Easilift Loading Systems has recently completed the largest single order ever placed in the UK for loading bay equipment. The bespoke solution for Tesco’s new state-of-the-art Grocery Distribution Centre in Daventry saw Easilift successfully deliver a project worth in excess of £6.5M
The 800,000 sq ft facility is a major investment designed to meet Tesco’s long-term distribution requirements. Easilift, already an existing supply partner to Tesco, was recruited to take care of the Grocery Distribution Centre’s widespread and complex loading dock requirements.
Working closely with Tesco and the main contractor Volker Fitzpatrick, Easilift project managed the installation of 40 double deck lifting platforms and 100 dock leveller bays, all housed in external loading pods. The high specification of the build together with the complex design issues and tight programme required the attention to detail that Easilift are renowned for.
"Easilift has proven its abilities in the past, and we knew that by involving them in the process from the start, we could maximise resources to deliver a robust loading bay environment on a scale never attempted before in UK distribution," explains Duncan Robertson, Project Manager at Tesco.
The design interface was critical to the success of the project and Easilift worked closely with the project team to overcome a number of technical challenges. Notably, spatial restrictions at yard level meant that the double deck bays had to be constructed in pairs. This innovative arrangement created a tandem pod around a single walkway to ensure safe and easy operator access / egress.
Each of the 40 double deck bays incorporates a heavy duty, surface mounted 16,000kg lifting platform, capable of carrying up to 30 roll cages. The lifts are located within external modular pods, manufactured and partially preassembled at Easilift’s Huddersfield factory prior to delivery and final on-site erection using a 60-tonne crane. This approach equated to a 60% reduction in installation time for this particular element, when compared with previous lift installations.
The dock leveller bays comprised 96 Type 232 PoweRamp hinged lip units and 4 Type 233 PoweRamp telescopic lip units, with each bay comprising a modular loading pod, a Type 403 PowerShelter and a 601 PowerDoor.
Ancillary equipment supplied throughout all bays included environmentally friendly LED traffic and loading dock lighting, pod lights, fully integrated control panels and heavy duty "slider" bumpers.
Furthermore, in line with Tesco’s commitment to improving site safety all "goods in" bays were fitted with the revolutionary new Dock Management System developed by Easilift and Traka. This innovative hi-tech management reporting and safety system is designed to prevent the premature departure of vehicles from the loading bay.
The system combines Easilift’s dock door and associated control equipment with Traka’s electronic key control system and was tailored to complement Tesco’s existing safety processes, creating a high-tech solution to the problem of vehicle drive-off accidents.
The success of the project, which went live in May 2011, underlines Easilift’s ability to achieve large-scale and technically demanding projects. The bulk of the installation was completed during the winter months of 2010/2011, where Easilift was able to fit equipment on time and within budget despite the extreme bad weather which plagued the UK.
"In terms of size and scope, the development of the Grocery Distribution Centre has been a huge undertaking, and Easilift has met our requirements every step of the way," confirms Duncan Robertson.
Easilift Loading Systems Ltd
Tel: 08451 301920
Fax: 01484 601401