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Better handling for Senior Architectural Systems Ltd

30 June 2015

Senior Architectural Systems Limited is using a mixed fleet of Combilift forklifts at its manufacturing and warehousing facilities in Doncaster, each of which meets the various handling and storage requirements on site.

One of the largest and most respected fenestration systems companies in the UK, Senior provides an extensive range of Aluminium Systems featuring fully compatible window, door and curtain wall ranges, plus products for shop fronts, roof glazing and secondary glazing.

The management at Doncaster needed not only trucks for offloading incoming packs of raw materials from HGVs, but also more compact forklifts able to manoeuvre material to the production facilities as well as a machine that would enable space saving storage of stock such as finished profiles. Thanks to Combilift’s extensive range, Senior was able to source the ideal combination of trucks from the one supplier.

The first Combilift on site was a 4t C4000, and after years of operation two new style C4000s have replaced the initial truck. These LPG powered models work mainly outside for offloading and loading. New design features include the larger deluxe cab for added operator comfort and a low level exhaust for improved visibility.

Purchasing Manager Craig Turner and Production Manager Mark Burton chose two compact Combi-CB 4-way counterbalance design models to be predominantly responsible for taking materials to the production lines. They have partially replaced a previous combination of 4-way reach and counterbalance trucks and their ability to handle both longer lengths and palletised or boxed products in confined spaces offers the high degree of versatility needed in this area.

Due to the volume of products passing in and out of the 95,000 ft² warehouse, maximum use of all storage space was also a high priority. Combilift’s stand-on EST model was the solution as its very narrow cab reduces the overall width of the machine for operation in very narrow aisles. "The EST easily handles the 6.1m long packs in aisles of less than 1800mm wide and to racking heights of up to 12m, so we achieve very dense stock storage,” said Mr. Turner. "Guide rollers on the trucks and the guided aisles between racking make it very quick and easy for drivers to steer down the aisles, and this also reduces the risk of damage to both stock and racking.”

Electric power was chosen for the EST and CB models, which, like the C4000s, work across two shifts, from 6am to 6.30pm. A key feature of the Combilifts operating at Senior is that they can all be used to handle loads which weigh from 400kg to 1,000kg, both indoors and out and can also be interchanged depending on the task in hand. "We have been using this system now for about a year and a half,” said Mr. Turner, "and it has delivered everything we had hoped for.”