Space is at a premium at the north London premises of Elite Metalcraft and its sister company Elite Structural Steel, both in terms of cost and availability, and the management has ensured the optimum use of warehousing and manufacturing facilities by using a Combilift 4-way forklift to handle its lengths of structural and architectural steel.
Elite Structural Steel is the largest supplier of fabricated steelwork in London and Elite Metalcraft specialises in the design and manufacture of feature staircases and ornamental balustrades in a wide range of high quality materials. Having just installed a state of the art cutting and drilling line, the company is able to offer very competitive prices and fast turnaround.
The materials used in both arms of the business are exceptionally long, and the previous counterbalance truck used for handling operations needed very large areas in which to manoeuvre, taking up valuable space that could otherwise be used for storing stock and finished product.
“Before we saw the Combilift we had seriously thought we may have to relocate” says MD Tom Gallagher. “As we need to be geographically close to our customers who are mainly based in central London, this would have been a very costly undertaking indeed. We then looked at overhead cranes, but these would have had a limited use for the financial outlay. The Combilift’s 4-way capability stood out, and this truck has been the perfect solution, enabling us to stock a good 30% more in the same area, whilst at the same time offering excellent operational flexibility.”
The 4 tonne capacity diesel powered Combilift makes light work of all the materials moved around the site, from small bundles of steel up to 12 or 13m lengths. Sideways travel with long lengths resting on the platform rather than raised travel with a counterbalance forklift is a much safer way to transport potentially hazardous loads, and in this way even the longest products fit easily through the access doors from the outside storage area into the workshop. The Combilift can also offload from incoming delivery trucks and reload for the despatch of customers’ orders.
The truck’s ability to work inside and out, on uneven surfaces and its manoeuvrability for precise positioning of steel at the machining facilities has also speeded up operations. “We have considerably cut down handling time as well as achieving space savings, and this has helped in our commitment to excellent customer service such as next day delivery,” says Tom.
Combilift 4-way forklifts are all designed and built in Monaghan, Ireland, where the company also has its HQ and R&D facility. The current Combilift range now encompasses at least fifteen base models with capacities ranging from 2.5 – 14 tonnes, with LPG, diesel or AC electric power available. Combilift has won numerous awards for its products since the company was established in 1998, and there are now over 10,000 units in operation around the world.