Productivity ramped up

23 July 2018

Edwards Recycling has increased its productivity by 20% since the installation of a dock leveller from Thorworld Industries.

Founded in 1966, Edwards Recycling has grown from strength to strength, widening its territory and increasing its capacity to recycle cardboard, mixed papers and plastic. Previously, the company had used a manual dock leveller, consisting of a steel bridging plate and a small moveable ramp, which had to be attached to the delivery vehicle by hand each time a container was loaded. This process then had to be reversed to allow the vehicle to depart – all of which was time-consuming, manually exhaustive and potentially precarious.  

Simon Edwards, MD of Edwards Recycling, explains more: “Our existing dock leveller had served us well for a number of years, but we decided it was time to see if there were any alternative methods on the market that would help streamline our loading processes and make the company more efficient.  Following an Internet search, we discovered Thorworld Industries, who put us in touch with their agent in our local area, Darmax UK.”

When it came to designing the dock leveller, the team faced several challenges.  Firstly, the fixed dock height was far lower than the containers being loaded, creating the potential for vehicles to drive over the dock.  Secondly, space was at a premium and Simon had requested that the new design allowed for the biggest turning circle possible inside the warehouse.  

Working together, Thorworld Industries and Darmax UK created an automatic bespoke dock leveller for Edwards Recycling.  The final design incorporated steel bumper supports which raised the impact point on the loading dock; a three and a half metre dock leveller which still retained the required gradient of seven degrees whilst providing the optimum amount of space within the warehouse; and an automatic control panel which enabled operatives to utilise the dock leveller with the push of a button.    

“We have determined that the move from a manual to an automatic dock leveller is saving us around 15 minutes per container we load,” continues Edwards. “We currently load between 10 and 12 containers per day, but we anticipate that this new installation will enable us to load an additional two, increasing our productivity by over a fifth.

“The leveller was also upgraded from a standard 6t capacity to 10t, future proofing the solution and making it a long-term investment which will continue to serve even if business – and loads – increase.”

Ian Langan, technical and engineering director at Thorworld Industries, comments: “Our aim when designing a loading or unloading solution for any of our clients, is to ensure that it makes them more efficient, more effective, and most importantly safe. It’s reassuring to hear that the new dock leveller at Edwards Recycling has enabled them to increase productivity, whilst also planning positively for the future.”