Iconic food brand Heinz has chosen to further improve the loading bay safety systems at its UK based manufacturing facility in Kitt Green, near Wigan, using a new dock leveller and platform designed and constructed by Thorworld Industries.
Part of The Kraft Heinz Company, Heinz’s Kitt Green premises is Europe's largest food factory, producing more than one billion cans of Heinz’s famous product lines every year. Growing sales and product innovations have kept the company’s loading bay industrious, and as such health and safety has always been, and remains, a key priority.
As such, a recent decision to ensure optimum safety levels are consistently maintained has resulted in the installation of new, bespoke Thorworld equipment, as Graham Hollinghurst, Project Manager at the Kraft Heinz Company explains: “We always put safety first at the Kitt Green facility, so to ensure our equipment was completely up-to-date, we started to research a new loading bay solution that would provide an even safer way for powered pallet trucks (PPTs) and their operators to access the rear of vehicles delivering dry and chilled ingredients.
“We also needed a better access solution for operators to load empty stillages, so were very keen to see any options out there that were capable of meeting all of our facility’s needs.”
Graham and the team were hoping to improve the loading bay’s existing process of using a forklift truck and cage to give pallet trucks and operatives rear access to container vehicles. After initial research to identify apparatus improvements, Heinz began discussions with Thorworld Industries, and found that the Derbyshire-based designer and manufacturer had the capability to fulfil their loading bay requirements with a tailor-made solution.
Thorworld’s engineers used an appropriate assessment of the Heinz site and loading bay requirements to create a bespoke modular scheme to give access to shipping containers. A maximum incline of 6° was specified to suit the powered pallet trucks in use on site. The limited space available required an L-Shaped ramp/platform combination with a suitable turning area at the top of the ramp. Operator access to the dock leveller was provided via a set of access steps and a collapsible framed dock shelter included to prevent weather ingress.
The new Thorworld dock leveller and platform fits within a wider set of improvements Heinz has implemented at its Kitt Green site. Additions such as a separate mechanism to prevent HGVs from moving during loading, and the installation of a ‘portal frame building’ to house the new leveller and ramp have also been added - protecting both operatives and product lines.
With all the modifications now complete and the facility up and running, the Heinz loading bay is a model of loading bay safety. So pleased has the company been with the Thorworld equipment that’s contributed to the upgrade, that the firm has also replaced a 10,000kg dock leveller - used to enable larger fork lift trucks to unload tomato pulp - with new Thorworld apparatus.
Graham confirms that all the Thorworld kit is functioning well and his team of operatives in the loading bay are impressed with the apparatus they are using and its performance. He agrees that the standard of both the equipment and the professional installation have been such that he would recommend Thorworld Industries to other organisations.
John Meale, Managing Director at Thorworld Industries, concludes, “It’s terrific to hear that a company as reputable and internationally renowned as Heinz has chosen to invest in our loading bay apparatus, in not one, but two areas of its UK operation.
“We hope the equipment continues to provide this significant organisation with the level of service it needs.”