Sunday 23rd Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Electric vehicle helps streamline food production

An innovative electric vehicle designed and manufactured by Gateshead-based SEV Group is streamlining the production of ready-made food dishes at Geest’s Tilbrook facility at Milton Keynes. Geest is using the 2,000kg capacity Easyloader vehicle to transport bulk containers of food some 200m from the preparation section to the cooking area, a task previously performed by forklift trucks.

Jessica Davies, Geest department manager, comments: “Due to site constraints we have the food preparation and actual cooking areas separated and have previously transported the prepared ingredients by forklift trucks, a situation which wasn’t entirely satisfactory for both efficiency and traffic congestion reasons.”

She adds: “We’d run electric-powered forklifts elsewhere on the site and were aware of the cost and environmental benefits of running them, and began to discuss with SEV the possibilities of a bespoke vehicle designed specifically for this work.”

The resultant vehicle has been adapted from SEV’s Easyloader range fitted with side and rear loading ramps ? the low floor height of the vehicle dispenses with the need for a tail-lift operation, removing the associated health and safety issues as well as facilitating and speeding up distribution operations – enabling the 3.8m long vehicle to carry up to five Dolav box pallets or ten Eurobin buggies that can be easily wheeled on and off by the operator.

It currently does about 100 return trips per 16-hour operation, travelling at 5mph, and then recharges for the remaining eight hours. The Easyloader is powered from a 30-cell, 60V battery pack controlled by a SEV Powerpak transistor control system providing infinite variable speed with full hydraulic braking to all wheels and power-assisted steering.