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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Waste Not, Want Not

WINDSOR SUPPORTS GROWTH AT JOHNSONS AGGREGATES

Construction materials experts, Johnsons Aggregates & Recycling Ltd, invested in new equipment after opening a state-of-the-art plant in Ilkeston to manage increased volume of incinerator bottom ash recycling.

The new multi-million-pound recycling plant opened in February 2017, after the Derbyshire business secured a funding package from the Business Growth Fund and NatWest to support construction of the site, where up to 450,000 tonnes of incinerator bottom ash materials will be recycled each year.

Operations manager, Kevin Marshall explains: “We were originally set up as a provider of quarried and recycled aggregates for construction and engineering projects. Now, we also handle large muck shifts and supply sand, soils, gravels, salt and specialist ash.”

The ash is produced in incineration facilities, and typically contains small amounts of metals. Crucially, it can be recycled to regulate the material and remove contaminants allowing its use as a recycled aggregate for building projects, cement blocks and concrete. IBA aggregate, as it is known, has many usages, but without facilities similar to those at Johnsons, it can often end up in landfill if there is no local demand for it.

In order to move the material around Johnsons’ heavy industrial environment, sturdy machinery was required, and the local branch of Windsor Materials Handling stepped in to help the growing business. A new customer for Windsor, the aggregates supplier took on two forklifts ideal for the tough application – diesel-powered Doosan trucks with 3 and 3.3 tonne capacity.

The two forklifts, although on the same chassis, differ in their usages at the aggregate supplier’s plant. One of the machines includes a rotator, added by Windsor as an extra requirement of the business, and allows stillages of aggregate to be tipped safely into a hopper within operation.

“The environment we work in is very noisy and dusty, and we knew we would need robust machines to tackle the daily challenge,” continues Kevin. “Windsor pulled out all the stops to ensure the trucks were ideal for the job and the addition of stronger seals and heavy duty air filtration on both machines means dust doesn’t compromise their reliability.”

Established in 1999 by Steve Johnson, Johnsons Aggregates’ operation runs 52 weeks a year, which means extra planning and vigilance around holiday periods is important.  “Windsor’s service has been second to none. They were able to accommodate our requirements for the rotator as well as the stronger seals and air filtration, and still managed to deliver on time. We have had zero problems with the trucks since we took them on,” added Kevin.

In addition to the two Doosan trucks, Johnsons Aggregates took on a Windsor service contract and have also been quoted for machinery from Windsor’s access range. As one of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the UK, Windsor was founded on service in 1977, and has now been providing access lifts as part of their offer for 10 years.

Director for Windsor’s Nottingham office, Andy Lane, was proud to hear Johnsons Aggregates were happy with the trucks. “I’m pleased that the trucks are proving to be an asset to Kevin’s team,” he said.

Concludes Andy: “Windsor is built on the philosophy of a local service offered nationwide, and this demonstrates the advantage of this. We can support local businesses and help them grow, while also having the knowledge and expertise of a national business.”

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Jofson Latest News Public Relations

1-up for Jofson apprentices

Forklift apprentices Ryan Dann and Dale Moston, the Jofson equivalent of the Super Mario Bros, have received a metaphorical 1-up mushroom after completing their Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships in Lift Truck Maintenance.

Embarking on their Jofson journey in 2014, Ryan and Dale joined as they began a three-year Lift Truck Maintenance and Repair programme in conjunction with the FLTA and F-TEC.

Jofson runs a continuous apprenticeship programme to support the industry and expand their engineering team with fresh talent. The programme includes five to six weeks of block release at the brand-new F-TEC facility in Swindon. Joined on the course by apprentices from other forklift companies, participants get the opportunity to learn while socialising with others within the industry.

The completion of their Level 3 apprenticeships marks three years of hard work finally paying off. The units the pair completed throughout their course are:

  • Health, Safety and Good Housekeeping in the Automotive Environment
  • Supporting Job roles in the Automotive Environment
  • Materials, Fabrication, Tools and Measuring Devices used in the Automotive Environment
  • Routine Lift Truck Vehicle Maintenance
  • Removing and Replacing Lift Truck Power Plant Units and Components
  • Lift Truck Power Plant, Lubrication and Cooling System Units and Components
  • Lift Truck Fuel, Ignition, Air and Exhaust System Units and Components
  • Removing and Replacing Lift Truck Electrical Units and Components
  • Removing and Replacing Lift Truck Mechanical Handling & Chassis Units and Components
  • Inspecting Lift Trucks
  • Identify and Agree Motor Vehicle Customer Service Needs

But it’s not game over yet. Over the next few years, the apprentices will remain under the tutelage of Jofson’s experienced engineering team to ensure they stay up to date with all the latest product developments.

HR manager and big boss at Jofson, Adele Moore, is proud to see the forklift apprentices progress to the next level. “It’s a pleasure to have Ryan and Dale on the team, they have come so far already by completing Level 3,” she said. “I’m pleased they rose to the challenge and completed this stage of their apprenticeships with flying colours too.”

So, congratulations to Ryan and Dale for reaching the end of World 3 it’s now time to begin negotiating the ‘real world’ level, and collect as many coins as possible along the way. Good luck, and watch out for the Goombas!

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Public Relations Windsor

Suppliers Sustainability Award for Windsor

Sofidel awards Windsor Materials Handling with Best Improver Award

Italian paper tissue products manufacturer, Sofidel, has recognised Windsor Materials Handling with a Suppliers Sustainability Award for 2017.

Sofidel, the name behind brands such as Thirst Pockets, Kittensoft and Nouvelle, awarded Windsor as one of only nine winning suppliers from almost 400 businesses working with them across Europe and North America. The second annual awards were held at Canary Wharf’s East Wintergarden.

Windsor was presented with the Best Improver Award for the making the greatest improvement by undertaking new social sustainability procedures. These changes resulted in a 25% increase to their results in the awards.

Windsor sales director, Andrew Lane, says the recognition follows a considerable amount of work to improve efficiency and reduce waste. Said Andrew: “We’ve worked with Sofidel for a number of years and always aim to provide the best value and performance. This award recognises the recent developments we have made in procedures for anti-corruption, child labour, human rights, workers’ rights and anti-slavery.”

One of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the UK, Windsor was founded on service in 1977. Since then the Windsor name has been synonymous with materials handling and access systems, providing a first-class range of forklift truck and access platform hire, sales and maintenance services.

Andrew continues: “Our business is partnership driven. We take pride in working hard to develop long lasting relationships that make the difference to our valued partners. The Best Improver Award shows that this hard work resonates throughout our customer-base too.”

There are three awards granted by the “Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Award”: Best Supplier, Best Improver and Best Sustainable Project.

An annual event, the Sofidel Suppliers Sustainability Awards aim to incentivise, disseminate and promote best practice and improvements in social and environmental responsibility amongst Sofidel suppliers in Italy and abroad. It is based on the “TenP – Sustainable Supply Chain Self-Assessment Platform”, conceived and promoted by the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation (GCNI Foundation), of which the Group is a founder promoter.

“Promoting sustainable and responsible growth also means, within our vision, raising awareness and promoting involvement of our partners so we can do more and do it better,” stated Luigi Lazzareschi, CEO of the Sofidel Group. “We’re convinced that building a sustainable future involves a widespread, common commitment, and a need to assume, each within their area and according to their role, new and broader responsibilities.”

The awards are supported by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea and held in collaboration with a number of global partners and Tissue World Magazine.

The Sofidel paper group was the first Italian company and the first in the global tissue industry to join the international project whereby the WWF proposes large companies to voluntarily adopt schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through innovative strategies and technologies that allow them to take on the role of leaders in reducing CO2 emissions in their industry.

Windsor works to keep the nation’s forklift fleets up to date with modern technologies, reducing the impact of greenhouse gases emitted by more aged machinery.

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Jofson Latest News Public Relations

Which forklift fuel?

When you are in the market for forklift trucks, we know how challenging it can be to find the perfect fit for your facility. There are lots of options when it comes to choosing a dealer, a manufacturer, mast height and weight capacity – but for forklift fuel type, there’s just three to choose from. Each one has its perks and drawbacks, depending on the usage and environment, and we’ve laid them out here so you aren’t left wondering if you made the right choice.

Electric

Electric forklift trucks are much more environmentally friendly compared to diesel and LPG. As well as being fume free, they are also known for their quiet and manoeuvrable nature. While they are considerably cheap to power, the forklift battery and charger can bring the initial cost higher than a diesel or LPG powered truck. They are best-placed in operations that have the time and space to allow for recharging the forklift batteries.

With other manufacturers, electric forklifts are more suited for indoor use, but the Mitsubishi EDiA range is suitable for use inside and outside. The IP54 rating on Mitsubishi electric trucks means they are better protected from the rain than a diesel or LPG truck, which are traditionally used outside.

It’s common knowledge that electric doesn’t mix well with water, so that’s why Mitsubishi invest effort into ensuring our electrics have a high IP rating. The ignition and electrical systems on IC engine trucks aren’t protected to the same levels, making them much more vulnerable than electric-powered forklifts.

Diesel

Forklift trucks with diesel engines are popular for their fuel efficiency, but are traditionally best used outside due to the exhaust fumes. Diesel forklifts are robust and operate better on gradients compared to their LPG and electric counterparts. The average fuel tank is around 50 litres, and this is likely to last longer than an 18kg bottle of LPG in the same application. For this reason, diesels are a popular choice for facilities with continuous forklift activity in harsh conditions.

British Salt took on two Mitsubishi diesel trucks for their slippery and corrosive environment. Reliable, powerful and fast, the trucks’ low emissions make them ideal for the client to use both indoors and outdoors.

For even more control of the fuel efficiency, every diesel truck in the Mitsubishi Grendia range can be fitted with our Electronic Diesel Control System (EDC). Diesel forklifts installed with EDC systems have overall improved fuel economy, plus lower noise, vibrations and emissions.

LPG

With more responsive engines and improved power to weight ratios, LPG (liquified petroleum gas) forklifts have long been the popular choice. Their competitive initial cost and their suitability for both indoor and outdoor use makes them a good balance between their diesel and electric equivalents.

Mitsubishi LPG forklift trucks are renowned for their fuel efficiency, thanks to their closed-loop three-stage catalytic converter which significantly reduces carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions – as well as 95% of dangerous NOx gases – making it the cleanest-running machine on the market.

Some businesses, however, are concerned with the fuel wasted when LPG bottles are replaced before they are empty. The vast majority of LPG forklifts have no way of telling how much fuel is left in the bottle. Without a gauge, even if they are left to almost empty when changed, the wasted fuel left in the bottle can mount up to potentially hundreds of pounds a year. The operator that starts his shift may also just automatically change the bottle whether it is near-empty or not, but using bulk LPG storage tanks, operators refill the bottles at a station, so nothing is ever lost.

Talk to Jofson about cutting costs, minimising manual handling, reducing waste and improving productivity with our bulk LPG storage tank scheme and Mitsubishi LPG powered equipment.

Making the switch

If you are currently using a particular fuel type, changing to an alternative is not as difficult as you might think. Thanks to fuel prices, dieselgate, battery and charger technology, changes in the automotive sector and concerns over NOx – the zeitgeist of the modern world now seems to be in electric’s favour. While electrics require space for chargers and the cost of extra batteries can sometimes put people off, battery technology is continuously improving, and although it hasn’t happened yet, electric has been seen for some time as likely to overtake engine sales.

Your choice

There are pros and cons for every fuel type, but which is best suited for your operation ultimately depends on the environment, the usage and any special requirements. For a detailed recommendation, you can contact Jofson, where an expert will be on hand to advise you on the best fleet for your facility.

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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Windsor Helps FareShare Fight Food Waste

Nationwide forklift provider, Windsor Materials Handling, is doing their bit towards food waste and poverty in the North West by providing a forklift truck to charity of the year, FareShare.

The award-winning charity helps redistribute food destined for waste. The surplus comes in all shapes and sizes, and often goes to waste for seasonality or cosmetic reasons. Local charities and community groups transform the donations into meals for vulnerable people.

FareShare Merseyside Development Manager, Mark Hall, explains: “The food redistributed is fresh, quality and in-date, but for one reason or another is destined to go to waste. We work with 173 charities on a weekly basis to put it to great use. That said, the organisations we supply food to are places that provide life changing support, as well as lunch and dinner.”

Last year FareShare managed 13,552 tonnes of food in the UK. Collecting deliveries as well as receiving them, space at their centres can get tight, and to help with the logistics, they depend on donations and equipment from local businesses.

After a donation for capital equipment, Windsor stepped in to provide a forklift truck and battery charger at an exceptionally discounted price. The decision to support the organisation was led by Windsor’s St Helens MHE Consultant, Pete Dennett. Said Pete: “We pride ourselves on being local. We have a lot of requests for this type of kit, so it’s often in demand. We both live and work in the North West, so it’s great to be able to give something back.”

FareShare was established in 1994, when homeless charity Crisis co-founded it with Sainsbury’s. Since then, the charity has been working to fight hunger and tackling food waste across the UK, and won Charity of the Year in the 2017 Third Sector Awards.

“We have many great supporters,” adds Mark. “From major supermarkets and manufacturers, such as Unilever and General Mills, to our local MP Frank Field and our many volunteers. We’ve been here 18 months and, nationally, we have a target of one hundred thousand tonnes a year. Food surplus is high on the agenda and we are helping reduce waste that would otherwise go to landfill.”

According to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, over 8 million people in the UK, the equivalent of the entire population of London, are struggling to afford to eat.

Windsor operates from 12 local branches across the UK, offering materials handling and access equipment, for sale, hire and maintenance. Established in 1976, the business is now the UK’s leading independent supplier of Komatsu and Doosan forklifts. Windsor also specialises in UniCarriers warehousing, floor cleaning and JLG access machines, and a full range of bespoke lifting equipment from Baumann sideloaders to narrow aisle trucks and Combilifts.

Concludes Pete Dennett: “We were founded on our service capabilities in the 1970s. Since then the Windsor name has been synonymous with materials handling and access systems, providing a first class range of forklift truck and access platform hire, sales and maintenance services. Throughout the years, our business has evolved to support the needs of modern logistics operations. We pride ourselves on having the most highly skilled and well experienced staff in both technical support and sales, but our commitment to being local has stood the test of time.”

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Latest News Public Relations

PaxLift Takes 2017 interRAMP Innovation Award

PaxLift has been chosen as the winner of the  2017 interRAMP Innovation Award at inter airport Europe.

inter airport Europe, the International Exhibition for Airport Equipment, Technology, Design and Services, is taking place for the 21st time this year. A total of 655 exhibitors from 44 countries will are presenting the latest developments and solutions for aircraft, passenger and cargo handling, security and airport IT, architectural components as well as ground support equipment at the Munich Trade Fair Centre in Germany.

PaxLift was chosen from a shortlist of 24 nominations for the interRAMP Innovation Award, presented at the start of the three day exhibition. PaxLift MD, Klaus Pirpamer, said the award was a credit to all those that had worked hard on the project over the past two years. Said Klaus: “For us it is very special. It’s very important that we have won because we are an outsider coming into the industry and that’s why we are especially happy to have won the prize. Many visitors are left open mouthed when they see what PaxLift is capable of! We are of course delighted to be awarded this honour. The team has worked incredibly hard to get us here and it is testament to the vision and hard work of those involved that we receive the award.”

Raising passengers smoothly and without a pantograph, stabilizers, mast or chains, PaxLift utilises three lifting columns to provide a smooth, safe lift, with fully hydraulic suspension for maximum comfort during driving.

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Latest News Public Relations TB Marketing

Niche Content Marketing: The three Cs

So, you’ve read the previous blog posts on paid and earned method for improving your search ranking, plus how to boost web visitors and maximise your use of social media. Now it’s time for the action plan, right?

Step one: Consistency

The first thing you should do when setting out to get noticed online is ensure your company information is consistent. This will enable Google to quickly identify all of the information as relating to one company rather than several, and therefore make it much more likely for you to rank higher on Google. There are tools available to show you how consistent your details are across the web. We use one called Moz Local.

Step two: Common questions

As mentioned in a previous post, we usually start by asking the most customer-facing employees what the common questions are regarding your products, services and company. If you get the opportunity, you could even ask your existing customers what their initial queries were. Answering these questions in a clear and concise format will provide you with your web content, and if you answer questions that your competitor’s websites don’t – you’re on your way to ranking high for those search queries.

Step three: Communicate

Once you have your basic web pages optimised to answer your customers’ questions, it doesn’t stop there. Google favours regularly updated websites – it reinforces the knowledge that the business is still up and running, and things are happening that are worth reporting on the internet. So share company news, industry opinions and unique insights on your websites frequently – then post them in your social media communities to communicate your message on all platforms.

Need a hand?

Whether your audience is local, regional, national or global – we believe every kind of business can benefit from content marketing. Check out our recent work with companies of all sizes if you need convincing. Or are you curious how content marketing could help your organisation reach its marketing goals? Contact us at hello@tbmarketing.co.uk for an informal chat about how our methods could help your business.

 

Read other blog posts in the Niche Content Marketing Series…

First Things First

Receive web visitors swimmingly

Social Media

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Latest News Public Relations TB Marketing

Niche Content Marketing: Social media

In our experience, many professionals in niche industries just don’t have a strong opinion of social media, and few see the value it can add. The prevailing opinion is that Social Media is becoming less broadcast and more narrowcast, with customer service channels and individual engagement coming to the fore. This may well prove to be correct over time, but for niche markets, there are still many benefits to be considered…

  • Everyone’s heard of it

These days, most people have heard of social media. For some, it is part of daily life, but even for those that have decided to stay away, it regularly gets mentioned in newspapers, on TV and anywhere else on the internet. It’s hard to not have some knowledge on tweets, likes and pokes. If a potential customer has seen your website, but wants to read how you operate day to day, it is possible your business name will appear in Twitter’s search bar.

  • A higher Google ranking – for free

Social media is essentially a free marketing tool. You might be using up all your marketing budget trying to optimise your website so potential customers find it easier on search engines, without realising that active social media channels can also boost your organic search ranking.

  • If your competitors are signed up…

Just like brochures and websites – if your competitors are doing it, you might want to jump on the bandwagon too. Not that a Facebook profile instantly changes the mind of your potential customers, but if they spot a post on something they can relate to, your chances might slip.

  • Content is king

If you are telling people you never formed an opinion on a business based on something you read online or in a newspaper, you are probably lying. We believe good content is one of the best ways to boost your reputation and make future potential customers remember your business name. Even if none of your followers are currently in the market for your product or service, something you share on Twitter could stick in their minds and help them form a decision further down the line.

  • Your website becomes more accessible

Even if none of the above points have swayed you, remember that whether it is defined as social media or not, they are very popular websites. Regularly posting with good imagery, insightful videos, offers and relevant links could see your website traffic increase, boosting your chance at winning new customers.

  • Teens of today are tomorrow’s managers

Some of you might be mature enough to remember the days before email existed (calm down, I said some). Even though it has only been a handful of decades since the first email was sent, we now live in a world where life without it is unimaginable. Think of social media in exactly the same way – it is just a new form of communication, and eventually it is going to become the norm.

 

Read our next blog post to find out how to begin your content marketing action plan

…Or read our previous blog post to find out how you can receive web visitors swimmingly!

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Latest News Public Relations TB Marketing

Niche Content Marketing: Receive web visitors swimmingly

We’ll start with an interesting example from a book called Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi. A company that sells and installs fibreglass pools runs a blog that answers questions about all kinds of pools – not just fibreglass ones.

They brand it ‘The most educational swimming pool blog in the country’, and while they, of course, focus a significant amount of time on blog posts about fibreglass pools, the extra content brings in an audience that would otherwise overlook their business. Broadening their website content to include slightly beyond what they sell, and beyond their geographical scope, has brought them success according to the book.

The way to better content

Content doesn’t come from nowhere – it starts with gathering information. Lots of it. We usually start with sales people, or at least the person who answers the phone and the email enquiries. What are the common questions they get from potential customers? What information is sent out by email? How much of this could be backed up on the website to draw traffic and answer basic questions?

We know that you want these people to contact you, but if they have to call you to get simple questions answered, they’re less likely to pick up the phone. In the digital age we’re in, people (not just customers) are looking for as much information as possible on the internet before they make contact with someone.

An uplifting example

Take forklifts for example, and think about all the questions someone might have when they’re looking to hire or buy a forklift truck:

  • What size forklift do I need?
  • Do I need any training to use one?
  • What if I need one just for an hour or so?
  • When should I be using forklifts and when should I be using access equipment?
  • What mistakes can be made by opting for the cheapest model?
  • What additional costs are there?
  • What do I need to know about fuel type, maintenance, and training?

The list could go on, and the answers to these many questions are where we get your website content from. With enough of this content, we can be publishing the ‘forklift bible’ – getting you on the path to becoming the leader in your niche.

You might now be asking ‘when we have this content, how do we get people to read it?’ Well, that’s the easy part. Once your website is full of engaging and informative content, you will always have something to say on the increasingly popular social media channels…

 

Read our next blog post to find out why it’s probably a good idea to create social media channels for your business

…Or read the previous blog post to learn about the paid-for and earned methods of boosting your search ranking!

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Latest News Public Relations TB Marketing

Niche Content Marketing: First Things First

If you think you’re in a boring industry, think again. There is no such thing as a boring industry. Some niche industries are only thought to be boring because the average person knows very little about them. This gives you a chance to educate your audience, and if you are enthusiastic enough about your work, people will listen – or read!

A fish out of water

It can be tricky to have your voice heard in a niche industry, especially on the world wide web. But with more and more business professionals taking to the internet to look for their next product or service provider, it’s time for small fish to move away from the big pond and into the land of opportunity – without feeling like a fish out of water.

The Google goal

Many clients come to us with a bold aim – for their website to be at or near the top of Google. Some believe that the mere fact they are in the same industry as someone else that is highly ranked on Google entitles them to be as high or higher. As you might have guessed, things just aren’t as simple as shelling out some dough to Google so they rank you higher. There are at least 200 factors that come into the equation of Google search rankings, and it’s in their best interest not to share these factors…

There are two methods for ranking high on Google – we’ll call them paid for and earned.

The paid-for method

At the end of the day, Google is a business, and much more likely to encourage people to sign up to its pay-per-click service Google Adwords, rather than give away details on how to achieve a higher search ranking for a lot less money.

While Google Adwords can get your website at the ranking high on Google fairly quickly, the cost implications are a major pitfall of this method – we’re talking serious dollar to keep it up long-term in industries with many competitors.

This method also means that your website listing comes with an unwanted guest – the word ‘Ad’ in big green letters next to your website address. We see this as another disadvantage, as anyone who knows what an ad is knows that your company has paid for its prime position on the search engine, rather than earned it. Some people even avoid clicking these links for this reason.

The earned method

In most cases, ‘searching the internet’ in fact means searching Google’s index of it. That means the way people search and the terms they use are naturally incredibly important. And Google looks at the content of a company’s website – not the content of the business, who it employs, what it’s bank balance is or its product range, history, inside leg measurements etc. when determining where to rank it. Google also loves relevant content – we know that for a fact (mainly because they tell us!). If your website answers the questions that your customers are asking Google, you will rank higher than those who don’t.

And yet many still believe this to be a time-consuming task that offers little return on investment, but as with many marketing tactics, it’s the planned, less-flash, more systematic approach that typically wins the day.

 

Read our next blog post to find out more on niche content marketing, and how to receive web visitors swimmingly!

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Jofson Latest News Public Relations

AKW takes delivery of Jofson fleet

AKW Global Logistics has been a leading light in warehousing and distribution services since 1986. It prides itself on being able to offer a flexible, customer-focused range of services and has continued to grow in what is a very competitive sector.

In 2004, the AKW Group was formed to create synergies between the two companies – AKW Global Logistics and AKW Global Warehousing. Two years later, the AKW Global Warehousing division was formed, and the acquisition of another contract packing company in 2008 saw the company completing their journey to offering a one-stop solution for their customers.

Based in Manchester, the Group now works with businesses throughout the UK, offering reliable warehousing, distribution and supply chain solutions to a range of industries such as fast-moving consumer goods and food & beverage.

To keep up with the growing demand for their services, AKW required a large fleet of reliable forklift trucks at two of their busiest UK sites. Located just five minutes from the logistics company’s Bond 26 facility, Mitsubishi dealer Jofson Limited stepped in to ensure AKW could deliver on the promises to their customers.

“Our aim is to offer real value to our clients by providing a quality, customer focused and flexible service,” said AKW’s Warehouse Operations Leader, Karl Mould. “We offer a complete range of logistics solutions to businesses throughout the UK, including distribution, warehousing, transport, freight, and contract packing services.”

Twenty machines were supplied to AKW in total, including ten Mitsubishi FG35 Grendia counterbalance trucks, offering the most fuel-efficient engines in their class, plus seven fully refurbished electric Bendi trucks with a complete battery change system to allow 24/7 usage in the narrow aisle warehouses. The new long term contract will see Jofson assist AKW in handling stock as efficiently as possible.

Jofson sales manager, Jason Jordan says the new partnership required a deep understanding of the operation at AKW. “Most of the trucks supplied are fitted with double pallet handlers, and we have several more on standby ready for any eventuality,” he explained. “The entire fleet is fitted with an FTC system; including pre-shift checks, pin code access bespoke to each operator, and impact detection. The counterbalance trucks are also fitted with a blue safety light on the rear of the truck”

AKW’s Karl Mould was particularly impressed with the kit. “The machinery provided by Jofson is really good quality and fit for purpose,” said Karl. “It was also great that we could get a few different types of machines from one supplier. We have lots of customers and therefore a variety of stock, so it was important for us to work with a business with a good range of materials handling equipment and a great local service. The guys at Jofson have gone out of their way to build a relationship with us, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Despite working primarily as a Mitsubishi forklift dealer, Jofson also refurbishes and supplies machinery from many different brands, including Bendi and Linde, before renting or selling onto local customers.  In addition to a full range of counterbalance and articulated forklifts and a fleet of over 100 short term rental trucks, the business also supplies warehouse equipment from the Mitsubishi range. Employing over 35 field-based mobile engineers with fully-equipped service vans, Jofson delivers a professional service and a rapid breakdown response.

As the UK’s largest supplier of Mitsubishi Forklifts and three-time winner of the Mitsubishi Dealer of the Year award, Jofson has supported businesses in the Manchester and West Midlands areas since 1977. Jason Jordan continued: “We are extremely pleased to be working with such a high-profile logistics group, providing a thorough and complete materials handling service. I am confident our knowledge and precise delivery will ensure a successful partnership with AKW Group.”

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Latest News Public Relations Uncategorized Windsor

Family owned logistics provider invests in premium Windsor forklifts

A family owned third party logistics provider has taken delivery of a fleet of forklift trucks from Windsor Materials Handling’s premium range.

Established by George Kime in the 1930s, George H Kime & Co. Limited has experienced over 80 years of operational success. Initially set up as a provider of transport services for local food businesses in Boston, Lincolnshire, the company has grown to serve not only the fresh food industry, but a wide spectrum of customers internationally.

Over the years, Kimes have served all sorts of customers – from sole traders to blue chip companies – and many of these have continued to use the firm’s services for decades. With branches in Wrangle nr. Boston and Lincoln, the firm’s continued success saw the opening of a third warehouse in November 2015, based in Sleaford. Kimes hit a milestone eight months ago when they bought the facility after renting it for most of their first year of operation.

The icing on the cake for the business expansion was a brand-new fleet of forklift trucks for the Sleaford depot, which Windsor Materials Handling’s David Fletcher helped specify. A pair of two-tonne capacity Still trucks were supplied, and just a week after delivery, drivers at Kimes were already endorsing the forklifts.

One operator, Gary Rose, is typically impressed. “The new forklifts feel stable, and the various different settings make the job so much easier. The manoeuvrability of the machines is incredible, and the automatic braking on ramps gives you extra confidence.”

Still’s RX 70 series has a particularly stable driving behaviour due to the truck’s low centre of gravity. George H Kime will also benefit from low operating costs through the trucks’ hybrid diesel-electric drive with a powerful industrial motor. This also allows the forklifts to deliver a high volume at a low V-engine speed due to the electrically activated hydraulic pump.

Gary continued: “I’m thankful for the glass cab too – trucks I’ve used in the past have been open to the elements. It not only protects you from the weather but from dust and debris left behind in trailers too!”

Still has been delivering its products and services for over 90 years now, and have an outstanding reputation for the dependability of their trucks. Starting out by repairing motors in the 1920s, the company has used its expertise to develop into one of the leading full service providers for intralogistics. Windsor formed a partnership with Still due to their mutual belief that personal relationships are the basis of a long business relationship.

For George H Kime’s Sleaford warehouse manager, Tony Clifton, this is just one of the reasons for choosing to work with Windsor. “I have worked on this site for 22 years – before Kimes the warehouse belonged to Staples Disposables, and I worked with Windsor for many years in that capacity too,” said Tony. “This is the first time we have had brand new trucks though, and I can’t fault Windsor at all for their service and response times. With the local Windsor branch only five miles down the road, a helping hand is never far away. Their engineers are experienced and do their jobs quickly too.”

As one of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the UK, Windsor Materials Handling was founded on service in 1977. Since then, the Windsor name has been synonymous with materials handling and access systems, providing a first-class range of forklift truck and access platform hire, sales and maintenance services.

Branch Manager for Windsor’s Sleaford office, David Fletcher, echoes this: “Our business is partnership driven. This means providing the best possible deal and backing that up with great support,” he said. “I have known Tony for lots of years – I met him when I was working for the local pest control company. He was surprised when one week I was fitting pest control and the next week I was pestering him about forklifts! For me, this is what Windsor is all about – providing the best quality local service on a national level.”

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Carrylift Public Relations

Supporting A Worthy Cause

Great to see our friends at Carrylift supporting a worthy cause and remembering a very brave boy, Bradley Lowery. The teams donned their favourite team shirts to help the fundraising efforts of The Bradley Lowery Foundation. Not sure about the grey shirt, but a wonderful effort all round! Add your donation here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bradleylowerysfight

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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

First class delivery for TPC

A Derbyshire logistics facility has boosted productivity within its 24-hour domestic and international delivery operation, after signing a long-term agreement with the local branch of an independent materials handling firm.

Providing operational excellence for delivery services Citipost Mail and 13ten, The Processing Centre (TPC) handles the sortation, routing and distribution of over 20 million items per year, for delivery to customers in the UK as well as overseas.

Bustling with activity throughout its entire 24-hour operation, the Derbyshire-based facility relies on high quality materials handling equipment to keep up with the fast pace, ensuring deliveries of mail, catalogues, coupons, packets, and parcels are fulfilled accurately and punctually.

To assist with their forklift needs, TPC called on the local branch of Windsor Materials Handling. Just 15 months after the first delivery, the centre has now added four more brand new LPG Komatsu forklift trucks to their existing fleet, and signed a long-term agreement with Windsor.

Equipped with extra features such as weather protection and tyre-saving direction select inhibitors, the trucks have been well-received, and TPC Facilities Manager Ken Garford was particularly impressed. “Running a 24-hour operation, forklift activity is at its highest between midnight and early morning when shipments come in, so we needed robust trucks and a solid service to match,” he said. “By renewing with Windsor, we get the best of both worlds – good quality trucks, supported by a top-notch team.”

One of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the UK, Windsor was founded on service in 1977. Since then the Windsor name has been synonymous with materials handling and access systems, and throughout its 40 years of operation, the business has built a strong reputation in personal customer support.

Ken agrees: “We shopped around several places before deciding to renew with Windsor. A supplier that can deliver a great value high-quality product as well as brilliant service is hard to come by, but Windsor came out on top in both aspects – exactly what our busy warehouse needed.”

For TPC, the busiest period takes place during October, November and early December, as much of their stock needs to be ready to be shipped to European countries in advance, in order to reach customers in time for Christmas.

The year 2017 has seen TPC invest significantly in improving their warehouse processes, and an automated security solution was recently installed at the South Normanton facility. The business is now actively looking for new partners for sorting and processing opportunities.

Bob Powner, managing director at The Processing Centre, said: “It is important for us to ensure our customers receive the best possible levels of service at the most competitive rates. We are therefore very pleased to sign a long-term agreement to continue our partnership with Windsor Materials Handling, who have delivered on their promise of providing high quality forklift trucks at reasonable prices. This commitment is just part of a wider transition within The Processing Centre business.”

Throughout the years, the Windsor business has evolved to support the growing needs of modern logistics operations. Priding themselves on having the most highly skilled and well experienced staff in both technical support and sales, Windsor engineers are manufacturer trained and have developed a deep understanding of all manner of lifting and materials handling equipment.

Andy Lane, Windsor’s Nottingham Branch Manager, agrees the partnership with TPC reflects Windsor’s passion in enabling their customers to succeed. “At Windsor, we maintain a philosophy of continual investment to ensure our strong reputation for personal customer support is maintained. Our business is partnership driven and we work hard to develop long lasting relationships that make the difference to our valued partners,” he said. “I’m delighted we are putting this method into practice with our work at TPC, and I’m looking forward to a long and successful business relationship.”

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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Komatsu BX Series Honoured

After almost nine years since the original model was launched on the market, a Komatsu forklift is still being recognised by leading industry awards in the heavy equipment sector.

Since its launch, the IC engine-powered BX50 Series forklift has seen frequent updates, and is a particular favourite of Windsor Materials Handling customers due to their robust performance and great features. Now, the series has been awarded with the honour of Highest Retained Value from EquipmentWatch – a leading database for the US heavy equipment industry.

EquipmentWatch benchmarks the long-term performance of machines across a host of categories, looking for those that retained the highest residual value over the past five years of data.

Over 12,500 models from a valuation database were considered by analysts, which were then narrowed down to 156 series from 36 brands. The Komatsu beat five other finalists, including Doosan’s Pro5 Series.

Windsor customers have been choosing forklifts from the award-winning BX series for many years, with several unique industry leading features as the main selling point.

The dual floating structure greatly reduces vibration, protecting both the operator and critical components of the truck. An EZ-Lift tandem pump hydraulic system enables increased efficiency and improved truck control in tight spaces.

A directional flow counterweight also allows hot air and engine exhaust fumes to be pushed down and away from the operator’s compartment – especially important while driving in reverse.

The BX50 joins two other Komatsu machines, the GD655 Motor Grader and the WA320 Wheel Loader, as award winners in their respective categories.

“The award is indicative of excellence across a manufacturing organization,” said Garrett Schemmel, Vice President of EquipmentWatch. “Product quality has the most obvious impact on an asset’s per-formance on the secondary market, but residual values are also highly impacted by brand affinity and fair original pricing. A manufacturer must excel on all three fronts to be the winner.”

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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Plastic Fantastic

Luxus continues growth with Windsor

One of the UK’s most advanced technical plastics compounding and recycling companies has renewed their existing fleet of forklift trucks in a bid to boost productivity and reduce fuel emissions at their Lincolnshire facility.

Luxus Ltd was founded in 1965 to provide the then emerging plastics industry with solutions for plastics waste. The firm’s first laboratory opened in 1982, and has rapidly grown into a business that takes pride in reusing plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill.

A state-of-the-art Technical Centre replaced the laboratory in 2014, and today, the centre enables the re-engineering of plastic waste materials into high performance plastic compounds. The business now supplies over 45,000 tonnes of the quality assured compounds each year for a diverse range of industry applications, including those in engineering, automotive and packaging sectors.

The technical plastics compounder was the first, and still is the only, UK business to achieve approval for its recycled grades in car interior trims. The busy Louth site also now includes temporary storage to accommodate the finished goods. “We recycle a huge range of plastics in our advanced on-site facilities,” says Peter Laking, Luxus’ Maintenance and Project Engineering Manager. “It helps our customers to proactively manage scrap plastic, reduce costs and minimise their own environmental impact.”

In order to reflect their environmentally friendly culture, Peter was keen to ensure the exhaust emissions from their materials handling equipment were kept to an absolute minimum – and Windsor Materials Handling helped them make an informed decision through a unique test.

Branch Manager for Windsor’s Sleaford office, David Fletcher, explains: “Luxus wanted to ensure they selected the forklift with the lowest emissions, so we suggested they do a simple test with a clean sheet of paper on the exhaust pipe of each machine.”

The new Doosan D25S-7 Series came out on top, with its piece of paper finishing the test as clean as ever, while its rival trucks left soot behind on the sheet. The truck’s diesel engine is built with Ultra Low PM Combustion technologies to meet Euro Stage IIIB emission regulations, providing a sturdy performance and excellent fuel efficiency.

With two engine settings – STD mode and ECO mode – Luxus operators can choose the setting to suit different applications. Standard Mode delivers the highest level of performance, while the ECO mode reduces fuel consumption by an extra 5%.

“We are genuinely very pleased with the performance of the new kit and the support from Windsor. We may be a large business and significant employer in the town, but we still rely on suppliers to give us great support and understand our needs. It’s been quite a few years now and the relationship is still going strong!”

A national company, Windsor’s Sleaford branch covers industrial centres across the region, from Boston to Grantham, Skegness to Newark, in addition to Louth and the surrounding area.  “We’ve been serving the area for quite a few years,” adds David Fletcher, “and throughout that time we’ve been able to see customers like Luxus grow and flourish. Obviously, requirements can change over time, and we like to think of ourselves as responsive and flexible, so being able to refresh the fleet once more and for it to be very well received is of course tremendously satisfying.”

Windsor has been an authorised distributor for Doosan since 2009, offering a brand that meets the operational and environmental needs of businesses across the UK.  In addition to supplying a wide range of materials handling equipment, Windsor also specialises in access platforms and has developed throughout its 40 years of operation to offer a single supplier solution.

“Our business is partnership driven,” says Windsor Managing Director, Stephen Burton. “We know that means providing the best possible deal and backing that up with great support. We are able to offer flexibility where other companies cannot and we hold dearly the ability to listen to our customers.”

Over fifty years since being founded, the Luxus head office and production facilities in Louth is home to over 150 dedicated individuals and the company is recognised as one of Europe’s foremost polymer recyclers and plastic compounds specialists. Luxus is also committed to innovation and continually invests in the latest recycling and manufacturing technologies.

David Fletcher concludes: “The ongoing relationship with Luxus is testament to our business being driven by partnerships, and our commitment to providing the best possible deal while backing it up with great support. As one of the leading independent materials handling suppliers in the UK, we are able to offer flexibility where other companies cannot, and we hold dearly the ability to listen to our customers before providing an unbiased consultative approach.”

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PaxLift Public Relations

PaxLift Partners With Düsseldorf Airport

Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) is to become the first airport to trial the PaxLift XL, the new purpose-built PRM transporter from Italian manufacturer, Baumann.

The machine is the first GSE machine of its type to overcome the disadvantages of traditional modified ‘Ambulift’ vehicles.

Arriving in time for the peak travel season, Düsseldorf’s PaxLift XL will help take the strain of an increasing number of passengers requiring assistance, amongst the 23.5 million boarding passes processed every year.

Raising passengers smoothly to six metres and without a pantograph, stabilizers, mast or chains, the PaxLift utilises three lifting columns to provide a smooth, safe lift, with fully hydraulic suspension for maximum comfort during driving.

DUS prides itself on catering for types of passengers. All departure areas, including the airport train station, are designed to be accessible for passengers with disabilities. Elevators and ramps ensure that passengers will have no problem accessing the different levels in the building. All facilities such as restaurants, restrooms for passengers with disabilities and baby changing rooms are also wheelchair accessible.

“This is an important area for DUS, and one which we are keen to demonstrate our excellent PRM credentials,” says airport branch manager, Markus Daniels. “We are constantly looking at ways to improve both our service provision and efficiency. Naturally, we are delighted to be working on this project with PaxLift, and see excellent potential. We believe we can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership as well as improve maintenance, product life cycle and passenger comfort.”

Despite being the third largest airport in Germany, space efficiency is vital to DUS and PaxLift offers excellent use of space, allowing passengers to enter at ground level without stabilizers or the need for a secondary tailift.

PaxLift has also avoided the inherent problems associated with adapted PRM vehicles, such as chain maintenance, slow loading times and uncomfortable, often manually intensive, experiences for passengers. There’s also complete free movement with the cabin raised.

“We have developed close ties with Dusseldorf, and we are very pleased to see our first machine going into service there,” says Baumann managing director, Klaus Pirpamer. “Together we saw the value in something which offers easy access and great manoeuvrability to reach the airplane door, as well as being fast, great quality and reliable.”

The in-house design team first developed and produced a machine for PRM over a decade ago. In recent years the company has won awards and recognition for its innovation in the sideloader market, where turning circles, lift heights and travelling distances are also key product facets.

Technical director, Riccardo Bove, masterminded the company’s latest award, the 2016 FLTA Award for Innovation Excellence, and helped develop the new thinking behind the PaxLift. Says Riccardo: “Our previous experience in aircraft ground support and our work with industrial equipment gave us the insights to design the next generation ‘Ambulift’. One that gives precise control and maximum comfort within a small footprint – just 2550mm wide, and 3,100mm high  when travelling.”

“The evolution of PaxLift was a natural consequence of our earlier work in this field,” adds Klaus. “We began collaborating on ground support equipment when we worked with Lufthansa Leos and Catcon to produce the first sideloader-based trucks. Whilst this type of equipment is still on the market, our experience with raising and transporting materials led us to look at new and better ways of providing safer, smoother and more practical ways to transport PRM and VIP passengers.”

With a proud and distinguished history, combining generations of engineering expertise, modern craftsmanship and a spirit of innovation, Baumann believes their equipment has to present a high standard of quality. Standard trucks are fitted with a Stage 4 Final Diesel engine, electric trucks are also planned for next year.

“Our starting point for the PaxLift was comfort, convenience and reliability,” says Klaus. “Having exhibited at ground support equipment and airport passenger transport events on both sides of the Atlantic, the dedicated design and high lifting capacities (up to 2,000kg) has created surprisingly high interest. With a tighter turning circle, clearer view and smaller footprint, we believe we have the safest option available. Integrated suspension makes the operation fast and smooth, whilst the hydraulically powered steering axle ensures continuous reliability and performance.”

This year DUS airlines will fly to over 190 destinations in 50 countries. Among the 66 air carriers, several have new routes or increased frequency. Markus Daniels adds: “Düsseldorf long ago arrived on the world map of international air traffic. Pushing forward with new initiatives and improvements like this helps us continue our own journey and help our customers in the process.”

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Latest News Public Relations Swisslog

Swisslog debuts ACPaQ, a fully automated solution for creating mixed pallets

The robot-based ACPaQ solution is the next milestone in the successful cooperation between Swisslog and KUKA. This world-class intralogistics innovation is the latest development to emerge from the bundled robotics and intralogistics know-how of the two leading providers. Swisslog showcased this system for fully automated mixed-carton picking and palletizing for the first time at the recent LogiMAT exhibition in Germany.

Swisslog’s robot-based ACPaQ solution will automate one of the most important areas of the intralogistics operations of successful retailers: creating customized mixed pallets for individual stores from single-SKU pallets. This innovative palletizing system has a highly modular design. It combines robotics solutions for depalletizing and palletizing with CycloneCarrier shuttle technology and enables a fully automated process controlled by the SynQ warehouse management software which, compared to traditional methods, doubles or even triples the speed of picking cartons in distribution centers based on store layout, item groups or item classes.

At the core of the ACPaQ solution is the RowPaQ cell featuring a state-of-the-art 5-axis jointed-arm KUKA robot. It is equipped with a flexible gripper with adjustable forks which allows it to pick up as many as four cartons at a time even if they don’t have the same size or weight. A RowPaQ cell is capable of setting down up to 1,000 cartons per hour in the exact location predefined by the palletizing software. The solution is completely scalable and additional RowPaQ cells can be added to the system to increase throughput as required.

Networking new and proven technologies

Robot-based palletizing builds on an intelligently organized process. Before cartons can be palletized in sequence, they are first separated, loaded into trays and stored temporarily in the highly dynamic CycloneCarrier shuttle system. Even before the warehouse management system issues the palletizing order, Swisslog’s software autonomously performs a complex calculation process based on product parameters to determine the best way to load the pallet. The cartons are then transported in the exact sequence from storage to the RowPaQ cell. After palletizing is complete, it is shrink-wrapped and transported via conveyor directly to the right shipping station.

“ACPaQ is the perfect combination of KUKA and Swisslog know-how in one solution,” says Dr. Christian Baur, Chief Operating Officer of the Swisslog Group and CEO of Swisslog Warehouse & Distribution Solutions. “As a result, our customers benefit from a solution that significantly outperforms manual palletizing processes not only in terms of packing density and dimensional stability but also in terms of cost effectiveness and ergonomics.”

Categories
Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Happy Campers: Windsor helps Magnum trade in ladders for lift

A supplier of caravan and motorhome parts based in Grimsby has reached new heights with a helping hand from the Immingham branch of Windsor Materials Handling.

Established in Grimsby in 1992, Magnum Motorhomes & Caravan Supplies is a family run business specialising in building materials and accessories for caravans and motorhomes. Operating from a facility working as both a warehouse and a customer-facing retail environment, the business needed a new way to retrieve stock from the high racking.

Previously using ladders to access the out of reach and bulky items, Magnum managing director, Ken Carter approached Windsor Materials Handling for advice on the best form of equipment to serve the busy wholesaler-style shop.

“With up to ten customers browsing the aisles at once, Magnum needed a compact solution to ensure optimum safety and space to walk around,” said Windsor sales manager Steve Austin. “After taking multiple factors into consideration, I recommended a JLG Toucan Duo vertical mast lift.”

The compact dimensions and low stowed height of the Toucan Duo allow access to confined space areas, while the six-metre working height, 130kg platform capacity and great turning circle make it ideal for the application at Magnum Motorhomes.

“When Steve first recommended the Toucan Duo, we were sceptical because it was only available brand new, but when we trialled the piece of equipment we knew it would have to stay,” said Magnum managing director, Ken Carter. “We reallocated a few of our stock locations to ensure it had a clear path to all the high racking. The machine has revolutionised our day-to-day operation, it’s extremely rare we ever get the ladders out now!”

Magnum was founded when Ken Carter, after years of building caravans for Abbey Caravans, decided to begin building his own motorhomes and selling surplus caravan parts. Since then, the business has manufactured all types of conversions, from coach-built to panel vans, race units and even a 52-seater coach. More recently, Magnum has become well-known for being one of the UK’s largest stockists of building materials and accessories for caravans and motorhomes.

Windsor’s Immingham branch is based just a 15-minute drive from Magnum’s store, meaning the business also receives a fast response when advice or an engineer is needed – especially beneficial during busy times.

“We supply to trade, public and DIY enthusiasts,” continued Ken Carter. “While we do get especially busy during spring when we start to experience more sunny days, we are also busy throughout winter with customers aiming to get their motorhome ready for the warmer months.”

Ken believes introducing the JLG Toucan Duo to his shop has sped up the order fulfilment process, as workers can retrieve items at any level with simplicity. Magnum employee Tom was especially pleased with the new equipment. “It does exactly what it says on the tin, I don’t know how we managed without it! It’s firm, stable and you feel safe on it. It is a magic bit of kit and I’m really surprised at how well it works in small spaces.”

Now in its 10th year of providing access equipment as part of its first-class portfolio of services, Windsor is a unique player in the materials handling and access industry, having remained independent throughout its 40 years of operation. Ken Carter concludes: “I can’t fault Windsor at all, they have provided a great service. The engineers are flexible and Steve is always on hand whenever we need advice.”

 

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Latest News Public Relations Windsor

Windsor Access Trucks Brought Aboard at Coldstar

Opening in July 2012, Coldstar Refrigeration has made a splash in its first five years of business.

The firm offers a range of services covering the installation of refrigeration, air conditioning and electrical systems from its workshop in Enterprise Village, Grimsby. With contracts stretching from Rye on the south coast to Fraserburgh in Scotland, Coldstar can only use the best access equipment for the job.

Luckily, when Coldstar electrical manager and RNLI Cleethorpes Helmsman, Darren Weatherill, needed some access equipment, he knew exactly where to turn.

Sales manager by day and volunteer lifesaver by night, Windsor Materials Handling’s Steve Austin devotes his free time to volunteering at one of the busiest lifeboat stations on the east coast of England. Carrying a pager, Steve and Darren arrive at the station within four minutes and aim to be launched and heading to the scene within ten minutes of being alerted to an incident, at any time of day.

“We are sometimes called out at 4am,” explained Steve, who had his eye on a kayaker on the Cleethorpes horizon while he spoke. “A lot of the jobs we get are due to people not realising the importance of having the proper equipment.”

Similarly, Steve’s day job involves ensuring businesses have the proper materials handling and access equipment to improve efficiency and reduce the risk of workplace accidents. For Coldstar, the challenge was finding the right machines to help during the installation and repair of air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical systems on customer sites.

Windsor delivered two JLG scissorlifts, reaching 19 feet in height. Darren was pleased with the access machinery. “The two machines are perfect for the job,” he said. “I knew I could count on Steve. At the end of the day, if I can trust him in life-threatening situations, I can trust him to supply us with the best equipment for the job.”

Now in its 10th year of providing access equipment as part of its first-class portfolio of services, Windsor has developed into one of the largest and most innovative suppliers of independent forklift and materials handling equipment in the UK since its origination in 1977.

Steve, who is based at the Immingham branch of Windsor, said: “At RNLI Cleethorpes, the crew is like an extension to your family. It goes without saying that the number one priority for us is saving lives at sea, but it is great to get to work with crew members in other capacities too. It builds trust, which is necessary not only at sea, but throughout working relationships too.”

As the charity that saves lives at sea, volunteers at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations. Relying on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service, it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since its inception in 1824, at least 140,000 lives have been saved by the volunteers making up 95% of the charity.

Cleethorpes Lifeboat launched 45 times during 2016 and rescued 32 people.

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Latest News Public Relations Swisslog

I versus Robot?

Machines are increasingly taking over tasks that humans have performed for decades. From Luddites in the 1800s to modern day “digital refuseniks”, some have always resisted change, and yet today’s robots are more capable than ever. So will workers rejoice at being unshackled from repetitive and dangerous tasks, or should we brace ourselves for high-performing smart warehouses becoming deserted dark logistics facilities?

It’s a common story, told throughout our modern history, where innovation is challenged by tales of fear and dread. Perhaps the outcome is never quite so stark. In many areas, robots make life easier; they are guiding vehicles autonomously, they function as underwater researchers or assist in surgeries that require precise hand movements. Industry and logistics also offer many possible applications for robots, a development driven primarily by the tremendous progress achieved in digital networking, control and sensor technologies, and generally lower integration costs.

Despite the fact that advances in technology are also accountable for healthier, happier and longer lives, and that often they are primarily there to help humans, rather than replace them, for many, their excitement is tempered by the potential impact on future employment. However, findings from recent studies in Switzerland and the US indicate a more promising outlook.

Swisslog is a world leading automation specialist for robotic and data-driven intralogistics solutions and is at the forefront of the new frontier, dubbed Industry 4.0.

It believes logistics managers should consider the advantages of automation and the opportunities it brings to the table. “Robotics and automation clearly offer more opportunities than risks, but only if we embrace them as drivers of future growth,” states Dr. Christian Baur, COO of the Swisslog Group.

Robots collaborating with human operators

While the wider belief is that warehouse automation means removing human interaction, Swisslog’s Automated Item Pick solution is based on a shared picking principle: The robot picks the items that it is able to pick – which can be up to 95% of the customer’s product range – and a worker finishes the order.

According to Kirt Laeske, Product Manager for Robotics at Swisslog, there are definitely signs that the work environment of logistics centers are changing. “Today, robots no longer need to work in isolated safety areas. They perform their tasks side by side with humans, and are already able to take over the simple and repetitive tasks of unskilled workers during order peaks and personnel bottlenecks.”

Laeske believes that there is no reason to fear that robots will replace the work of humans in logistics centers. “Machines are better than people at performing repetitive and uniform tasks, but they lack the elementary cognitive skills required for many logistics activities.”

In its pursuit of optimization along the value creation chain, Swisslog sees little benefit in deploying robots as stand-alone solutions, but rather to carefully combine the skills of human beings and machines.

Employment growth through robotics and automation

It is important to openly discuss the opportunities that come with advancement in automation, says the company, while equally assessing the wider impact on staffing, corporate responsibilities and the wider public perception.

“Industry 4.0, robotics and automation pave the way for greater process efficiency in logistics,” stresses Dr. Christian Baur. “Machines are ready to work 24/7 and support considerable volume increases and improved utilization in spite of the persistent trend toward smaller order sizes. These effects ultimately lead to increased delivery speed, improved delivery reliability, greater flexibility and higher customer satisfaction,” states Baur. “All these things bring about greater efficiency in logistics, driving the creation of new roles and alternative jobs such as in systems programming and support.”

Harvard economist James Bessen has recently shown in a working paper that merely one of the 270 detailed occupations listed in the 1950 US Census has since been abolished at the hands of automation. The only occupation listed that has taken a hit from the rise in automation in the past sixty years is elevator operator – hardly an indication of a technological uprising.

A recent study of the Swiss employment market performed by the Deloitte auditing and consultancy firm came to a similar conclusion. Although automation did replace certain jobs over the last 25 years, overall it boosted demand for labour. “Work will not disappear,” stated the study. “On the contrary, technological progress in Switzerland is estimated to generate approximately 270,000 new net jobs by 2025.”

The human touch

So, will there only be two types of human roles in the future, as some believe, either telling a robot what to do, or doing what one tells you to do?

“The truth is that progress always aims to reduce the cost, simplify, speed up and improve the efficiency of complex or repetitive operations,” concludes Dr Baur. “Yet, so many of society’s roles require the human touch. Aircraft can land themselves, algorithms can diagnose disease, and software can provide legal advice, but we still see the value in pilots, doctors and lawyers. We are not ready to give up humanity just yet, but we are able to release them from some of the more onerous tasks.”

The experts at Deloitte agree, citing the complementary effects of automation versus what it calls ‘pure substitution effects’. Rather than simply put people out of work, these (human) experts believe that the current technological upheaval will shift jobs within and between sectors, simultaneously generating risks and opportunities for employees.

“This distinction is important because it implies very different economic outcomes,” James Bessen wrote in a Vox column last year. “If a job is completely automated, then automation necessarily reduces employment. But if a job is only partially automated, employment might actually increase.”

Regardless of what the expert economists think, future-proof professions, for today at least, include all those in which creativity, adaptability and interaction with people or machines play a critical role.