Working under molten glass dripping from a furnace overhead is a challenging environment by any standards. When the area of operation is particularly narrow as well, the challenge becomes even greater. But this is the situation which WH Malcolm faces in its logistics contract with glass manufacturer O.I. Glass at its site in Alloa, Scotland.
In order to cope with this work, as well as other materials handling needs around the site, WH Malcolm has chosen a fleet of 28 Linde fork lift trucks.
"We changed supplier because of a proven range of benefits," says Freddy Solomon, Assistant Warehouse Director, WH Malcolm. "Fuel savings benefits, operator comfort, lifetime cost of the products and a strong brand reputation."
Demonstrating the difference
Freddy Solomon was particularly impressed by Linde’s decision to provide demonstrator trucks so that they could be tested in the exact working conditions of the glass manufacturing plant.
A H40D diesel truck was supplied so that it could be used in the tough conditions under the furnace and another demonstrator model, a Linde H25T was especially built to WH Malcolm’s exact specification.
The demonstrator trucks also proved Linde’s claim that the fuel consumption would be at least 20% lower than competitors trucks, even in this high intensity application. This means that despite the higher initial price, the overall lifetime cost of the truck would be lower.
"We extensively tested the Linde trucks supplied to us to prove they did ‘what it says on the tin’ about fuel consumption, reliability and operator comfort," says Mr Solomon. "We found out through our own in-house tests that these products were right for our application."
WH Malcolm ordered three H40D trucks to be used for working under the furnace. They were built in the Linde factory in Germany and have a range of special features including special safety glass for the windscreen, additional protection for the rubber hoses, and side impact bars to stop the truck getting damaged in such a confined space.
A fleet of thirteen H25Ts is used in the operation – in the production, warehouse, engineering and recycling areas of the plant. Eleven of these trucks have been fitted with Cascade double pallet handlers which have been especially modified for this operation. This allows the trucks to move two pallets at a time, thus increasing productivity.
Freddy Solomon is also enthusiastic about the hydrostatic transmission on the trucks. "This is a key benefit for us as we had lots of downtime issues with contamination of brake drums on conventional trucks."
Ten H16T lpg forklifts are used, mostly for factory work and two T20SP ride-on power pallet trucks are used in the packaging area
All the trucks have been supplied in WH Malcolm livery, helping the company to demonstrate its presence on the O.I. Glass site.
WH Malcolm needs the most versatile, robust and cost-effective fleet of forklift trucks to make sure its operation for O.I. Glass runs smoothly. The site produces an average of 2,500 pallets in a 24 hour period and WH Malcolm manages all site-based logistics activity from production line to final customer delivery.
"We are impressed with the set-up and structure of Linde Scotland. It is good to have a local supplier and the sales staff have been very professional," says Freddie Solomon. "And we have no worries about servicing, as this is the Linde area of expertise."