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Procter Installs 670m of Guarding in New Automated Warehouse

Procter Machine Guarding has completed a project to design, manufacture and install 670 linear metres of guarding in a new automated warehouse that forms part of a national distribution centre being developed and managed by Exel on behalf of Unilever UK Foods.  The project in Cannock, West Midlands, was completed more quickly than was initially thought possible, which enabled the electrical installation to start ahead of schedule.

Siemens Logistics was responsible for the automation aspects of the 12 crane aisles and, having worked successfully with Procter Machine Guarding on previous projects, invited the company to tender for the work on the Cannock warehouse.  In comparison with the two other tenders received, the proposed scheme from Procter Machine Guarding was attractively priced, offered greater flexiblity, and could be completed comfortably within the project’s time frame.  In particular, Siemens liked the way panels were easily removable, which would minimise downtime in the event of maintenance, repairs or modifications having to be carried out.

Procter’s bespoke scheme utilised a well proven standard design frequently used by the company for perimeter guarding applications.  A total of 537 posts were installed at ground level and on mezzanine floors to support the 670m of guarding that consisted of 387 panels and 71 hinged access gaets.  The posts were manufactured from 50x50x2.5 mm steel box section and the panels and gates had frames made from 40 x 40 x 3.0mm and 40 x 40 x 5.0mm steel angle with 40 x 40mm x 10swg welded wire mesh infill.  All posts were finished in a yellow powder coat, while the panels and doors were matt black powder coated to improve visibility.  Generally the guarding was 2.0m high, though areas in the vicinity of the elevators had guarding 2.5m high.  At the mezzanine level, the posts were fitted using hook bolts secured through the open mesh steel flooring.  Safety interlocks for the access gates were free-issued to Procter so that they could be pre-installed on the guarding ready for wiring by Siemens.

Vincent Overman, Project Manager at Siemens Logistics, states:

“The whole proejct ran very smoothly.  All of our questions were answered promptly, and the company proved to be a first-rate supplier.
Procter’s engineers came on site and carried out a detailed survey in order that accurate designs could be developed.  Installation started just 3 weeks after the site survey, and the team was able to prioritise its work in line with our requirements so that we could keep the overall project running to plan.
We thought that the timescales quoted for installation were very aggressive and, indeed, we were highly impressed with how quickly the job was completed.  Furthermore, the quality of the guarding – both in terms of its manufacturing and its installation – is excellent.”

Installation was carried out by Procter’s own personnel working 10-hour days, MOnday through Saturday.

Martin Gibbs, Exel’s Project Manager, comments:

“We are very satisfied with the end results; Procter Machine Guarding has demonstrated itself to be very good at designing, manufacturing and installing guarding for automated warehouses, even when timescales are tight.  We have had no problems with the guarding – which is aesthetically pleasing – and I am confident that it will perform its function as intended.”

To discuss any requirements for safeguarding automation or machinery, either for new projects or existing plant, please contact Procter Machine Safety.