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Warburtons: Time for lift off

26 August 2010

The Enfield depot of Warburtons recently faced a dilemma: how to efficiently process heavy batches of raw ingredients by reducing manual handling while removing the risk of serious injury for the workforce.

Ingredients are generally delivered in 25kg sacks that have to be lifted safely and comfortably to the working feed height. Examples include feeding the flavouring hopper for drinks or crisps production; or in the case of seeded bread, the mixing sieve.

Mixed seeds containing linseed, millet, poppy, sunflower and sesame seeds settle in-transit and become self-sorted by size and weight. To ensure consistency it’s necessary to manually process the sacks thus guaranteeing an even mix resulting in each of the millions of loaves baked being the same. This process also assures the ingredients’ quality.

Loading for the process takes place just above waist level. Through installation of a Tecmach pallet lift, the Warburtons’ operator was able to stop the lift anywhere between the closed and fully open height of the lift. When offloading pallets a layer at a time, the operator could move the lift up so each layer is easily accessible.

This meant the bottom layer on the pallet was as easy to lift-off as the top layer, which made the process a one-man operation. This was said to be efficient and time saving, and simultaneously eliminated the injury risks associated with repeated lifting.

The Tecmach low-profile pallet lift table, with a closed height of 80mm, can be supplied in flattop or "U" format in situations when Euro-Pallets are to be used. A range of platform sizes means whatever pallet is used there is a scissor-lift to match.

Taking loads of up to two tonnes, it’s possible to keep the top layer of product at the optimum height for say filling hopper. The height can be controlled via a push-button or foot control station, alternatively the lift can be supplied with semi- or fully automatic lifting as each layer is cleared.

For the food industry, the lifts can be supplied in several finishes including white epoxy paint and can be manufactured in part or full stainless-steel construction. The hydraulic system is filled with food-quality oil and fitted with fine filters to prevent contaminating the oil with fine particles such as flour.


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