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The road to resilience

26 February 2013

Imagine toiling for 18 hours a day in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees. This is the life for five new Mitsubishi forklifts at Newbridge Foods and it's one that requires a very special kind of resilience.

Based in County Kildare, and employing around 80 staff, Newbridge Foods has been supplying frozen food for over 20 years.

Its business is now focused on the Cuisine de France range of continentalstyle bread and pastry-based products, selling mainly to the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

To meet a variety of stacking and transfer needs in the chill room and loading dock, Irish Mitsubishi distributor Henley Forklift Group recommended two EDIA EM electric counterbalance trucks (FB15PNT and FB16PNT) and three PREMIA ES pedestrian powered pallet trucks (PBP20N2), supplied on a fiveyear contract.

Both EDIA and PREMIA are relatively new to the market, but are already obvious choices when it comes to dealing with food and other hygienic applications. Each benefits from the sealed systems which not only prevent breakdown in damp or wet conditions, but also guard against pollution and allow thorough cleaning. In the case of EDIA, those features include wet disc brakes fitted as standard.

John Smith, head of production at Newbridge Foods, explains some of the other key considerations that influenced his choice. He says: "First, our trucks have to be able to function every day in an extremely cold environment - doing shifts of up to 18 hours. In the longer term, avoiding downtime is a big issue for us.

"We also needed trucks that were compact enough to turn in our small spaces. And of course we wanted a good price." In addition to their standard, built-in weather resistance, the option of cold store modification has been selected for all of the trucks. Reliability should not be a problem, as the designers of EDIA and PREMIA have gone to great lengths to protect components and minimise maintenance needs, says the company.

For example, the transmission in PREMIA is shock-resistant to cope with the rough treatment that power pallet trucks typically endure.

A compact chassis, small turning circle and good all-round visibility are complemented in EDIA by the advanced FeatherTouch electric steering system, which allows precise, effortless control, and in PREMIA by a state-of-the-art tiller arm with a large turning angle.

Since taking delivery of the trucks, John has been further impressed by their user-friendliness - and in particular by the easy on-off access that EDIA's large 'entry window' allows.

He has also been pleased by Henley's support: "Our dealer's local depot is nearby and its staff are always quick to respond to any request. While we were waiting for the new machines to arrive, Henley helpfully loaned us an EDIA truck to keep things moving."
 
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