The production of aircraft seat components at BE Aerospace has been made safer and more efficient following the supply of Benco handling equipment designed and manufactured by Brixworth Engineering Co Ltd.
The Benco equipment has been installed in the resin transfer moulding (RTM) section at Kilkeel in Northern Ireland to handle the production requirements of the BE Aerospace five RTM moulding cells. Individual cells are equipped with overhead rail-mounted scissor lifts fitted with rotating lift platforms, hydraulically operated via pendant controllers. The rail mechanisms allow horizontal movements up to 4.5m x 7.5m of the supported loads either fore and aft or side to side. The scissor lift movement provides a total lift of 1.25m (at heights of 1 to 2.5m above floor level) with a 360° rotation of the lift platform, and with all operations being carried-out with maximum safety and minimum operator effort.
During production, each RTM tool requires two lid lifts, with these loads then being rotated and positioned at a safe working height on support trestles to provide easy access for the removal of finished moulded products. The mould lids are also transferred into storage and cleaned prior to the next production run. With individual lids weighing either 0.5 or 1 tonne, and each of the handling processes cycled eight times per day for each of the five RTM tools, then the load handling logistics within the RTM section become quite daunting, with safety being a paramount requirement.
Previously the RTM lid lifting procedure was undertaken utilising fork lift trucks. This was a time consuming process with lids then transferred to temporary turnover fixtures for rotation and cleaning etc. With fork lift trucks also then used for reinstatement of the tool lids, this method of handling very heavy loads on a virtually continuous basis was both time consuming and cumbersome. The potential for accidents was an ever present danger, which could result in damage or serious injuries.
Following the introduction of the Benco scissor lift equipment from Brixworth, a 300% saving in the RTM lid transfer times has been achieved, helping to maintain production schedules without further increases in equipment or labour force. In addition, since the Benco products undertake all the lift/lower, transfer and turnover operations, the areas of potentially hazardous handling operation have been eliminated, resulting in much higher levels of safety combined with good working practice.
Mr Colm McKeown of BE Aerospace comments “we have been very impressed with this unusual application of scissor lifts to handle heavy loads. It has resulted in a very efficient, safe, clean and more compact production area that more than meets our requirements.”