Increased shipment size has prompted acoustic technology provider, Universal Silencer, to successfully modify its existing Thorworld Industries loading ramp and platform, after nearly six years of effective use.
The leading Hinckley-based total systems provider serves industries including power generation, oil and gas, co-generation and CHP, marine, locomotive and industrial markets, and imports numerous 40-foot ISO shipping containers of silencer supplies from India each year.
These materials contribute towards the manufacture of a wide range of acoustic silencers, including intake silencers, spark arrestor silencers and industrial silencers.
As the dimensions of Universal Silencer’s imported goods began to increase, the need for more appropriate loading bay equipment became apparent. Mike Hough, the company’s European Operations Manager explains more: “Recently, we’ve been receiving equipment that’s over 8m long and more than 2.25m in diameter - all of which is loaded in containers that are larger still.
“This led us to experience situations where, during loading, one end of the new larger containers would arrive on the ramp, before the other end was on the platform. This made unloading goods more challenging, and furthermore, created a potential health and safety concern.”
Hough explains how a more suitable loading solution was needed: “While the Thorworld loading bay equipment we had in place worked effectively with smaller consignments, imports of longer silencers meant we had two choices: buy a new loading bay and platform, or have our existing Thorworld apparatus suitably adapted.”
He felt that replacing the loading equipment that Universal Silencer had been using for over half a decade would have significant cost implications. The replacement process would also be time consuming, with potential for man-hours to be lost while the equipment was replaced and new training procedures implemented.
However, as Universal Silencer’s ramp and platform were originally designed and manufactured by Thorworld, the equipment had the capacity for cost-effective modification, using appropriate, compatible designs, within an efficient time-frame.
“Having our existing equipment appropriately modified made both practical and financial sense,” Hough explains. “We agreed a plan with Thorworld, which started with the manufacturer’s expert engineering team taking dimensions and producing precise drawings.”
Extension pieces were then manufactured for installation and with potential for downtime a concern for Universal Silencer, Thorworld’s engineers made the necessary modifications onsite within a single day, enabling staff in the loading bay to successfully work around the container deliveries.
“We were most impressed with Thorworld’s approach to installation, which was extremely professional and took full account of the fact our staff still had tasks to perform within the loading bay area,” Hough says.
The extended equipment, which is securely bolted to the floor but can be moved whenever required, is performing well and accommodating the deliveries that have already arrived.
“Thorworld’s simple modification process has ticked the essential ‘health and safety boxes’ and made the working function of our loading bay easier and much safer. Choosing the modification option has been the right decision for us and we’re very pleased with its outcome,” concludes Hough.