Combilift forklifts are the trucks of choice for Garnalex
\"A good idea that just keeps on getting better\"
Garnalex is the latest venture from CEO and stalwart of the profiles industry Roger Hartshorn, who has now turned his attention to aluminium. The company has made substantial investments in a new extrusion factory in Nether Heage, Derbyshire to revolutionise the way aluminium windows and doors are fabricated, installed and sold. It has also invested in a fleet of Combilift multidirectional forklifts which play an integral role in ensuring maximum efficiency in this advanced facility.
\"While PVC-U and timber windows and doors have been transformed over the past 30 years, there\'s been little investment or development in residential aluminium ones,\" said Roger. \"We are extruding aluminium for trade customers now and the upcoming launch of our innovative Sheerline® system will significantly improve fabricators\' and installers\' experience of buying aluminium systems and windows, making them easier, faster and better to fabricate and install. In a similar vein around twenty years ago, Combilift was also instrumental in revolutionising handling and storage procedures when it developed its original C-Series forklifts. I was one of the first at the time to recognise the qualities of these trucks as being crucial to high levels of safety and operational flexibility.\"
The scale of production in the 100,000ft² factory, which is able to extrude four tonnes of aluminium an hour, requires a coordinated approach, and as well as doing the heavy lifting, the Combilifts are fitted out with weighing scales, bar code scanners, QR code readers and PCs. These feed information into the GarnerSys bespoke management and tracking system developed by Garnalex\' in-house software team, enabling the precise location of all products to be identified at any time.
Garnalex initially took delivery of two 4 tonne C4000 trucks and a Combi-CB with 2.5 tonne lift capacity, all with LPG power, 4-way capability and painted in special Garnalex livery colours. Two more C4000 models are on order, which were chosen for their ability to be used as universal trucks, outside as well as inside, for handling raw materials and finished products in all areas. Multidirectional ability is a particular benefit for long loads, such as those typically handled by
These forklifts offload incoming logs, 7m long, four to a pack, which each weigh around 800Kg. The exact weight of each load is checked, a barcode is affixed to the logs before they are taken to storage and then to one of the two extrusion presses. The trucks bring 7m long baskets of extrusions - identified by QR codes - to the ovens, and back to storage areas once the cooking process has been completed. The 5.5m triplex masts fitted to these models enable them to pass under low doorways, and lift goods to high storage bays when extended. They also handle and load the 3m long, 3 tonne boxes of scrap that are sent back to Wales for recycling.
The Combi-CB, the first truck of its kind to combine compact counterbalance design with multidirectional capability, was designed to carry pallets as well as longer loads and is also used for handling plastic extrusions at LB Plastics, now part of the Garner Holdings group and co-located in Nether Heage. \"This truck\'s clever design makes it a useful \'halfway house\' so to speak and its versatility is a great asset,\" said Roger.