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Waterline of Newport Pagnell has taken delivery of fifteen 12-tonne Volvo FL 4×2 rigids from Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London, Milton Keynes.

The vehicles are the company’s first Volvo trucks and are being used for the nationwide distribution of kitchen components from worktops and units to appliances and even lighting.

Group Logistics Manager, Matt Elborough says: “Driver and road-user safety, environmental impact, fuel economy, driver comfort, reliability, usability and network support were all identified as prerequisites when it came to renewing what is essentially over one third of our entire 40-strong fleet of trucks and vans.”

“In choosing the new trucks we started with a blank sheet and looked at all the options. Through this exhaustive process it was the Volvo FL that stood out as the only truck that met all of the criteria we’d defined at the outset. Needless to say, I think the Volvo iron mark on the front also does wonders for our corporate image, which is an added bonus,” he adds.

For overnight accommodation the new trucks’ day cabs are fitted with Super Sky Cab conversions by Hatcher Components of Framlingham, Suffolk and bodywork is in the form of ‘Cheetah’ fast back bodies from Cartwright Group of Altrincham for enhanced aerodynamic performance.

“We take the environment extremely seriously,” explains Matt. “Everything about these new trucks, from the fuel saving curved roof through the highly responsive and effective 6-speed overdrive I-Sync automated mechanical gearbox to the high torque at low revs 210hp engines is about efficiency and limiting our impact on the environment. This attention to detail has already been borne out in fuel figures that show we’re returning over 16mpg. This has really impressed.”

Running a low chassis frame height of 850mm above ground and with two bag rear air suspension, the new Volvo FLs have been specified with safety and comfort very much in mind. “The Hatcher conversion is the most comfortable for our drivers,” says Matt, adding, “Air suspended and heated driver seats with additional lumbar support continue that comfort theme into the cab and our drivers appreciate it. I am positive this investment has boosted their morale.”

When it comes to safety the new Volvo FLs are bristling with features and technology designed to put well-being to the fore. ”Driver safety is massively important to us as is that of vulnerable road users,” says Matt. To these ends, the new trucks are specified to FORS and CLOCS standards and include forward, rear and nearside facing cameras. Additionally, we have supplementary lights fitted in the steps on the driver’s side as well as additional lighting at the top of the box body to illuminate the loading area plus a Dhollandia tuck-away tail-lift. Furthermore, the box has been specifically tailored to precisely meet our needs in respect of safe loading and fixing.”

Dealer support from Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London at Tongwell in Milton Keynes has been pivotal in the realisation of the fleet renewal. ”The service from Tongwell has been excellent,” states Matt. ”The dealership really looked after our earlier non-Volvo trucks and I was keen to continue this relationship. Furthermore, when it came to specifying these new Volvo FLs, the dealer really helped us to arrive at something that is ideal for our needs. And with a 3-year Gold Repair & Maintenance contract I have confidence for the future.”

RUSCON, a leading transport company in Russia, has installed an automated system for loading mineral fertilisers at its terminal close to the port of Novorossiysk on the Black Sea.

The bulk cargoes are delivered by trains arriving from all over Russia and then loaded into sea containers or packaged in big-bags before being taken to the port for export.

“This automated system, which is much faster and more efficient than traditional methods, ensures that exactly the specified quantities are loaded into each sea container or big-bag,” says Igor Stolovitskiy, deputy director of the Ruscon terminal.

The system loads 200 MT (metric tonnes) per hour into the containers or 60 MT per hour into the big-bags. It can handle all types of mineral fertilisers including urea, nitroammophos, ammonium sulphate, potassium chloride and calcined coke electrode.

Hopper wagons of all types and open cars with bottom discharging are suitable for this automated system and the railway ramp adjoining the complex where it is housed can hold 10 wagons.

The complex is equipped with dust extraction, vibro-download and wagon shifting capability and it is certificated to handle granulated sulphur and ammonium nitrate.

The installation of the new loading system is part of RUSCON’s commitment to continue to improve its services to customers. It already has a strong demand for its expert container stuffing services at the off-dock terminal.

RUSCON handled almost 120,000 containers through the port of Novorossiysk in 2015, an increase of 11%, despite a significant fall in the country’s overall container traffic.

Frimpeks is a market leader in the development of inks, varnishes and coatings. A relative newcomer in the low migration arena this specialist product category will be a major topic of discussion at the forthcoming “drupa” international trade fair in Dusseldorf (May 31-June 10). Frimpeks technical staff will be on hand to discuss the science behind this important shift in the ink and packaging industries in Hall 03/B35.

But what does the industry mean by “low migration”?
Low migration describes packaging materials whose chemicals will not migrate, or move, from the packaging into the product. It is particularly relevant in the food, pharmaceutical, beverage and healthcare sectors.

Materials include printing inks, coatings and adhesives which must not have any migratory chemicals which would affect the odour, flavour, appearance, taste, or the safety of the product contained within the packaging.

When printing a job that requires low-migration properties, there’s far more to consider than just loading up the press with a low-migration ink. In general, the term low migration ink refers to ink formulated without use of raw materials that have been identified as being able to pass through a substrate. Given there are so many different combinations of inks, print processes, and applications. Therefore printers are advised to work closely with their ink supplier to match up the substrate, process and application.

Frimpeks technical team offer open access to decades of experience and the laboratories in order to deliver a bespoke service to our customers. A substantial amount of research and testing is required to ensure our products are fit for purpose, in turn providing peace of mind.

Our partnership approach means our customers are encouraged to apply best practice manufacturing techniques. Understanding substrates, print speeds and the curing process are the keys to making sure the low-migration ink is fit for the application purpose. Frimpeks representatives will be on hand to discuss how they can assist print converters in a variety of aspects. For example, best practice when curing low migration inks.

Industry commentators interpret the concept of low migration in different ways. One view is it refers to the transfer of various components from the finished package into the food product. Low migration inks really refer to products that have been developed by ink suppliers to help the printer achieve desired results in accordance with current regulations. Others focus purely on producing inks that are formulated to limit migration to the minimum parts-per-billion levels through their chemical composition.

A bio-mechanics study, recently commissioned by health & safety specialist, Pristine Condition, in conjunction with Tesco Distribution, has revealed ground-breaking results, and helped the supermarket retailer achieve 60% reduction in manual handling incidents.

The purpose of the study was to objectively and technically measure the manual handling risk reduction when applying Pristine Principles across a number of key Tesco Distribution Centre manual handling tasks.

Using ViSafe wireless motion sensor technology, the study measured movement and muscle activity when undertaking the tasks pre and post Pristine Condition’s manual handling training.

The tests were undertaken across a range of tasks comparing the outputs both before and after Pristine Condition manual handling training. This included the loading and pulling of cages, and loading, unloading and stacking pallets. The results were exceptional. Objective data provided by ViSafe quantified the advantage of Pristine Condition techniques in reducing risk for injury across all tasks assessed as ranging between 35% and 94%, in particular reducing muscle demand by up to 73%.

Tesco Distribution had historically followed the same route as many other companies – following HSE guidance and hierarchy of controls. However, because that approach often fails to properly address the issue of incorrect technique then predictably manual handling incidents were still prevalent, causing injury to colleagues and cost to the business.

Tesco took the initiative to employ Pristine Condition – H&S Specialist and global leader in manual handling – to create a bespoke training programme to address manual handling incidents across their Distribution Centres.

For the first time ever Pristine Condition brought Olympic weightlifting techniques to industry, dispelling many myths and fallacies, and introducing realistic, achievable Principles and control measures.