Portfolio Archive - Page 4 of 5 - Darmax
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Bespoke loading dock equipment at Balmoral Tanks


Leading European tank design and manufacturing company, Balmoral Tanks, has become one of the latest organisations to streamline and control its loading operation with the addition of bespoke loading dock equipment, supplied by Darmax.


The global water, wastewater and processing storage solution specialist, which is a division of Balmoral Group Holdings Ltd., is based in Thurnscoe, South Yorkshire, and is an established authority in the creation of sectional and cylindrical tanks, manufactured using a basis of either steel or concrete, and constructed using in the region of up to 400 tank sheets which can be erected in situ.


Serving client sectors including civil engineering, fire-fighting, potable/non-potable water, anaerobic digestion, biofuel, biomass, wastewater treatment, desalination and drainage, Balmoral Tanks has become a reputable name in its field, having proved itself committed to operating at the very highest levels of health and safety, and through ensuring best practice, always.


The company’s level of customer care, reinforced by its manufacturing assets, has led to significant growth in recent years, and consequently, a move to extensive, purpose-built premises. The new site has been designed to be inclusive of a loading dock area, creating the opportunity to discontinue the company’s need, and considerable associated costs, of involving a third-party loading provider, as Balmoral Tank’s Operation’s Director, Bryan Bentley explains:


“Prior to the site relocation, we’d spent in the region of £125,000 over an 12-month period on third party loading services. Keen to reduce these transport loading costs, we ensured the design of our new premises would include space for a loading operation.


“Having worked in the logistics sector for many years, I was familiar with Darmax and had brought the company’s equipment into play on several occasions in the past.”


Impressed with the firm’s equipment quality, functionality and safety standards, Bryan had no hesitation in calling upon Darmax again.


A considered assessment of the loading space available led James Corfield, Director at Darmax Ltd. to recommend a ramp and a modular dock system, that together would enable a flat access point for operatives to reach containers, with dimensions suitable for accommodating Balmoral’s 3m x 1.5m by 400mm delivery boxes.


“The construction of Balmoral’s tanks can involve assembly of up to 400 tank sheets, with each delivered in a separate, carefully packaged box,” he explains.


“To enable Balmoral to continue achieving its meticulous delivery standards, we had to ensure the design of the new modular platform was large enough to safely accommodate the length of the load, as well as a fork lift truck. Removable barriers were also incorporated into the side of the platform, as the recommended loading technique involved using a forklift to bring individual loads out of the factory. This allowed loads to be placed onto the side of the platform, before the vehicle’s forks are safely removed. The method has enabled Balmoral’s drivers to access the ramp from the factory floor, so driving up the ramp without a projecting load, prior to lifting the load forward, into the container.”


James goes onto explain that the dock height was set appropriatelyto support the container’s level, and a dock plate was included to ease access. Handrails and anti-slip flooring were also added to the apparatus, further increasing safety levels.


“Working with James has been great. We’ve found him very easy to work with and his design approach was knowledgeable and effective,” Bryan continues.


“The new equipment was designed and delivered ahead of the scheduled timings. It performs perfectly and has enabled logistics considerably. Already our loading costs have been reduced by 70 percent and loading time has decreased by half.


“We’re now in full control of our loading operation, using equipment that has completely enabled our expanding operation. The timing couldn’t be better, as we’ve plans to expand further next year owing to increased capacity.”

Loading bay equipment at Flowerline UK Ltd


Flowerline UK Ltd, one of the country’s busiest floristry packing companies, has streamlined its loading process and increased capability, by installing specialist loading bay equipment designed by Darmax.


Performing as packers for leading online florist, PrestigeFlowers, Mansfield-based Flowerline runs a busy year-round operation which further intensifies in the run up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mothering Sunday. While the company has consistently fulfilled client expectations from its premises – which previously did not feature a specific loading bay – Director, Julian Ridgard, felt his operation’s packing process could be better structured and made more efficient with the addition of specialist loading bay apparatus. He explains:


“We’d maintained successful momentum regarding our packing process, but knew it could be improved, enabling multiple operational factors to be made safer and more efficient.


“We use the services of Royal Mail to distribute deliveries; a system which relies on filling York Roll Containers with up to 40 delivery boxes, then safely manoeuvring 49 of those containers onto one individual articulated lorry. On any standard day we may load just one articulated lorry using a fork lift. However, when our busy periods take full effect, such as Valentine’s Day, we can load in the region of 39 lorries and have the need to take on additional agency staff to make delivery deadlines.”


Julian explains how during such industrious periods, pressure to pick up the pace intensifies. If a fork lift is unavailable, or if temporary staff require specialist training, the whole packing process slows down. To improve efficiencies and keep busy periods flowing, he chose to research options for an appropriate loading system; and through the internet, found the appropriate services of Darmax.


By being centrally based, Julian was able to visit the company, and discuss with James Corfield, Director of Darmax, his exact loading situation, so the most appropriate solution could be presented. James adds:


“By listening to Julian’s requirements, it became clear that Flowerline needed a walk ramp solution that was portable and could be transferred quickly from vehicle-to-vehicle. It had to be lightweight too, so an operative could move it by hand, rather than with a fork lift truck.


“The solution we designed was ideal, as it could enable pedestrian staff to manoeuvre trollies by hand along the walkway and up the ramp into waiting lorries. Specialist labour wouldn’t be required to enable the ramp to perform to full capability, and to use the apparatus safety, temporary staff would simply need to follow simple loading guidelines, rather than receive specific training.


“The ramp has also reduced both the amount of time a fork lift truck has to work and the time it takes to load a lorry, helping Flowerline to be more cost effective and efficient.”


“We were extremely impressed with the concept Darmax presented,” Julian adds. “As we talked through our requirements, we envisaged the ideal loading solution taking shape, thanks to the experience of a knowledgeable manufacturer.


“At the time of the briefing, Christmas was fast approaching, which means we’d given the team a tight timeline to work to. Darmax met timescales to the exact day, and provided finished equipment that is high spec and high quality. The service we’ve received has been top notch, and the now completed and installed ramp has turned out to be everything we’d expected.”


James concludes, “We’re delighted to have been involved in a project which has provided Flowerline with superior quality and a well-designed solution; all within a specified timeframe. By visiting Darmax and having the opportunity to see the standard of its equipment, and see products being demonstrated, Julian has been able to envisage a solution that would best meet his company’s loading needs. We’re pleased to have fulfilled the project’s design requirements and ensuring the equipment was up and running by December 18th – a realistic time for Christmas deliveries.”

Dock leveller at Edwards Recycling


Edwards Recycling, a leading deliverer of resource and waste management services to businesses in and around London, has increased its productivity by 20 percent thanks to the installation of a new dock leveller from Darmax UK.

Founded in 1966, Edwards Recycling has grown from strength to strength, widening its territory and increasing its capacity to recycle cardboard, mixed papers and plastic. Previously, it had utilised a manual dock leveller, consisting of a steel bridging plate and a small moveable ramp, which had to be attached to the delivery vehicle by hand each time a container was loaded. This process then had to be reversed to allow the vehicle to depart – all of which was extremely time consuming, manually exhaustive and potentially precarious.

Simon Edwards, Managing Director of Edwards Recycling, explains more: “Our existing dock leveller had served us well for a number of years, but we decided it was time to see if there were any alternative methods on the market that would help streamline our loading processes and make the company more efficient. Following an Internet search, we discovered Darmax UK.”

When it came to designing the dock leveller, the team faced several challenges. Firstly, the fixed dock height was far lower than the containers being loaded, creating the potential for vehicles to drive over the dock. Secondly, space was at a premium and Simon had requested that the new design allowed for the biggest turning circle possible inside the warehouse.

Working closely with the customer, Darmax UK created an automatic bespoke dock leveller for Edwards Recycling. The final design incorporated steel bumper supports which raised the impact point on the loading dock; a three and a half metre dock leveller which still retained the required gradient of seven degrees whilst providing the optimum amount of space within the warehouse; and an automatic control panel which enabled operatives to utilise the dock leveller with the push of a button.

“We have determined that the move from a manual to an automatic dock leveller is saving us around 15 minutes per container we load,” continues Simon. “We currently load between ten and 12 containers per day, but we anticipate that this new installation will enable us to load an additional two, increasing our productivity by over a fifth.

“The leveller was also upgraded from a standard six-tonne capacity to ten-tonne, future proofing the solution and making it a long-term investment which will continue to serve even if the business – and the loads – increase.”

James Corfield of Darmax UK, is delighted to hear that the new installation has had a tangible effect on Simon’s business: “Our aim when designing a loading or unloading solution for any of our clients, is to ensure that it makes them more efficient, more effective, and most importantly safe. It’s reassuring to hear that the new dock leveller at Edwards Recycling has enabled them to increase productivity, whilst also planning positively for the future.”

New loading platform at Sovereign


Following its recent move to new premises, Sovereign – a leading supplier of take away packaging to the upmarket food and coffee to-go industries – has used the services of Darmax UK to successfully install an enabling new loading platform within its warehouse facility.


Sovereign, a company that successfully supplies its packaging to companies including EAT, Vital Ingredient, Pure and Venus relocated its operation in June this year to a 54,253 sq. ft. warehouse in Leighton Buzzard.  However, with no loading dock in place, a solution to accommodate and streamline the company’s significant loading and unloading needs had to be sourced.


“Our business relies on effective container loading and unloading facilities”, explains company founder and chairperson, Barbara Feldman, “and while the new Leighton Buzzard premises has recently been refurbished, and offers improved logistical benefits, we knew we would have to source and install a suitable loading solution for the building to be truly effective.”


A supplier recommended the services of Darmax UK, an authorised and highly reliable distributor of loading dock solutions.  A bespoke solution was configured by the team that would make logical use of two of the building’s existing level access doors.  Designed for internal installation, the platform featured two dock levellers, one aligned to each door; two double hinged barriers to the front and three to the rear; treadplate decking; and access steps with a side platform.


The apparatus’s design meant the equipment could be relocated if required, giving Sovereign the option to dismantle the equipment and transport it to new premises if necessary in the future.


“We were extremely pleased with the loading platform’s design and its subsequent, very efficient installation, which was completed by a skilled team of engineers, at a fair price.


“With the work now completed we’re able to speed up the entire loading and unloading process, safely and effectively. The move to our new premises has without doubt, made sense logistically, and the decision to add a Darmax UK loading system to our new operation has been a sound financial choice.”


James Corfield, Director of Darmax UK, has been pleased to learn that Sovereign’s bespoke loading bay installation has worked so well, and is already delivering results. He says: “It’s been satisfying to be part of a design project that has made a building more enabling for a successful British enterprise, helping to better facilitate its exciting future.”