A Birmingham-based company that designs and manufactures switchgear handling equipment has recently come to the aid of one of the UK’s largest power stations. Wilmat Ltd has designed and manufactured a number of bespoke manual handling trucks for the Magnox North, Wyfla power station in Anglesey, North Wales.
The power station houses switchgear and low voltage circuit breakers, which
need to be maintained, repaired or transported around the station with ease. Wilmat was called in when the current handling trucks were constantly in need of repair and maintenance.
"All our manual lifting equipment was past its prime," said Jayson Slingsby, Electrical Systems Engineer at Magnox North. "The trucks that we had been using were old, repairs became more frequent and it was very difficult, almost impossible, to find spare parts. Nearly all of the previous trucks’ manufacturers and suppliers had stopped trading. We needed a truck that would be adaptable to work with some very old, heavy equipment and equally some new switchgear."
Wilmat’s designers had no problems with coming up with the made-to-measure handling trucks. The team took into account all the external factors which affect usage.
As Andy Capella, Wilmat’s Sales and Technical Director explained: "Our designers developed a thorough research brief, ensuring that the trucks were able to house interchangeable lifting fittings and accommodate the sometimes narrow width of turning areas between racking and cabinets." Andy Capella went on: "All Wilmat trucks are manufactured and tested to comply with EU Health and Safety legislation, so compliance was never an issue."
Using switchgear handling trucks safely is an issue that has been raised recently within the industry and it is one which Wilmat are keen to tackle head on. "We feel that health and safety compliance is very important when dealing with any equipment," said Andy. "But there is a definite lack of knowledge when it comes to switchgear handling and safety. To address this we are about to launch a best practice guide, which will give guidance on how to use the equipment effectively and safely."