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Transdek has developed and fitted a bespoke loading solution for Wincanton to increase efficiencies at Screwfix’s new Lichfield distribution centre opened in 2018.

The Yorkshire-based double deck specialist has installed four modular loading pods with a new, patent applied taillift pocket and a customised dock management system at the purpose-built, 562,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Wincanton, who has partnered with Screwfix for 12 years, runs the new DC site, which together with the Stafford DC services the retailer’s network of over 600 stores nationwide.

Wincanton asked Transdek, who had previously installed five double deck lifts at the Wincanton Screwfix Stafford distribution centre, to extend its product compatibility to service Screwfix’s single deck trailers with 2.5-metre long cantilever taillifts, as well as their double deck fleet.

Transdek’s engineering team redeveloped the company’s award-winning modular double deck lift pod to include a specially-designed taillift pocket that can accommodate the Screwfix taillifts in their open position. Each 5.8-tonne double deck pod carries 15 rollcages (860mm x 740mm) between the dock and both internal floors in the trailer. According to Wincanton, Transdek’s solution allows a double deck trailer to be filled more efficiently with a 50% time saving compared to taillift loading.

Andy Reed, Facilities Manager at Wincanton, says, “We didn’t want to use transformers to resolve the taillift issue because of their high maintenance costs and unreliability, so we tasked Transdek to come up with a taillift stowaway solution. The resulting products have more than fulfilled our requirements.

“We have worked with Transdek since 2013 and, once again, we have been impressed with their willingness, and their ability, to go the extra mile to provide exactly what we and our client need. Each of the four loading bays was installed in less than 2 days with a very high level of professionalism.”

Transdek integrated its in-house developed Connect dock management system as part of the package for Wincanton Screwfix. Each lift’s control panel incorporates software that streams customised, real-time information to dedicated maintenance and management personnel.

A heavy duty HMI touchscreen portal incorporated in to the lift control panels provides the same live and historical information on loading bay activity, service histories and plant operating status to onsite operatives.

Transdek’s Connect system gives engineers instant access to diagnostic information, so they can remote troubleshoot and carry out repair works as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Transdek claims its Connect technology reduces downtime in the loading bay by as much as 60%, and also helps to boost productivity.

According to Leon Butler, Managing Director at Transdek, “The Connect system provides our own engineers a remote login option, which allows us to support Wincanton’s onsite maintenance and loading teams. We estimate that this facility can reduce breakdown call-outs by as much as 80%, which offers a substantial cost saving benefit. It also allows us to monitor equipment usage, so we can offer more cost-effective and tailored cyclical, rather than routine, maintenance.

“Wincanton Screwfix are highly valued customers, and we are delighted to continue working with them. We pride ourselves on developing bespoke solutions for our customers, where needed, and are very happy with the outcome at the Lichfield DC.”

Transdek also designed and engineered bespoke wheel ramps to level trailers in the dock wells in front of the double deck lifts, which aims to improve the interface between trailers and the loading pods.

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