Movetech UK has helped Kinnerton prepare for the Easter rush by delivering equipment which allows the chocolatiers to expand and reduce its production line as required.
At present, it's all systems go for the Norfolk company ahead of the chocolate-lovers favourite festival – Easter. This requires extending the production line to full capacity and that's where Movetech UK helped out.
Each unit that can be added to the production facility weighs 1,500kg and making them mobile was a tough task before the company contacted Movetech UK, which has provided Hovair air skates that allow machinery to move around with ease.
The light weight and light duty air bearings (known as LAs) allow Kinnerton to move some equipment in and around the factory.
Compressed air and a smooth operating surface are all that is required to enable air skates to virtually eliminate friction. Unlike wheels, air skates provide omni-directional capabilities, meaning that a load can be moved in any direction without the need for complex turning manoeuvres.
Available in a variety of sizes and capacities, a set of four air skates can carry anything from 2 to 60 tonnes.
Kinnerton's first set of LA14 air skates was added to a chocolate enrobing machine which can be moved in or out of the production line, depending on the requirements at the time. A second set of six LA10 skates is fitted to a conveyor which allows it to be moved into various positions along the production line as required.
Tony Bond, an engineering supervisor at the Kinnerton production plant, explained: "We have purchased ten air skates from Movetech this year, to go with the eight existing air skates from years ago. Most of our production is bespoke. We've got a couple of very heavy machines, and we use the air skates to move them on a resin floor.
"We use the air skates in the chocolate bar production area. To move our machines takes around five minutes from start to finish. I like using them because they don't damage the floor and then they don't move once you've put them down. You inflate them, move the machine, put it down and it stays put. We don't even have to re-level the machine."
Tony added: "We have two machines on heavy duty air skates. We move our machinery around like there's no tomorrow. We never have a production line set up in the same way for more than two days. We're totally customer driven."
Movetech UK's Technical Director David Houghton said: "Kinnerton is like many other manufacturing companies in that demand for different products rises and falls throughout the year. The best way to cope is to employ a flexible production line, and that is what Kinnerton can do now that we have added air skates to key pieces of equipment. A new combination of machinery is only ever a few minutes away thanks to the manoeuvrability that Movetech UK's products deliver."
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