Equipment & Technology

Transmin teams up with A-Ward to tip bulk containers

Transmin and A-Ward have teamed up to provide a novel way of speeding up the bulk material delivery process.

Time is money in the bulk handling sector, especially when it comes to the delivery process. If a truck is stuck on site, waiting for others ahead of it to be processed, the demurrage fees can start stacking up quickly. 

Any unscheduled downtime due to, say, equipment failure or high winds stopping the tipping trucks from discharging, can add up to significant cost.

Lance Hockly, international sales manager at A-Ward, said, increasing productivity, reducing transport costs and providing a safe work environment are a vital concern for all of its projects. 

“One client needed to receive plastic pellets. During a loadout, there would be four trucks waiting and they had to pay for the whole convoy,” he said.

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A-Ward container loaders and unloaders are designed to enable fast transportation of bulk materials into 20 and 40 foot shipping containers. Their solutions can help any operations that uses containerised freight to increase profits and reduce costs while achieving the highest international safety standards. 

The containers can be inserted into the container unloaders either directly with a standard trailer or from above with a forklift crane or reach stacker. For businesses that want to unload material slowly, or at a certain time in the future, full containers can be stored on site until required. 

A hands-free remote control allows a single operator to tilt a container as part of the loading and unloading process, minimising labour costs and dramatically speeding up the process when compared with other traditional loaders. 

Hockly said A-Ward loaders and unloaders are highly customisable, making it suitable for any business that ships bulk materials in containers, even liquids. The company has provided solutions for the agriculture, chemical and pharmaceutical, food, minerals, plastics and recycling industries, and has completed successful projects with companies like Nestle, Unilever, Coca Cola, Pirelli, and Cargill.

“We work closely with our clients to determine what they need, depending on their site and application,” he said.

“The tipping height is a common change. To be able to raise a 20ft container filled with 22 tonnes of product 4m off the ground, and then tilt it to 60° – it takes some serious engineering”

“We can also include transfers, platforms, hoppers, chutes, remote control or manual controls, traffic light systems, programmable logic controllers, factory integration, and scales.”

Safety measures are paramount for A-Ward, which is why the business designs its equipment to meet European standards. 

As part of the collaboration process, A-Ward encourages the site’s safety team to get involved at the very beginning – instead of treating safety as an afterthought. 

Automation is integrated to remove any risks to nearby people, and further safety measures can be incorporated if required.

The Australian connection

WA-based Transmin began to collaborate with A-Ward in 2010, following a project on which the two businesses collaborated.

Adam Dodson, Transmin’s director of aftermarket, said the team was impressed with A-Ward’s product.

“The concept of partnering with A-Ward was a no-brainer,” he told ABHR. “They have a unique product that would drastically help our customers’ productivity and safety.”

Transmin’s connections with Australia’s mining industry, especially in WA, helped seal the deal. 

The company is also the exclusive Australian and Papua New Guinea distributor, and as part of this Transmin’s aftermarket team provides support throughout the lifecycle of the product. Key account managers will work with customers to troubleshoot any problems that might arise.

Transmin’s range of products means the business can act as a one-stop shop for additional equipment and infrastructure.

“We’re based in Western Australia, which means we can provide fast, efficient turnarounds,” Dodson said. “We also carry a range of widely used fast-moving items from our Perth and Brisbane warehouses to also reduce lead times.”

Growing in grain

The next market the two businesses are targeting is Australia’s grain industry. 

Global economic trends are pointing towards a potential food shortage, which Hockly predicts will cause Australian grain exports to become more important than ever.

The unloading solution can present significant benefits for grain growers and bulk handlers, as it minimises the number of times the grain needs to be transferred to a different vessel.

“Every time you handle the product, you’re adding cost to it,” Hockly said. “Shipping grain is no different, there is a lot of unnecessary handling expensive storage which could be avoided. Imagine the savings of time and cost reduction if grain were to be loaded at source and transported to the port and placed directly onto the more available container ships and sent directly to the end user. Containers are effectively 20 tonne silos if you think about it.”

“Producers could instead load a sealed and food-safe shipping container, which is protected from pests, to then be shipped via standard container freight.

“It also allows for more flexibility, smaller shipments and less handling. Containerised shipments can be offloaded at port directly onto standard trailers and sent directly to the end user.”

The two companies have already begun working with the is one of the world’s leading malt producers. They are working on a project to install loaders and unloaders at its sites in Australia and New Zealand. 

Dodson said Transmin has incorporated the units within numerous projects, such is their versatility.

“They work in any industry that uses standard sea containers, including waste, recycling, minerals processing, agriculture and general logistics,” he said.

“We’re excited to help businesses speed up their deliveries.” 

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