Swartberg Levensmiddelen Fabrieken BV is a medium-sized, family-run business that specializes in producing nuts and derivative products. For many years now, Swartberg has been operating in the international nut sector and has acquired many leading supermarket chains as satisfied customers both at home and abroad. Using RollerForks®, Swartberg is able to unload containers faster and more economically while still complying with all applicable health and safety requirements.
PEANUTS DELIVERED IN BIGBAGS COULD BE MANOEUVRED BY FORKLIFT TRUCK
The quality of the final product is largely dependent on the quality of the ingredients used. This is why our purchasing department only uses extremely reliable and reputable Argentinean and Brazilian suppliers for the delivery of the necessary ingredients.
‘Until a couple of years ago, we used to receive peanuts stacked in individual sackcloth bales weighing 50 kg. These bales were virtually impossible to lift. In order to unload containers, we had to use at least two people. Not only was this extremely demanding physical work, but it also took several hours to empty the container. In addition, the 50 kg bales also had to be passed on as part of the production process.
This was far from ideal for our staff because of the heavy physical load this imposed on them. Health and safety directives were clear about this and Swartberg dearly wanted to comply with these requirements. This was why it was decided to have peanuts delivered in bigbags weighing 1,250 kg that could be manoeuvred by forklift truck. Bigbags were initially placed on wooden pallets inside the container.
Hygiene requirements, for example HACCP, were also becoming increasingly stringent demanding that pallets be fumigated according to ISPM 15 directives. This was making the use of pallets increasingly expensive and we had to swallow these additional costs,’ explains Dirk Han Kuiper, Deputy Production Director at Swartberg.
ROLLERFORKS® SLIDE EASILY BENEATH THE SLIPSHEETS
‘We were already in negotiations with Toyota Material Handling because our old forklift trucks were in need of replacement. During these talks, Wim Vos – our Toyota contact person – pointed out that RollerForks® were potentially an ideal solution making pallets redundant. We practically ordered the RollerForks® the instant we had seen a demonstration of their use. RollerForks® are mounted on the fork carriage in the same way as regular forks. RollerForks® slide easily beneath the slipsheets on which the bigbags are stacked. As soon as the load is positioned squarely on the RollerForks® and these are raised, the rollers drop to allow the load to rest stably on the flat metal surface of the forks so that it cannot shift inadvertently. As soon as the forklift truck lowers the RollerForks® to the ground, or onto a pallet, the rollers rise to allow the bigbag to roll off the forks as the truck goes into reverse. It’s an amazingly simple system. We had already recovered our costs for the RollerForks® after only four months. Currently, we can unload a 40 ft container in about forty-five minutes, which is three times faster than manual unloading.’