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Small and mighty forklifts roll into Saica Pack

Packaging firm, Saica Pack has received a triple dose of space saving engineering from materials handling supplier Barloworld Handling. Three new ultra compact Hyster Fortens forklifts fitted with specialist attachments have been delivered for paper handling duties at its Milngavie site in Scotland.

The Saica Pack operation in Milngavie, north of Glasgow, first opened in 1951 and manufactures corrugated fibre board packaging. The 36,720 m2 facility produces a range of products from simple cases to complex structural packaging designs, with high quality flexo print (up to six colours with multi point gluing). It serves the Scottish whisky industry, other renowned Scottish branded products and the food, drink, electronics and industrial sectors.

"Recycled paper comes into the site on large rolls which have to be stored in a narrow pre-production warehouse" explains Ross Yuill, corrugator manager at the site. "Few companies could provide forklifts with the compact footprint and capacity we needed to operate."

Barloworld Handling already had a presence on the site and was able to supply Space-saver versions from the popular Hyster Fortens range of forklifts, all with LPG engines for clean indoor use. Two S5.5FTS Fortens were selected, delivering a length of only 2.699m (to face of forks) with a 600mm load centre. The S5.5FTS is probably the smallest and most manoeuvrable truck available with 5,500kg lift capacity, whereas other suppliers were only able to offer Saica Pack a choice of either significantly larger trucks, or reduced load handling capacity.

One of the trucks unloads up to four lorry loads a day and is fitted with a standard single paper clamp and cab to ensure maximum driver comfort all year round. Reels are then transferred to the narrow warehouse where they are stacked vertically up to four high.

A tippler paper clamp is fitted to the second Hyster S5.5FTS forklift, which can rotate the paper reel from a vertical position to horizontal position and back again for storage and transportation. An onboard computer system helps manage inventory.

"The Fortens trucks are short but powerful, and have proven to be robust in this demanding operation" explains Ross who has been based at the site for more than 20 years. The solid tyre trucks have a 4.3L LPG engine and are very reliable, delivering a low cost of operation. The Hyster DuraMatch transmission featured on the Fortens range, delivers smooth direction changes without using the brake pedal or even stopping the truck, significantly reducing brake and tyre wear. In addition, the drivetrain is protected and the low maintenance oil immersed brakes help to ensure a low cost of operation.

"The drivers like the trucks, which provide accurate manoeuvring in the tight spaces of the warehouse ensuring paper roll damage is kept to a minimum" says Ross. A solid tyre S2.5FT Hyster Fortens truck is also in operation, transferring bails of waste cardboard from the die cutting process to a despatch area. The operating space was also tight, requiring a 2.5 tonne lift capacity truck with the advantage of just a 1.43m wheelbase and 500mm load centre.

"We have received a consistently good service from Barloworld and the trucks have proven to be reliable in this demanding application" Ross says, adding that the trucks are crucial to maintaining the production of 28 Million m2 of cardboard a year.

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