Fast growing valve business Westlock Controls Limited, in Tunbridge Wells, faced a logistical problem as it needed to increase the throughput of its products while fully utilising the existing 1500m floor space of its current premises.
The company had already installed a mezzanine floor to increase available space, but the bottleneck was in transferring products from the ground floor to the mezzanine using a fork lift truck, especially as the fork lift was also required to load and unload deliveries. There was also a potential risk of manual handling with staff using the stairs, when the fork lift wasn’t available, with some components being fairly heavy to lift and carry safely.
Rather than purchasing an additional fork lift truck, with the associated training and staffing requirements, the company decided to approach manufacturers for an engineered solution – a bespoke pallet lift. Following proposals from several companies, Westlock decided to select the recommended options put forward by Base Handling Products Ltd.
The resultant pallet lift that has now been installed was fully designed and manufactured in the U.K. at Base Handling’s Gwent-based factory and uses a double pillar design to safely lift trays or pallets within a fully guarded lifting enclosure. Up to five stacks of plastic trays or a standard pallet can be lifted, having been loaded onto the low profile lift carriage either manually or by using a hand pallet truck.
The Base Handling Pallet Lift has a Safe Working Load of 2000 Kgs, a lift height of 3000mm and is a fully welded steel construction with a purpose built proven lift control system. It was designed to allow the lift to be bolted to the floor for fast installation, without the need for additional civil engineering works.
Not only has the pallet lift helped solve the production bottlenecks, improving efficiency, it has also contributed to the Westlock’s continued drive to improve health and safety, as Peter Keating, Senior Sales Manager for Westlock Controls explains; “Using the fork lift truck wasn’t an ideal solution, especially as our order volumes increased. Although we hadn’t had any safety issues, the pallet lift is inherently much safer and we can train people more quickly and in-house to use the lift, compared to the fork lift.”
“I would estimate that it has helped speed up our production throughput by around 15% while removing any risks associated with using the fork lift truck, which of course is now free for other duties. The main achievement has been to help support our continued growth while remaining in our existing premises,” he added.
Westlock Controls Limited are market leaders in Valve Monitoring Systems for the Process and Automation Industry (Oil & Gas, Chemical, Power, Pharmaceutical, Food & Beverage and Pulp & Paper). Base Handling Products Limited are a UK based designer and manufacturer of a wide range of customised lifting, tipping, weighing and handling solutions from its 16,000 square foot facilities in Brynmawr, South Wales.