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Top retailer cycles to new heights with Rapid Racking & Penny Hydraulics

Top retailer cycles to new heights with Rapid Racking & Penny Hydraulics


One of the largest sports retailers in the UK has seen a boost in productivity and employee safety thanks to a collaborative project between market leading lifting equipment manufacturer Penny Hydraulics and shelving & racking solution provider Rapid Racking.

The major retailer, based in Bristol, is going from strength to strength as new alliances are formed with other key players in the market including those with well renowned US brands. These new alliances show the company’s intent of building a strong portfolio of premium mountain bike names to match their industry leading road bike presence where they already boast many well renowned brands.

To maximise usable space and support growth of the business, the company had two mezzanine floors installed within their large Bristol warehouse to hold stock. The mezzanine floors were supplied by Rapid Racking, the nation's fastest supplier of shelving and racking solutions. Having worked with Penny Hydraulics on goods lift projects previously, Jason Thomas, Designer at Rapid Racking, contacted Penny Hydraulics to design, manufacture and install a suitable goods lift to transfer parts up to 500kg in weight between the ground floor and mezzanine levels within the warehouse.

Traditional methods for handling heavy stock items can be labour intensive, time consuming and potentially hazardous, if safe systems of work are easily overcome in an effort to speed up the operation. This may often result in damage to the building, goods and even personnel. Responsible employers fulfil their duty of care to employees and maximise productivity in the workplace, by investing in the latest mechanical handling technologies to avoid any unnecessary manual handling and speed up the acceptance of deliveries and movement of stock. Rapid Racking and Penny Hydraulics worked together to ensure the bespoke mezzanine design worked in tandem with their goods lift to ensure safe automated handling.

Part of the service provided by Penny Hydraulics included a no-obligation site survey. Following the survey, a Penny Hydraulics MezzPro goods lift was specified as the best lift to meet the specification. The project management did not stop there as Jason Thomas explains “the comprehensive project management offered, helps right from the site assessment stage, through the design, manufacture and installation phases of the project”. The platform specified was sized at 1300mm x 1300mm to accommodate the goods on pallets sized at 1200mm x 1000mm which are loaded on and off the platform via manual pallet trucks. At the lower level a 500mm long fixed ramp was provided to assist loading on to the 50mm deep platform.

The MezzPro is enclosed in a self-supporting mesh shaft sized at the floor-to-floor height of 6400mm. At the entrance to the lift at both levels there are 2000mm high gates, fitted with electrical interlocks to prevent the gates being opened unless the platform is docked at the appropriate level and prevent the lift being operated unless all gates are closed.A 2.2kw, 415 volt, three-phase and neutral supply was required terminated in an isolator at the lower level. Control is via a hold to run, push button control station adjacent to the gates at both levels.

The specialist goods lift is CE marked and complies with relevant UK legislation and regulations including the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 and The Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998. Penny Hydraulics own nationwide team of service and installation engineers carried out the rapid installation in August, 2016 within the specified project timeframes and the first year’s statutory inspections, tests and maintenance for the mezzanine lift were included.

Close collaboration between Rapid Racking & Penny Hydraulics ensured that both the best mezzanine floor and goods lift to suit the application were supplied, backed up with expert, comprehensive project management from cradle to grave. Now in use, the goods lift is proving to be an essential component in the day to day operation for the retailer as the lift is used day to move important stock between the mezzanine floors used for storage. Automating the handling process is helping to improve both productivity and employee safety within the warehouse.

The partnership between Rapid Racking and Penny Hydraulics continues as the two companies are set to work together on further collaborations into 2017, including a mezzanine floor and lift project for a large multinational medical products manufacturer.

Penny Hydraulics sells lifting equipment in 22 countries worldwide and has a good lift customer base including Fullers, Mitchells & Butlers & JD Wetherspoon. Other equipment in the goods lift range includes the CellarLift and BayLift, both designed to facilitate drinks & kerbside deliveries. CellarLift is a market leading lift delivering outstanding performance. The best-selling model, the vertical CellarLift can carry up to a 54 gallon barrel or a double stack of cases in the most arduous environments including external installations. It also occupies minimum floor space. Many variants are possible for delivering to first floor cellars, or for carrying other goods such as 2-wheeled waste bins.

The BayLift is ideal for lifting loads between different levels where the height difference is less than 1500mm, such as loading bays and docks. With no need for a lift pit, the BayLift offers a practical load handling solution where alternative equipment such as conventional scissor lifts, or dock levellers cannot be installed. Separate versions are available with capacities from 500kg to 1000kg along with a range of platform sizes that ensure the BayLift can safely handle crates, pallets, roll cages and sack barrows.

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