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Leaders in Workshop Safety | BMW & Sytner Group Invest in New Mechanical Handling Systems

Leaders in Workshop Safety | BMW & Sytner Group Invest in New Mechanical Handling Systems

BMW Group employs around 8,000 people directly in the UK with an additional 11,000 in its 147-strong Retailer network representing BMW and MINI brands. Sytner Group, part of the BMW Retailer Network, is a car dealership company which specialises in premium and specialist franchise. Sytner represents the world’s most desirable car manufacturers in over 140 dealerships across the UK. Today Sytner Group has over 140 outstanding retail locations in the UK and during 2016, Sytner Group became the UK's largest motor dealer by revenue, employing over 7500 people and retailing over 135,000 cars per annum.

BMW & Sytner Group workshops throughout the UK are typically equipped with mezzanine floors to maximise the usable space within their premises. The mezzanine level is typically used for the storage of car parts stock. Moving goods between floors when accepting deliveries needs to be done quickly and safely to ensure a smooth running business operation at the dealerships. Following free of charge and no obligation site surveys at the dealerships, a Penny Hydraulics MezzLift was specified as the best type of mechanical handling aid to suit the requirement within the service workshops. Mezzanine floor goods lifts are specialist goods lifts which operate between ground level and multiple mezzanine floors. The vertical platform lifts have a working capacity of up to 1000kg and enable users to move goods alone or on crates, trolleys or pallets safely and efficiently between the floors. This type of goods lift suits numerous requirements and applications within buildings, such as warehouses, stores, factories and workshops.

The MezzLift model supplied at the BMW and Sytner Group dealerships is a MezzPro. The MezzPro has a maximum working load of 500kg and is enclosed in a self- supporting mesh shaft. The platform is sized at 2300mm x 1300mm to suit the application and protective safety guards are supplied at 900mm high on the three non-loading edges of the platform. A trolley stop barrier is added on the loading edge of the platform to stop delivery trolleys moving on the platform when in transit.

At the entrance to the lifts at the top level, 2000mm high double, mesh filled gates, are supplied. At the lower level, fire doors are fitted which are supplied and fitted by the main contractor. Electrical interlocks are fitted on the gates to prevent them from being opened unless the platform is docked at the appropriate level. The interlocks also prevent the lift being operated unless all gates are closed at both levels. Fire rated cladding is fitted around the lifts at the lower level and at the lower level a 500mm long fixed ramp is provided to assist loading on to the 50mm deep platform. To power the lifts, a 2.2kw, 415 volt, three-phase and neutral supply is required terminated in an isolator at the lower level. The lifts are controlled via a hold to run, push button control station adjacent to the gates at both levels.

Unlike many other companies, Penny Hydraulics manufacture all their lifting equipment in the UK at a purpose built facility in Derbyshire. This has many benefits such as high quality standards and their ability to design and manufacture bespoke items. One of the major benefits with regards to the BMW and Sytner Group dealership projects, however, was the short lead time available on the lifts which meant that they could be manufactured within 6 weeks. A rapid installation service ensured all lifts were installed within a maximum time period of just two days.

Knowing that it is a legal requirement under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) for lifting equipment to have a Thorough Examination and test by a competent person before a lift is put into service and at regular specified intervals during its life, Penny Hydraulics supplied all the necessary paperwork with the goods lift and Penny Hydraulics were chosen to maintain the equipment through planned maintenance programmes enabled by their nationwide network of 16 dedicated service engineers.

After-sales Manager Simon Westby at Chandlers BMW in Worthing comments on the success of the project at his dealership as he states “from start to finish the staff were attentive and helpful, the lift looks superb and although I have yet to use it, as it was installed ahead of our moving in date, I anticipate that it will be an excellent addition to our business efficiency.”

Penny Hydraulics have currently supplied 4 goods lifts at Sytner & BMW locations, with a further two projects pending at premises in Sheffield, Carlisle and Loughton. The repeat business is testament to both excellent customer service and a high quality product. Sytner Group and BMW look to see benefits through both increased productivity and employee safety.

The new installation at BMW Group Sheffield will be the first ever four tier goods lift which will operate between the ground floor and 3 mezzanine floors. Previously MezzLifts have operated within a maximum of 2 mezzanine floors and the ground level.The new lift specification also incorporates innovative & space saving, programmable logic controller (PLC) controls. This will be the first four tier lift to be supplied with the new electronic control system. The installation in Sheffield is planned to take place in the first quarter of 2017.

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