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In 2016, we became the first materials handling company to be accepted into the Made in Britain campaign, an initiative created to support and promote British manufacturing. In fact, our solutions are both designed and manufactured by our team of experts at Advanced Handling HQ, a purpose-built, state-of-the-art building in Peterborough.
Our close working environment provides us with the flexibility to deliver our Bespoke service, ensuring our customers’ requirements are met whilst maintaining our high “Made in Britain” standards.
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TJ Brooks, a member of the SPS Technologies family, has an interesting history. The company was established in 1936, manufacturing tools for the hosiery industry.

During WWII, it began to manufacture parts for the Spitfire fighter aircraft and has built up its range of aircraft parts ever since.

As with many long-lived successful companies, in order to meet their continuous improvement policies, TJ Brooks is continually reviewing systems, equipment and processes which led to a requirement for a range of handling expertise and equipment.

Cromwell Tools, Europe’s leading independent supplier of maintenance, repair and operations products, were approached by TJ Brookes, who were searching for a solution to the different handling issues they faced. Advanced Handling, a British manufacturer of intelligent handling machinery, are specialist suppliers of lifting and handling equipment to Cromwell Tools. They offer support, detailed product information and customer site visits, accompanying Cromwell staff if sales support is required.

The sales teams at Cromwell are proud to go the extra mile to offer customers bespoke handling products if standard products won’t do the job. And Advanced Handling specialise in supplying customers with custom-built solutions. As a team, the two companies work extremely well together to provide Cromwell customers with significant added value.

Anita Sangot, Sales Executive at Advanced Handling, was happy to provide support to Cromwell Tools and accompany their sales person on a visit to TJ Brooks.

The Challenge

There were a number of challenges over the course of 12 months that Advanced Handling successfully assisted Cromwell to address:

  1. Tote tins needed to be archived in a “space constrained” area to protect employees from lifting at height and at awkward angles.
  2. Dies needed to be lifted from storage racks and deposited into processing machinery, a very heavy, complicated procedure due to the equipment involved and the surrounding environment.
  3. Improvements were required in the ergonomics of retrieving baskets from wash conveyors.
  4. Grinding wheels needed to be lifted from storage racking to processing machinery, a process complicated by the existing equipment and adjacent obstacles, as well as the weight and shape of the grinding wheels.

The Solution

1. Perfect for archive lifting, the compact Pronomic 90E Lifting Unit was supplied with suitable attachments for moving and manipulating the tote tins. The 90E unit can lift multiple loads to various heights to reach all locations within the archive racking system. This gives operators the flexibility to retrieve and deposit the tins, eliminating the need to manually lift the tote tins at height.

2. The Pronomic Lift & Turn, a compact lifting unit with articulated arm, was supplied to the customer. The unit features an expandable boom which is inserted directly into the die centre, expanded, then lifted. The articulated arm can then be moved to the desired location so that the die can be deposited effortlessly into the processing machinery.

3. In order to remove baskets from the wash conveyors, Advanced Handling supplied a scissor lift table with electrohydraulic movement in the vertical plane and manual movement in the horizontal place. This eliminated strenuous reaching and lifting from conveying machinery at height.

4. For retrieving heavy grinding wheels from storage racks, Advanced Handling supplied a custom-built version of one of their popular Freedom Plus Stackers. The standard attachments were replaced with bespoke end effectors purpose-built to collect the grinding wheels and also to manoeuvre through the arbour and safety enclosure.

The Benefit

SPS Technologies returned to Cromwell Tools time and again, specifically asking for Advanced Handling equipment, over the course of a year. This clearly demonstrates a trust in the working partnership between Cromwell Tools and Advanced Handling and the equipment provided.

The general benefits across the supplied range of equipment were:

  • Prevention of injury at source
  • A workplace compliant with all safety regulations and recommendations
  • Much improved operational efficiency within specific manual handling processes
  • Emoyee-friendly equipment illustrating a company-wide focus on improvements to the workplace.

This case study highlights the benefits of the partnership with Advanced Handling to Cromwell Tools. Essentially, Cromwell get the best of both worlds:

  1. Cromwell sales staff are able to sell speciality, high-value equipment, with a good profit margin, without needing to be trained how to operate and sell the units.
  2. Advanced Handling are like an extension of their business, providing full sales support, which frequently includes site visits, free of charge.
  3. An exceptional discount enabling them to be competitive with pricing.
  4. Advanced Handling equipment is manufactured in the UK.
  5. Cromwell staff are welcome to visit the UK-based Advanced Handling factory where the equipment is built.
  6. Cromwell are supplied with demo equipment as and when required to help secure a sale.
  7. Cromwell inherit our experience and portfolio of projects to demonstrate to customers a high level of competence by describing similar successful projects.

Paul Hancock, Sales Executive at Cromwell Tools said: “The Indirect Sales Team at Advanced Handling are a pleasure to work with. They give us full support for every sale, from initial enquiry right through customer visits, to final installation and commissioning, if required. They can provide us with demonstration units to show our customers how great the equipment is and are friendly, approachable and helpful throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to colleagues.”

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