Loading bay equipment aids speedy logistics

2nd January 2018
Posted By : Anna Flockett
Loading bay equipment aids speedy logistics

Loading bay equipment has been installed into a major distribution centre in Scotland, which includes dock levellers - from sara LBS as part of a project to upgrade facilities. The project is intended to double storage capacity and improve the flow of traffic through the area.

The hub handles many different types of freight, from large scale industrial products to Scotland’s famed and valuable whisky, salmon and tweeds. It is at the heart of Scotland’s road network and well served by rail links. The docks and airports of both Glasgow and Edinburgh are all within 40 miles (60 km), so the hub is an important centre for supplying the whole of Scotland, much of the rest of the UK and lends efficiency to export activities.

The expansion project was carried out in two phases. The first stage saw the development of 930m2 (10,000ft) of warehousing with an eaves height of 10m (32ft) to increase the racking capacity. The second stage added a further extension of the same size with an eaves height of 6m (19ft) to match the original building. With a total of 3,000 pallet spaces in the warehouse the decision was made to support the expansion with new loading / unloading facilities including new loading bays, powered dock levellers and two new floor level loading doors.

Due to the variety of the stock that passes through the hub, the loading bays must be able to accommodate a wide range of vehicles types and sizes. The hubs operator and the main contractor consulted with sara LBS to help specify loading bay equipment with the required flexibility. As a result, four standard dock levellers were installed along with a fifth, bespoke solution with a telescopic lip. Unlike the standard hinged lip designs, the telescopic design allows the leveller to be precisely positioned on the floor of varying sized vehicle – ensuring optimum load distribution.

sara LBS dock levellers have a load capacity of 6,000kg as standard per single axle load and their platforms are manufactured from 8mm durbar non-skid steel plate. All the platforms for the Scottish project have been treated with a special non-slip epoxy resin for extra grip. The lips are profiled so that the leading edge is chamfered for smooth transfer of wheeled cargo and to avoid trip hazards; their hydraulic drives are based on an energy efficient 1kW motor powered by a standard 220-240V / 380-420V three phase supply.

As well as telescopic lips and non-slip surfaces, sara LBS offers many other options for its dock levellers, such as heavy-duty capacities, platform insulation, galvanised finishes, variable speed control and safety interlocks. Special sizes and pit-recessed designs are often supplied, as are integral traffic lights.

The doors sara LBS provided are equally highly specified. They are part of the site’s overall security measures because on any day of the week some of the cargos within the hub are likely to be of very high value. Insulated door sections were fitted to aid energy efficiency and also to help stabilise the internal temperature. The insulation is 45mm thick polyurethane foam infill that provides U-values up to 0.2W/m2K.

Standard sara LBS sectional doors are made of galvanised steel stucco-embossed panels 610mm high, with galvanised press-formed steel end stiles, with aluminium available as an option. The wide range of options means they can be customised with acrylic vision panels, pass doors, adjustable guide track and wheel carriers. They can be powered or operated by a balanced torsion spring mechanism. A pneumatic safety edge and weather seals are also available.

As well as the dock levellers, sara LBS supplied seven insulated sectional doors, four pedestrian doors and five pairs of wheel guides for fitting out the loading bays to state of the art standards.

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