September 2021

News 0 6 | Plant & Works Engineering September 2021 The Irish manufacturer Combilift recently marked a further milestone when its 60,000th unit came off the production lines at the company HQ in Monaghan and was shipped to the other side of the world. The customer taking delivery of this special forklift is Metroll, a leading Australian manufacturer and supplier of steel building products including roofing, cladding, rainwater, structural and fencing. Metroll has branches across the country, and the new Combi-CB3000 will be a further addition to its fleet of 13 Combilifts that are operating throughout the Metroll Group, with another 10 already on order. These range from 3t multidirectional units to a highly customised 10t model. Combilift number 60,000 will be working at the site in Toowoomba and has been fitted with features such as 4.9m triplex mast with a 3050mm spreader to safely and easily manage the long loads that are typically handled by Metroll. Metroll operations manager, Vic Josephs, commented: “Like most businesses we are very busy and we’re also growing at a significant rate, so space has become a premium resource. With this unit we can utilise our space more efficiently whilst at the same time operating safely. Safety is of paramount importance. This forklift allows our machinery to get into tighter spaces and for us to space our racks more closely together to maximise factory floor space.” Combilift CEO and Co-Founder Martin McVicar added: “This is a great achievement for Combilift, particularly as almost every truck we manufacture is a one-off, designed for specific and individual requirements. There are very few other companies, if any, that can offer this level of customisation whilst manufacturing in such volume. The first half of this year has been by far the best in our 23 year history for the number of orders we have received – not just for Combi-CB models but across our complete product range.” Following the successful collaboration with Metroll in Australia, Combilift now also supplies its trucks to the company’s Californian based operations too. “We have often found that a recommendation from one country leads to sites elsewhere adopting the same material handling processes with our products,” said Martin McVicar. “So we’d like to congratulate Metroll on taking delivery of our 60,000th truck, and thank them for their continued support over the years.” Combilift’s 60,000th truck delivered Made Smarter, the government backed tech adoption programme, is helping the North West chemical sector to digitalise and grow. The North West’s £10bn chemical industry is set to grow further thanks to the support of Made Smarter. The Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North-West, a collaboration between UK government and industry designed to support the increased use of digital technologies, has worked with dozens of SME chemical manufacturers to capitalise on the opportunities that digitisation offers. Through impartial expert technology advice and match funding on technology projects, digital transformation workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps, a leadership programme, digital technology internships, and skills development, it is helping businesses in the sector increase productivity, achieve sustainable growth, and create new high value jobs. HMG Paints, an independent paint manufacturer producing more than 3M litres each year from its factory in Manchester, worked with Made Smarter to digitalise a time-consuming, paper-based process which increased capacity and enabled it to cope with the surge in demand during the pandemic. Rebecca Falder, quality systems manager at the 90-year-old, fourth generation family business, said: “Made Smarter’s Digital Transformation Workshop process was fantastic. We were able to streamline our thoughts, categorise and prioritise, and create a digital roadmap. It helped us identify our biggest challenge in our dispatch process, and with the right technology investment saved 40% of the time and reduced errors significantly.” Armed with a digital roadmap, manufacturers can grow progressively and sustainably, avoiding the wasted time, effort and money that comes from adopting technologies in a disparate way. Made Smarter is also forging a partnership with the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the leading national trade association representing chemical and pharmaceutical companies, including key clusters in the North West, North East, and Yorkshire and Humber. Commending the impact of the programme, Ian Cranshaw, head of regional affairs for the CIA, said: “The success of the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West has demonstrated the value of targeted support for SME manufacturers to help them take those first steps on their digitalisation journeys. The roll out of the innovative programme to the West Midlands, North East, and Yorkshire and the Digitalisation to help boost North West’s chemical industry