Tuesday 11 February, 2014
When recently put in the Hot Seat, our chairman, Peter Guttridge, was asked to name the most successful product his company produced. The HiLoad bucket elevator was his answer and he went on to qualify it by explaining why this particular machine has such a unique place in Guttridge’s history, and indeed its future.
The principle of operation of a bucket elevator is simple to understand. A series of buckets or scoops mounted on a central belt travel transport material vertically upwards, discharging it as they pass over the high point of the elevator. It’s easy to imagine that this basic approach to lifting all manner of materials from grain and sand, to cement and animal feed, has been applied for centuries, albeit in the form of some what makeshift machine designs.
The Guttridge HiLoad bucket elevator design began life in the late 1980s. Peter remembers working on the original design and was closely involved in two subsequent iterations to refine performance which has, of course, been subject to continuous improvement since the product was first launched. Innovation over the intervening years has fashioned the HiLoad bucket elevator into the successful product of today and perhaps most importantly given it the versatility to meet each new bulk materials handling challenge as it arises.
In fact, each HiLoad that leaves the factory is subtly different, uniquely tailored to its intended application. Buckets may be stainless steel, plastic or reinforced for greater wear resistance for example. The belt may be heat resistant, oil resistant or specifically designed for hygienic food and drink applications. Optical sensors are an option for those who need constant performance monitoring while self-cleaning elevator boots help those who fear cross-contamination. ATEX rated machines are available for zoned environments. And so on.
The flexibility that has been spun from the core HiLoad design, which continues to evolve, is responsible for its success and underlines a crucial point when it comes to bulk materials handling solutions. Processors reaching for the very highest levels of reliability; energy efficiency; hygienic operation; or product quality, can’t be served by a ‘one size fits all’ product. The availability and knowledgeable exercising of choice has now become essential for successful bulk materials handling, however you choose to define success.
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.
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