As investment in automation continues to be at the forefront of the minds of industry bosses, Andrews Automation Ltd have built a reputation over the years of being able to provide automation solutions for a wide and varied range of applications both in the UK and abroad. Although specialising in pallet handling solutions, the East Riding of Yorkshire based firm have supplied a significant number of tailor made systems that have been manufactured to bespoke customer requirements.

One such solution was the recent magnum tipper system for Menzies Distribution and their Newstrade division. The challenge was to create an automated solution whereby returned magazines and periodicals could be handled and processed from bulk storage containers and fed into AMV sorting machines for recirculation. Previously this was a very labour intensive process, carried out at multiple sites by a significant number of operators. The key to the success of this project was to not only significantly reduce the number of operators required to handle returns, but to centralise the handling of returns to one Distribution Centre.

The final solution comprised a combination of a powered pallet conveyor, a mechanically driven bespoke tipper system, plus an arrangement of belt conveyors. The belt conveyors are set at increasingly quicker speeds in order to aid with separating the magazines and singulate them prior to making their way through the AMV sortation machines. The tipper system itself has been designed and fitted with flow monitoring equipment giving it the facility to automatically control the flow of magazines being fed into the system from the magnum.

The end result has culminated in a much more streamlined process for handling magazine returns, and the creation of a system capable of achieving a throughput of up to 5000 units per hour.

Following the recent installation at Menzies’ Sheffield distribution hub, Darren Needham, Business Development Manager at Andrews Automation Ltd said: “We’ve worked closely with Menzies Distribution for a number of years now and when we were asked to come up with a returns handling solution we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Now that the system is in and working, it’s very satisfying to see what started life as an initial concept is now contributing to a more efficient returns handling process”

Project Manager for Menzies Distribution, David Searle, commented: “This project is a key investment for Menzies Distribution and will benefit the whole supply chain through the increased capacity the system will bring. Andrews have delivered a solution that copes with the huge variability of the product being handled while maximising the throughput of the system. Their knowledge, experience and support has been fundamental to the success of this project”

Andrews Automated Ltd is a leading UK specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of integrated conveyors and materials handling systems, all of which are tailor made to customer specific applications and are fully supported from specification to after sales.


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