Clay products manufacturer Ibstock Brick Ltd is getting more productivity and uptime at it's facility in St Helens, Merseyside thanks to a new fleet of Hyster Fortens forklift trucks supplied through Barloworld Handling.
The Roughdales Factory, located near St. Helens, Merseyside is one of 24 Ibstock facilities across the United Kingdom, involved in the manufacture of clay products. Ibstock Brick Ltd is one of the largest manufacturers of clay products in Britain and is part of the CRH group. The facility operates seven days a week, manufacturing in excess of 30 million bricks per annum for both domestic and commercial projects.
The locally quarried clay is crushed and mixed with water, extruded and then cut into bricks. The resulting shapes are then dried and fired in a kiln to a temperature of approximately 1050°C, cooled, and then bound in packs of 500.
To assist with the fully automated process, the Roughdales site has recently taken delivery from Barloworld Handling of three new Hyster Fortens H4.0FT Advance forklift trucks, each equipped with a double pallet handler attachment which doubles the number of handling cycles per hour. One of the trucks is used to support the production process, while the others are used for two eight-hour shifts, Monday to Friday, to off-load the packs of 500 bricks from the production line, and store them in the stockyard. The machines are also used to load trucks for customer deliveries.
The new Fortens machines are the first Hyster trucks to operate at an Ibstock site, and the contract was won despite stiff competition from the incumbent supplier. The trucks have only recently been put into operation at the facility, but both the site foreman and the drivers have a very good first impression of not only the Fortens trucks themselves but also the support services provided by Barloworld Handling. The Fortens are operating on a five year full-maintenance contract, and having already proved their reputation for excellent dependability, Ibstock subsequently ordered two additional Fortens, an H1.6FT and an H2.5FT.
The operator's cab offers excellent all-round visibility and provides the driver with a comfortable working environment. According to the stock yard foreman, Bill Padmore, the drivers really appreciate the small ergonomic touches, such as the e-hydraulic mini-levers on the adjustable seat-side armrest. Other cab equipment includes a fully adjustable full-suspension seat, adjustable steering column, a clear and conveniently located dash display, heater and radio. To help improve stability on uneven surfaces an “HSM” stability mechanism fitted to the trucks gives a smoother ride which reduces driver fatigue over the duration of the shift.
In addition to the productivity improvements offered through low downtime and excellent ergonomics, the H4.0FT Advance also features the electronically controlled DuraMatch2 transmission. This transmission features two forward speeds, which provide excellent performance over long runs, from one end of the stockyard to the other.
To assist the operator in managing his load stacking operation more productively the transmission also offers the Auto Deceleration System (ADS) and Controlled Power Reversal (CPR) features. ADS allows the operator to slow the truck without using the brake, and CPR enables him to change direction smoothly without removing his foot from the accelerator pedal. Together, these features promote smooth handling and help to prevent loads being damaged or shed. In addition to increasing productivity, these features also contribute to significant reductions in tyre and brake wear, reducing service downtime as well as overall operating costs.
In order to maintain the required levels of productivity, in the event of a breakdown, on-board diagnostic systems allow problems to be identified quickly before a locally based engineer arrives on site. To minimise downtime, Barloworld despatchers will assign the nearest engineer with the correct van stock through its web based vehicle tracking system. Failing this, the local engineer can place a parts order through his PDA for a part to arrive in his van first thing in the morning. This level of service support ensures that there is minimal interference to the operation of the factory.
The full range of Hyster counterbalance and warehousing trucks is available exclusively in the UK through Barloworld Handling. Through a comprehensive infrastructure including 1200 support staff and over 600 mobile engineers Barloworld provides its customers with a total materials handling solution backed with world class service.
For further information about Hyster trucks please contact Barloworld Handling on Freephone 0800 137 449, www.barloworld-handling.co.uk.
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