Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Booming success for Parcelforce

Parcelforce Worldwide has reduced manual handling at its Glasgow warehouse with a Sovex conveyor system, which helps it process more than three million parcels each year. The 45,000 sq ft Glasgow site accepts parcels from the company’s larger Coventry hub and distributes them to addresses in the area.

Three Sovex telescopic boom conveyors help load and unload feeder vehicles at the site. Two are TL3-7.5-15-800 models that extend 15m to reach the rear of long trailers, and the third is a MVL-10-600 mobile vehicle loader, used for smaller vehicles. The TL3-7.5-15-800s have short conveyor sections, called droop snoots, at the front of the booms, which operators can raise or lower to suit their loading position.

The conveyors are mounted on a raised steel-constructed loading dock also supplied by Sovex. During unloading (goods-in), they extend into vehicle trailers where operators load them with parcels. The parcels flow smoothly to incline/decline conveyors, which transport them from the loading dock down to an ergonomic working height. Here, the parcels transfer onto a network of powered mobile roller conveyors for manual sorting. Travel direction is reversible to allow loading (goods-in).

Eddie McBride, operational design and efficiency manager at Parcelforce Worldwide, which is a part of the Royal Mail Group, says: “The system allows us to load and unload transit vehicles efficiently. This speeds up deliveries and improves customer service. Sovex carried out a swift, seamless installation.”

The TL3-7.5-15-800 models feature user-friendly controls, roller shrouds that eliminate nipping points, and three emergency stop buttons for extra safety. The 800mm-wide belts carry awkwardly shaped or large parcels, and lights at the ends of the booms enable operators to see in dark trailers.

The MVL-10-600 mobile vehicle loader comprises a standard belt conveyor fixed to an inclined belt conveyor. The unit allows the swift loading and unloading of small vehicles without the need for a loading dock.

The MVL model is fully counterbalanced and requires no support from within the vehicle. It is manoeuvrable and versatile and can extend up to ten metres. It features a soft start-belt drive, which prolongs motor life.

“The Sovex conveyors reduce manual handling at our facility, and minimise the risk of workers suffering strain injuries through repetitive movement or improper lifting. This makes for a happy, productive working environment,” says McBride.