Advanced Handling improves efficiency for Britain’s oldest working maltings
Advanced Handling, a British manufacturer offering the widest range of specialist manual handling equipment in the UK, were recently delighted to supply a custom-built scissor lift to Warminster Maltings, a fascinating maltings company based in Warminster, Wiltshire.
About Warminster Maltings
Warminster Maltings are Britain’s oldest working maltings and have been in operation since the facility was purpose-built in 1855. The original and unique design features of the beautiful Grade 2 listed building still exist. They have been sympathetically restored and protected as part of the progressive investment carried out by the present owner since his acquisition of the business in 2001.
The maltings are proud to use traditional malting techniques and they operate a policy of continuous improvement, with the priority of improving the quality and quantity of the malt. This ongoing improvement comprises refurbishment, restoration and new equipment installation. Recent large-scale installations include a new elevator to lift the green malt off the floors and onto the kiln, a new water tank, four new malt storage bins and the latest being a new burner and heat exchanger for the kiln.
Warminster Maltings have successfully found the perfect balance of traditional malting, by hand, on floors, with innovative equipment that will support and complement these long-established techniques. This mix of tradition and complementary innovation is important to the Maltings and its customers, and it is widely acknowledged that their traditional method produces a superior product.
Advanced Handling was pleased to be a part of this continuous and progressive investment.
The challenge for Advanced Handling was to supply a handling system that would significantly reduce manual handling in the malt store. The maltsters were stacking malt sacks onto pallets that were then moved for wrapping.
A solution was required that would lower the pallet gradually, to reduce the lifting height for the employees and streamline the process. It would be installed in a pit and should be able to lift 2 tonnes to a maximum height of 2m. The large 1.2m x 1.5 m platform would need to stop automatically at floor level to allow the pallet to be moved to the wrapping unti and it must not be able to be lowered below floor level unless a load was placed on the lifting platform.
The lift needed to be safe. The surface needed to be constructed with an anti-slip material. Additionally, it was important to ensure that nothing could fall into the pit or be trapped between the lift and the floor during lowering of the platform.
Additional features were required to ensure that the pit would be accessible for maintenance but that entry was prevented at all other times.
A safe and cost-efficient solution
Advanced Handling specialise in providing custom-built solutions to unusual and unique applications and the company supplied the ideal solution that significantly reduced manual handling in the malt store.
A custom-built lifting platform was designed and supplied that could keep the pallet at a safe lifting height as it was stacked. Malt sacks are placed in layers of five onto the pallet which then automatically lowers for each layer. Each pallet carries eight layers totalling one tonne in weight. Once fully stacked, the pallet can be raised, automatically stopping at floor level, so that it can be moved and placed on the wrapping unit.
To guarantee safety, load sensor pads fitted to the platform surface ensured that the platform could not be lowered below floor level unless a pallet was placed on the platform. The platform would only lower if both sensor pads were compressed at the same time, with no restriction on upward movement.
The platform surface was covered with anti-slip tread plate and skirt bellows were fitted to ensure that no-one could fall into the pit when the lift was raised above floor level.
Additionally, a removable safety plinth, with drainage features in case of water entry, was supplied to slot into the end of the pit, protecting people from falls but allowing engineers access to the pit for carrying out maintenance. The pit edges were reinforced with steel angle and strengthening tabs for additional safety.
The lifting platform increased both efficiency and safety in the malt store. Moving sacks at a constant height is much easier and quicker for the maltsters and also much safer with much less risk of musculoskeletal injury. The automatic lowering of the pallet saves time, as does the automatic lifting to floor level.
The simple, straightforward design of the scissor lift means that the maintenance requirements are minimal and the lift is extremely reliable. The table meets EN1570 safety requirements for lifting tables.
Additional safety features include:
• 1100mm intermediate stop at floor level
• load sensor pads
• protective bellow skirt to prevent anyone falling or anything being trapped beneath the lift
• tread plate non-slip platform surface
• removable plinth to protect people from falling into the pit
Because all the requirements of Warminster Maltings were met, the lifting platform fits seamlessly into the listed maltings building and the production systems of the maltings operations.
Chris Garrett, Head Maltster said, “Our priority at Warminster Maltings is to improve the quality and quantity of our malt so we look for innovative installations that improve efficiencies, protect our workforce and complement and enhance our traditional malting techniques. Advanced Handling is a friendly, progressive company that not only offers a wide range of lifting equipment, but also designs and builds bespoke handling equipment. They didn’t try to shoe-horn our needs to match a product to try and sell us. Instead, they listened, visited the facility and asked questions, then offered a safe and efficient solution that exactly matched our unique requirements. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them to others”.