Electric Tow Tractor Helps Bentley To Improve Its Environmental Rating

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By investing in an electric-powered, pedestrian-operated tug, Bentley Motors has reduced deliveries of leather to its Crewe plant by 50 per cent, improving the company’s environmental rating, whilst doubling leather handling productivity.

“We needed a compact machine to do a big job and, as a responsible business, we weren’t prepared to let our staff manually handle the larger loads,” says Stephen Taylor, Project Manager of Product Optimisation Engineering at luxury carmaker Bentley Motors.

He continues: “Our risk assessment identified the potential for strains, pulls and fatigue, so a powered unit was going to be the only solution. The MT3 [from MasterMover] was identified as being powerful enough to pull the load, but narrow enough to work in the restricted space and to be stored neatly away from the production line, when not in use. The machine has not only eliminated the health and safety issues for us, but it has also helped us to double productivity for this process and improve our environmental rating.”

Bentley Motors already used several electric-powered, pedestrian-operated tugs supplied by MasterMover at the state of the art manufacturing facility in Crewe. Stephen Taylor was looking for a similar handling machine in order to double the capacity of the company’s ‘A’-frame hide horses, which are used on a daily basis to transfer leather to the cutting area for preparation. This leather is then cut to shape for use on the car’s interior.

In a move designed to cut the company’s carbon footprint, the P.K.O. (Produkt Kosten Optimisation) team at Bentley identified that it could reduce the weekly delivery of leather from two wagons down to one. By simply doubling the number of hides on each ‘horse’ from 60kg to 120kg, the delivery miles would reduce by 50% - a green credential for any manufacturer to be proud of. However, this left the team with another problem to solve. With the weight of each ‘A’ frame horse increased from around 200kg to 400kg, the team could not expect staff to manually handle these heavy loads. A forklift truck was also not an option because of restrictions in operational space, so Bentley turned to MasterMover to recommend a solution.

The MasterTug MT3 from MasterMover, already a known quantity at Bentley for manoeuvring vehicle bodies, was identified as the best tool for the job. The machine’s compact size and manoeuvrability were particularly appealing to Taylor, since space was at a premium in the cutting area of the production floor.

The MT3 can push, pull and steer wheeled and semi-wheeled loads up to 2,400kg in weight. The machine’s patented technology moves the weight of the load on to the drive wheel through a coupling system, thereby ensuring maximum traction from a very light and manoeuvrable machine. Very simple to operate and with a range of integrated safety features, the machine is ideal for use in busy manufacturing environments where space is at a premium.

Hugh Freer, Sales & Marketing Manager at MasterMover is delighted to be working with Bentley again: “MasterMover is proud to be a British manufacturer ourselves and to supply one of the icons of the British automotive sector is always a rewarding experience. I’m particularly pleased that as well as enabling production efficiencies, our equipment is also playing a part in Bentleys carbon reduction programme.”

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Electric Tow Tractor - MasterMover
Published : 26/03/2009

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