Recycling firm uses dock leveller to increase productivity
02 July 2018
Edwards Recycling has increased its productivity by 20% with the installation of a new dock leveller from Thorworld Industries.
Previously, Edwards had utilised a manual dock leveller, consisting of a steel bridging plate and a small moveable ramp, which had to be attached to the delivery vehicle by hand each time a container was loaded. This process then had to be reversed to allow the vehicle to depart – all of which was extremely time consuming, manually exhaustive and potentially precarious.
Simon Edwards, MD of Edwards Recycling, explains more: “Our existing dock leveller had served us well for a number of years, but we decided it was time to see if there were any alternative methods on the market that would help streamline our loading processes and make the company more efficient.”
When it came to designing the dock leveller, the team faced several challenges. First, the fixed dock height was far lower than the containers being loaded, creating the potential for vehicles to drive over the dock. Secondly, space was at a premium and Simon had requested that the new design allowed for the biggest turning circle possible inside the warehouse.
Working together, Thorworld Industries and Darmax UK created an automatic bespoke dock leveller for Edwards Recycling. The final design incorporated steel bumper supports which raised the impact point on the loading dock; a three and a half metre dock leveller which still retained the required gradient of seven degrees whilst providing the optimum amount of space within the warehouse; and an automatic control panel which enabled operatives to utilise the dock leveller with the push of a button.
“We have determined that the move from a manual to an automatic dock leveller is saving us around 15 minutes per container we load,” continues Simon. “We currently load between ten and 12 containers per day, but we anticipate that this new installation will enable us to load an additional two, increasing our productivity by over a fifth.
“The leveller was also upgraded from a standard six-tonne capacity to ten-tonne, future proofing the solution and making it a long-term investment which will continue to serve even if the business – and the loads – increase.”
Ian Langan, technical and engineering director at Thorworld Industries, is delighted to hear that the new installation has had a tangible effect on Simon’s business: “Our aim when designing a loading or unloading solution for any of our clients, is to ensure that it makes them more efficient, more effective, and most importantly safe. It’s reassuring to hear that the new dock leveller at Edwards Recycling has enabled them to increase productivity, whilst also planning positively for the future.”