FMH Conveyors is a leader in the field of loose loading and unloading applications. FMH were approached by Bristan Group who are the largest supplier of showers, taps and bathroom accessories in the UK. Bristan were looking for a material handling solution to improve worker health and safety during their container unloading process. A key concern was their increased use of high cube containers and being able to safely manage cartons weighing up to 25Kg at their distribution centre in Tamworth. Bristan’s unloading process for managing these heavy cartons posed many inefficiencies to their operations as well. For example, workers used steps in the container to reach higher level cartons while they also had the challenge of segregating multiple product lines mixed within the load.

FMH proposed a BestReach telescopic boom conveyor with hydraulic tilt and an operator platform (“man-rider”) which was designed with a traverse function to enable movement between dock doors. This equipment would address Bristan’s health and safety concerns and significantly reduce the time taken to unload the containers. FMH arranged for members of the Bristan team to visit another FMH installation site to see first-hand the BestReach conveyor in action.

Bristan Group’s Inbound Distribution Manager, Ian Edgar labelled the visit “a real benefit in helping us make a decision”.

After installing the BestReach conveyor, Bristan saw significant improvement within their operations. Now, their operators stand on the platform of the man rider and use the hydraulic tilt to raise and lower the boom whilst extending or retracting the boom within the container. This now provides workers with safe access to the pick face and significantly reduces the risk of a manual handling injury by eliminating overhead lifting. FMH also installed a flexible gravity conveyor to the rear of the boom. This simplified the process as the operator at the pick face need only focus on fast unloading whilst colleagues receiving the cartons can sort from the gravity flex onto strategically placed pallets. The traverse function allows the boom to move immediately to the next container when the first container is empty.

Ian Edgar summarised the success of their investment, “The controls are very easy to use and it is straightforward to manoeuvre from dock to dock. We have used the conveyor for all container deliveries since. It has proved very popular with the team, so much so, they all want to volunteer to be the one to work on it!”

Mr. Edgar adds, “Not only has the conveyor solved the challenges we had around unloading safely and improving wellbeing, it has also increased the efficiency of the department by halving the unload time. We are now regularly unloading a 40ft container in just over an hour and some of the more challenging containers in three hours when it used to take all day. It’s a pity we hadn’t purchased one years ago!”

FMH Conveyors International Ltd manufactures in UK a range of flexible, rigid and telescopic conveyors engineered to your application.


Tel: 01536 206969