NEW Penny Hydraulics goods lift helps Storers Ltd meet a surge in demand
The Catering Services industry has recovered over the past five years after demand went stale in the aftermath of the economic downturn. The industry began the five-year period through to 2017-18 at a low as weak consumer and business confidence weighed on demand. However, in recent years a stronger economy has enabled consumers to grow in confidence, which has boosted demand for higher value catering services. As it stands, industry operators have now diversified their food and drink offerings and businesses are benefitting from higher revenue, supporting profitability.
Riding through this same storm and now flourishing thanks to the upturn in the market is Nottinghamshire based Storers Ltd - one of the top 5 manufacturers of refrigeration and catering units in the whole of the UK. From their Nottingham manufacturing facility, the company produces serveries, carveries, food counters and commercial refrigeration units for the catering industry, whilst their in-house shopfitting service is renowned for quality finishes and bespoke solutions.
The company, who were founded in 1987, have their own team of over 60 full-time, specialist in-house staff who handle all projects internally from the initial inquiry, to the build and install, right through to the ongoing service of the equipment supplied.
To maximise usable space and support growth of their business, Storers had a mezzanine floor installed within their warehouse to enable storage of a higher level of stock. Storers wanted to utilise an upper floor which was empty but had no access for goods other than a staircase. Needing a safe method of transporting stock between ground level and the upper floor, Storers contacted Penny Hydraulics to help them choose a suitable goods lift to transfer stock items which weighed up to 400kg.
Traditional methods for handling heavy items between floors can be labour intensive, time consuming and potentially hazardous. Safe systems of work are easily overcome in an effort to speed up the operation and excessive manual handling may result in damage to the building, goods and personnel. Investment in a goods lift eliminates any unnecessary manual handling, speeds up the handling of deliveries and facilitates the movement of stock. By introducing a goods lift to their operation, responsible companies such as Storers are fulfilling their duty of care to employees by providing a mechanical alternative to manual handling. A further key benefit to the introduction of mechanical handling equipment includes improved productivity in the workplace – operatives can move more in a quicker timeframe.
Following a no-obligation site survey, Penny’s MezzPro with a bespoke platform was specified as the most appropriate goods lift model for the task in hand. The MezzPro is Penny’s most popular lift from their range of mezzanine floor goods lifts. The lift offers full compliance with European legislation, has a maximum working capacity of 500kg and offers standard platform size options of either 1300mm x 1300mm, or 2000mm x 1000mm. Operating to a height of over 4m, the lift runs between ground level and up to 3 mezzanine floors with 2000mm high double gates at both levels and a self-supporting lift shaft.
A wide range of safety features are included on mezzanine lifts as standard, including; level gates fitted with electrical & mechanical interlocks, emergency stop buttons fitted to all control stations, anti-slip platforms, hose burst protection, fall-arrest and overload protection. The mezzanine floor lifts are all manufactured to stringent EU standards at Penny’s new £2M production facility in the UK.
“UK manufacture & no subcontracted labour are factors that really set us apart from most other goods lift suppliers – this means that both standard and bespoke designs can be installed within short lead times and customers are assured of a rapid and expert service every time,” said General Manager of Penny Hydraulics Goods Lift Division, Jocelyn Cole.
Not relying on subcontractors for any aspect of the goods lift production or installation, Penny’s boast a team of dedicated goods lift design engineers in-house and out on the road. For Storers Ltd, an off-the-shelf MezzPro from Penny’s brochure was selected with a bespoke platform. The lift design offers robust construction and its free-standing nature means that no expensive & disruptive changes to the Storers warehouse were required. Having a dedicated goods lift team also meant that Penny’s were able to respond quickly with the information Storers required when they first made their lift enquiry.
“Having a dedicated team of design engineers, we’re able to act quick; supplying annotated plans in AutoCAD. This is especially important on projects where multiple parties, such as architects and construction companies, as well as the end user are involved,” said Jocelyn.
The production process for the lift took just under 6 weeks and thanks to Penny’s expert lift design, installation was carried out by Penny’s experienced installation engineers in less than 3 days.
Comprehensive project management helped the project to run without a hitch from the original site assessment, right through the design, manufacture and installation phases of the project, including whole life maintenance.
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’s supplied all the necessary paperwork with the goods lift and were also chosen to maintain the equipment throughout its life. A planned maintenance programme enabled by Penny’s nationwide network of 16 dedicated service engineers will take care of this important work. What’s more, the lift came with 12 months parts & labour warranty and since Penny’s have all spare parts available on stock, Storers have peace of mind that everything is in place to guarantee maximised uptime of their lift.
Penny’s goods lift team value honest feedback from customers following every project and they were delighted to hear from Storers following the installation.
Graham Storer, Managing Director of Storers Ltd commented, “I would just like to say from the start you came out and advised on the lift needed for our factory and the opening required. Your fitters were very professional and had us up and running in 3 days. Thank you for a great job done, on time and in budget.”