each in four-fold copy – are produced every year.
That is a lot of paper. And these days, when there are alternatives, it is no longer sustainable to be generating 12 million sheets of paper a year, with all the potential shortfalls inherent in a paper-based system. Mistakes can be made, documents can be amended or even forged, and the documents themselves can get lost.
To address the issue, four organisations joined forces to see how best to digitise the process. EFTCO partnered with the European Chemical Transport Association (ECTA), the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and Essenscia, the Belgian chemical industry association, to develop the electronic ECD, or e-ECD. And after successful pilot trials, the system is being rolled out during the fourth quarter of 2018.
CHANGE THE GAME
“The new digitalised e-ECD process is a real chemical industry game changer,” the four associations agree. “It overcomes the typical administrative burdens of a paper-driven process, it increases the overall product quality by visualisation of the three previous loads, and allows a much safer, more efficient and more reliable use of logistics resources.”
Having the ECD in a digital format allows it to be shared among the relevant chemical shippers, tank operators and tank cleaning stations, and it remains accurate and available in real time. Digital communication is fully traceable among all parties, meaning fewer errors and a more transparent and accurate exchange of information, which in turn delivers a high quality service to the end customer.
In the longer term, the partner organisations expect the digital exchange of ECD information will mean less manual work and, because loading sites have access to cleaning information ahead of a vehicle’s arrival, faster site entrance and loading. At a time when transport companies are finding it very hard to recruit drivers, that on its own is a good thing: drivers need to spend more of their working hours driving rather than waiting for loading.
In addition, the e-ECD concept fits in with the industry’s Responsible Care principles. When information is lacking or incorrect, safety throughout the supply chain can be compromised. Digital exchange of the information eliminates that risk, making e-ECD “uniquely placed” to enhance Responsible Care levels right across the chemical supply chain.
The four trade associations involved in the e-ECD project wrestled with the issue of finding a neutral platform to host the system. Their solution was to form a non-profit body, the European Chemical Logistics Information Council (Eclic), which is now managing e-ECD. The platform itself is operated by NxtPort, which has built expertise in similar systems through its work in sharing data among port users in northern Europe.
Those looking to learn more about e-ECD and its benefits are invited to attend ECTA’s Annual Meeting om Düsseldorf on 29 November, where Peter Devos, joint managing director of ECTA, will be speaking on the topic. Other presentations will look at the role of digitisation in standardising operational processes in the logistics chain, for which the development of e-ECD provides a model for future projects.
[post_title] => Tank cleaning: Plugged in
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => tank-cleaning-plugged
[post_modified] => 2018-10-19 12:48:13
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-19 11:48:13
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10265
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Tank cleaning: Plugged in
The shift from paper to electronic documentation raises the opportunity to improve quality and accuracy and save time for all those involved