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Sapa Building Systems

When Sapa Building Systems moved to new state of the art premises, HUBTEX UK were on hand to provide the optimum handling solution

Sapa Building Systems Ltd is a member of the worldwide Sapa Group, which has over 14,600 employees. Developing and marketing high value-added profiles in aluminium, Sapa are the leading independent producer of aluminium profiles in the world.

Backed by the resources of the Group, Sapa Building Systems Ltd offers architects and specifiers a wide range of innovative aluminium systems for curtain walling, doors, windows and specialist applications. The first priority of the Sapa Group is to provide safe and healthy workplaces for all the employees, with the long-term target of avoiding all injuries, incidents and occupational ill health. This was a major consideration for Sapa Building System when they moved into new state of the art premises, and one of the main reasons that HUBTEX UK was the preferred choice.

The 116,000sqft premises in Tewkesbury Business Park (close to the company’s current headquarters) will provide scope for future expansion as the company prepares to celebrate 50 successful years in business next year and will enable Sapa to maintain its prime location, with excellent communications and access to the whole of the UK.

The move allowed the company to merge its two existing operations in Gloucestershire into a single site, so it was important to implement a safe and efficient handling and storage solution that would allow for further expansion but as Nigel Eley, Sapa Manufacturing & Logistics Director explains, it led to a complete change in the way the product was handled.

Our Comments

Aluminium bars, in 5m and 7m lengths, were delivered in stillages and then taken out individually and stored vertically. It was a space efficient way of storing the product but we were concerned about possible health and safety issues and double handling meant that it was labour intensive. We also needed a more efficient stock identification system.

HUBTEX are well known to the Sapa Group, after successfully supplying materials handling equipment to sites throughout Europe, so after a number of third party site visits and in-depth planning meetings the decision was taken to store the product horizontally in stillages and in a 10m high purpose-built narrow aisle racking system using HUBTEX MQ40 Multi-directional electric Sideloaders.

The MQ40 is compact and highly manoeuvrable and, like all products from HUBTEX, can be tailored to suit customers’ specific needs both from an operational point of view and health and safety. The comfortable, ergonomic drivers cab offers more room for the operator, optimum all-round vision and an innovative joystick for all controls, but it was the ability to design and build the truck to meet with the requirements of Sapa that really made the difference.

Handling 7m stillages in narrow aisles up to a height of 10m means that all available safety features and efficiency enhancements had to be considered. We did a detailed risk and operational analysis and the main areas for consideration were operating in narrow aisles, especially after we had been used to conventional forklifts trucks, and visibility when accessing the stillages at height as well as pedestrians coming into contact with the machines when out of aisles. The result is HUBTEX have built trucks that perform beyond our expectations and allow us to safely facilitate the efficient material flow and turnover of our products.

– Mr Eley

The main product features of the MQ40 trucks include:

In-Aisle Wire Guidance – enables low level picking, minimises damage risk to product and racking and improves speed of operation

Built-in Sensors – designed to control the speed and braking in and out of the aisle and prevent collisions with other products or pedestrians

Camera and Pre-Height Selectors – enables the safe handling of the loads at height and improves the speed of operation All Sapa operators had extensive onsite driver training, provided by HUBTEX, prior to the site going live thus ensuring safety and efficient handling from day one.

We Know the  Best Solution…

We know that handling heavy loads in a confined space presents users with special challenges. Arrange a free consultation with our specialists to get the best possible solution for your application, contact us now.