Guttridge looks forward to new conveying challenges

Saturday 10 March, 2012

Guttridge looks forward to new conveying challenges

Driving global commodity flow: Guttridge looks forward to new conveying challenges

Despite recent economic difficulties, a report from Standard Chartered1 issued in 2010 suggests that the world is currently in the grip of a ‘super-cycle’, a prolonged period of historically high economic growth, in this case being driven by the industrialisation of emerging economies. Estimates that the global economy will grow year on year by, on average, 3.5%, well beyond the next decade, point to opportunities for those in bulk materials with the global flow of commodities continuing to rise.

“We’re certainly living in exciting and challenging times,” says Paul Gott, Sales and Marketing Director at Guttridge Ltd, a leading UK-based manufacturer and supplier of bulk materials handling systems. “For Guttridge, 2012 marks 50 years in business, a half-century in which we’ve delivered conveyors for a vast array of materials and have amassed substantial expertise across many different industries and applications. We will be celebrating this year but our driving focus is applying our knowledge and experience to developing solutions that support our customers in meeting the demands of 21st century handling and processing.”

Delivering solutions, whatever the application

At its large modern plant in the UK, Guttridge designs, manufactures and tests materials handling machinery for applications that span the dry materials sectors and beyond. Solutions specifically tailored to customer requirements are developed using the latest 3D software and manufactured in a state-of-the-art machining, painting and assembly facility. The product range includes:

• Bucket elevators
• Screw conveyors
• Chain conveyors
• Belt conveyors
• Load and discharge hoppers
• Vertical blenders and live bins

as well as the spouting and fittings, slide valves, diverters and other ancillary equipment needed to engineer a robust, integrated solution.

For any conveying application it is essential to select the best equipment for the job and here experience really does count. Guttridge makes equipment for feeds, cereals, and pet foods, chemicals and minerals, foods and pharmaceuticals. Such diversity informs the company’s extensive knowledge base and practical know-how. All of which are put to the best possible use when tackling new challenges.

”Conveying requirements continue to evolve,” reflects Paul Gott, “both in terms of scale and the range of materials handled. For example, the food industry has well-established processes but continues to develop new products that may be delicate or difficult to handle, or both. On a larger scale we now see more from the biomass and wastewater treatment sectors, involving some tough to handle or more abrasive solids. Storage facilities at docks, and at a national level, are tending to increase in scale, a change that drives demand for larger capacity equipment. “

A recent project with Heygates, the UK’s largest independent flour miller illustrates this trend. Here the brief was to increase grain handling capacity by around 700%, with the aim of improving efficiency and minimizing queuing times for grain delivery. Grain can be abrasive, so build quality and materials of construction played an important role in equipment selection. The installed solution which comprises intake screws, bucket elevators and chain conveyors works reliably with little downtime. Grain leakage has been eliminated, as have the lorry queues.

Delivering reliably, to agreed timescales

Engineering a solution that performs reliably and efficiently is critical, but reliability in meeting agreed delivery deadlines is equally vital. Conveying equipment is often installed as part of a much larger project so the implications of any delay can be significant. Well-run companies deliver to time and customers are increasingly judging performance on this basis.

“Our workshop, and the skills of those who operate it, are crucial to our business and our ability to meet customer requirements,” continues Paul Gott. “To position us for future growth we’ve recently carried out a comprehensive review. We measure the ability of the workshop to deliver using the parameter ‘On time, in full’ – which speaks for itself! With OTIF figures running in excess of 97% customers can be confident of getting the solution they need, when they need it.”

Looking ahead

As economies emerge and participate more fully in global economic activity, the demand for commodities rises, bringing with it requirements for associated conveying and storage solutions. The scale of growth in China, India, parts of the Middle East and South America will centre activity in these regions but for conveyor suppliers the goals remain the same.

“Whether you are conveying coffee or grain, cement or bauxite, what you need is reliable cost-effective solutions,” concludes Paul Gott. “Knowing how to handle an array of materials, and having a reliable partner with the ability to design and manufacture systems that really work is absolutely essential.”

Guttridge building

About Guttridge

With a foundation of 50 years of experience, Guttridge is a flourishing company, globally respected for delivering well-engineered, reliable materials handling solutions that continue to anticipate dramatically changing industrial needs.