Tomra Takes a Safer Lift From Penny Hydraulics
Leading recycling equipment manufacturer Tomra Systems has installed a bespoke version of the Penny Hydraulics Load Lift inside its latest VW Transporter service vehicles to transport palletised specialist components without the need for manual handling. In addition to simplifying the handling of heavy and valuable equipment the Load Lift allows a single engineer to carry out maintenance tasks when two or more people were previously required.
“We have safer and better working practices,” says David Saul, Project Manager at Tomra Systems. “We are also able to send one engineer and one set of tools to each job which is more efficient and productive. But the payback we have achieved is incidental because above all else I wanted our engineers to be safe.”
Tomra designs and manufactures sophisticated automated waste sortation and processing equipment that is installed at numerous retail sites throughout the UK. Its service engineers visit these installations regularly to inspect the equipment and carry out routine maintenance work. The replacement of cutting heads is one of the tasks that must be completed from time to time. These heads are precision instruments designed to rotate at thousands of revolutions per minute deep inside Tomra’s machinery to cut and shred items such as aluminium cans and plastic bottles so that they occupy less space and are easier to store, transport and reprocess.
Cutting heads and other large components are crated and palletised for transportation. Each load weighs many tens of kilograms and is too heavy to be lifted safely and within existing manual handling guidelines by a single person. For this reason two or more engineers used to visit each site to lift the crates in and out of the service vehicles by hand and then handled to the recycling machines using a hand pallet truck. Tomra recognised that this was inefficient and unproductive.
“We knew we could do it better and we could do it safer,” says David Saul.
When Tomra was preparing the preliminary specifications for its new service vehicles it considered installing a small crane or hoist to handle the heavy components. Its vehicle conversion partner recommended Penny Hydraulics which designs and manufactures a wide range of load handling equipment for light commercial vehicles. Although it supplies cranes Penny Hydraulics suggested a small platform lift would offer a more versatile solution.