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The sweetest goods lift in town! Innovative lifting at Pump Street Bakery

The sweetest goods lift in town! Innovative lifting at Pump Street Bakery


The Penny Hydraulics engineers always thought that working in a chocolate production facility was a thing of their dreams…until now! When award-winning Pump Street Bakery decided to expand their operation by developing a new facility to produce high-quality chocolate, they called upon Penny Hydraulics to specify a goods lift to support their venture. Installed at the start of July 2017, the lift is set to streamline work at the bakery - helping the team work productively, safely and efficiently.

Pump Street Bakery is a small, family owned bakery and café based in Orford on Suffolk’s heritage coast. The company pride themselves on offering outstanding bread and handmade pastries, all made daily in the village. Bread is showcased in their intimate café alongside local, seasonal food and the best artisanal tea and coffee.

Having mastered the art of bread and pastries, the bakery turned their all-consuming focus on quality to chocolate. Along with only a few other UK producers, they are making small batch, handmade chocolate from beans imported directly to them from family farms and cooperatives around the world.

The company pride themselves on the production of ‘bean to bar chocolate’ and it’s a complex business! Upon arrival in the bakery, the team hand-select beans and then carefully roast, winnow, grind and conch them for up to 5 days before maturing and tempering the chocolate into bars – they tailor the process at each step of the way to coax a unique flavour from the different types of beans.

This obsessive care and attention to detail yields a chocolate that is entirely manufactured in Suffolk and unbelievably delicious… and we know, we’ve tried it! It turns out we’re not the only ones to think It’s so great either - the chocolate has been recognised by the International Chocolate Awards, the Academy of Chocolate and the Great Taste Awards too. Being so popular, it’s not surprising that the bakery has decided to up their production to meet demand.

Pallet loads of beans, sugar and other materials are to be transported to the new production facility every week & handing delivery of these ingredients could potentially be back-breaking work. With incorrect manual handling being one of the most common causes of injury at work, Manual Handling Operations Regulations state that no man should attempt to lift anything heavier than 25kg and a woman's maximum limit is less at 16kg. The regulations state that wherever reasonably practicable, manual handling should be automated and the use of mechanical aids is encouraged. Responsible employers like Pump Street Bakery therefore introduce mechanical handling aids where suitable to ensure a safe operation, fulfilling their duty of care to employees.

At the new facility, a mezzanine floor was added to the building to maximise usable space on site for production and storage. When accepting palletised deliveries, the pallets regularly needed to be quickly and safely moved from ground level up to the mezzanine floor for temporary storage and then back down again when required for production. The same applied to finished goods - packaged chocolate regularly needed to be stored on the mezzanine floor prior to dispatch.

The bakery contacted Penny Hydraulics to specify a suitable goods lift for the task in hand. Based on Penny’s standard ‘MezzLift’ design, a hydraulically powered mezzanine floor goods lift was specified. The MezzPro had minor bespoke adjustments from the standard design to suit the application. The 500kg MezzPro lift that was recommended, could easily carry the pallets of goods between the two levels and 4-way loading was specified to enable the operator to load and unload goods at all the required positions on both floors. A 2.2kw, 415 volt, three-phase and neutral supply was required terminated in an isolator at the lower level and control is via a hold to run, push button control station adjacent to the gates at both levels. A fixed ramp was included in the design to allow trolleys to be easily rolled on and off the platform.

The specialist lift was designed by Penny’s dedicated goods lift engineers and manufactured at Penny Hydraulics HQ: a purpose-built facility in Derbyshire.

“Being manufactured by us here in the UK offers key benefits to the customer,” said Penny’s Sales Manager, Rob Thomson. “High quality standards, the ability to design and manufacture bespoke elements, as well as a short lead time - the lift was manufactured within just 6 weeks, really set us apart from other lift suppliers who manufacture overseas.”

Comprehensive project management offered by Penny’s goods lift team, helped from the site assessment stage, through the design, manufacture and installation phases of the project.

The lift is CE marked and was built in conformance with the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) 1998 and The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998.

“We offer an unrivalled range of safety features as standard,” said Thomson. “Level gates fitted with electrical & mechanical interlocks, an emergency stop button fitted to all control stations, an anti-slip platform surface, hose burst protection and lift overload protection were all included.”

A rapid installation service ensured the lift was installed by Penny’s dedicated install team within a time-period of just two days.

“We’re able to install so quickly thanks to expert design,” said Thomson. “The lifts are completely free-standing, meaning no time-consuming, disruptive and expensive structural changes to the building are necessary – this means we can install fast and keep costs low.”

The finishing touches are currently being made to the production facility which is due to open this Autumn. When in use, the goods lift will become an essential component in the day to day operation for the facility & automating the handling process of ingredients and stock will help to improve both productivity and employee safety within the bakery.

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