Eliminating Manual Handling & Reducing Risk with a Transfer Pump

Manual handling is often the first stage of trialling a new production process or method of production.

When a new process, technique, additive, or mixture is created, it is sometimes necessary for personnel to manually test a process, refining procedures until they work as desired.

But what if such a procedure creates an unforeseen problem or risk?

Current Manual Handling Process

North Ridge pumps were contacted by a soap manufacturer who were manufacturing conditioners. They had recently installed a Wax Melt as part of a new process, with production split across 2 levels, with Wax melted and mixed at ground level, before being carried to a mixer on an upper gantry 4M away.

The Wax was being melted at 80°C and the current process involved decanting the hot liquid into buckets, with personnel then carrying the hot liquid up metal stairs using the containers several times a day.

Around 200kg was being moved each day by hand which was laborious, as well as having a risk for potential disaster, as not only was the liquid likely to burn, and carried above other operators, but when lifted across to the upper gantry, it sometimes spilt creating a slippery coating on the stairs which had to be mechanically removed.

Manual Handling Guidelines & Duties
Although the weight of the wax in each bucket was only 14kg, with each day of production needing over 15 buckets, there was the potential for improvement of the existing procedure.

The current guidelines for manual lifting have a limit of 16kg for Women and 25kg for men but this is reduced if items are held above head height, away from the body or held by an operator whilst sat down.

HSE encourages employers to avoid hazardous manual handling, by avoiding the operation as reasonably practicable through either redesigning the task, automating or mechanising a process.

The average fine by the HSE in 2021 for Health & Safety prosecutions was £145,000 per case, an increase of 35% from the year before and the customer was keen to find a way of improving their existing system.

Avoiding Hazardous Manual Handling
After discussing our customers existing process, we established they not only wanted to remove the manual handling aspect of this process, but wanted to automate transfer, eliminate risk of injury, and have personnel spend their time on more productive activities rather than be fatigued by mundane tasks.

Having had experience of eliminating manual handling and automating transfer in other projects we knew how to solve their issue. Automating fluid transfer not only provides improved output and productivity it reduces the likelihood of injury whilst also limiting or reducing any liability.

We specified, selected and supplied a progressing cavity pump of hygienic design, with Stainless Steel casing and internals with a chemically resistant stator to handle any Oils, Wax and Chemicals within the soap up to 100°C. Transferring at a rate of over 100L/min the unit vastly out performed the existing methods, as well as providing scope for future increases in production. After the solution was implemented, the cost benefit was described as a “no brainer” with the results experienced.

If you are looking to simplify a process, improve productivity, automate transfer, reduce risk, eliminate spillage, and waste, whilst also benefiting from the 2021 Budget super deduction, speak to us to see how we can help.