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Compact Mariotti forklift truck overcomes space limitations at Open University

European Handling Equipment (EHE) has supplied a 1000kg capacity compact Mariotti fork truck to enable the Open University to transport high tech engineered specimens for cutting, measuring and analysis.

Established in 1969, the Open University is a distance learning and research university based in Milton Keynes with regional centres in each of its 13 regions throughout the UK. With more than 250,000 students enrolled, including around 32,000 aged under 25 and more than 50,000 overseas students, it is one of the largest academic institutions in the world.

Within the University’s Materials Engineering Department, a Mariotti compact truck, type ME 10C, is used to load materials into electric discharge machines which then produce machined test samples to extremely high tolerances. These samples are produced on behalf of companies operating within many different worldwide industries including nuclear, automotive, aerospace and railways. The truck is then used to transport the samples, which weigh up to 600kg, from the machining area to an adjacent workshop before loading them onto a computer-controlled co-ordinate measuring machine.

During this process of transporting and machine loading, the electrically-powered Mariotti truck is required to operate within very restricted space especially when turning through 90° and negotiating doorways. However, the compact truck, which features a short wheelbase, cushion tyres and low overhead guard, is ideal for the task. Its combination of unrivalled versatility, excellent stability, smooth movement and fatigue-free driver comfort ensures safe and precise operation at all times.

Other internal duties for the Mariotti ME 10C truck include general storage and handling of samples and palletised loads. Additionally, the truck is used to undertake regular outdoor goods in/goods out operations including lorry loading and unloading.

“The Mariotti truck has been invaluable in supporting our work,” says Charlie Snelling, MCT Labs Manager at the Open University. “The work we do is becoming increasingly complex and this is reflected in the size, shape and weight of the test samples that we produce. Almost by definition, our machining and measuring equipment is bulky which leaves little room for actually moving samples around. That’s where the Mariotti truck really proves its worth. It’s compact, highly manoeuvrable and versatile enough to meet all our demands.”

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