Exmac Automation, the UK’s leading conveying and material handling specialist, was the principle contractor for the build of a new 1500m2 UPL Chep pallet repair facility in Grangemouth, Scotland, handling the entire project from design and build, the procurement of all new equipment, to installation and commissioning.
Commenting for CHEP, Technical Systems Manager Nick Fisher says: “This is the first time we have awarded a turnkey construction design management contract for a new plant, to an equipment supplier. Having Exmac manage all aspects of the project, including all the different contractors, the equipment being installed, controls, and site safety, has worked well for us.”
Pallets received at the plant are loaded onto a singulating conveyor for transport to an area where every pallet is inspected to ensure those not requiring repair are diverted through a pallet stacker to a painting, drying and stencilling facility, before being reloaded onto transport for despatch. Pallets needing repair are removed from the conveyor system for maintenance, before being readied for despatch. Scrap wood is transported on a third tier of the repair conveyor and, via a series of belt conveyors, is delivered to a shredding unit which chips the timber for recycling into materials such as chipboard.
The £2 million plant, which can process 4.3 million pallets per year, required Exmac’s design and manufacture to be sufficiently robust to withstand the combination of a harsh environment and the high-volume throughput. Nick Fisher confirms that this has been achieved and is also proud of the fact that everything for the plant has been sourced in the UK and the majority through Exmac. “A lot of components for the conveying and handling systems that we normally order from outside the UK have been manufactured in-house by Exmac or locally through its sub-contractors, which made the project easier to manage and gives us local support post-installation.
“The build quality of the equipment supplied by Exmac is impressive. Its engineering department also proposed innovative solutions to traditional pallet handling problems and we are pleased with the outcome.” He says: “Some of the machines Exmac has installed are very different to what we are used to; and have proved to work well. “
Summing up he says: “We were delighted to have worked with Exmac on what proved to be a very successful new venture.”
The Grangemouth plant runs 24 hours per day, inspecting and conditioning around 750 pallets per hour.
Tel: 01905 721500