Carbis Loadtec Group was approached by Jim Park and his engineering team from New Britain Oils (NBO) to discuss options for tanker access and loading for a new plant being built in Liverpool.
The Brief: The brief was to load up to three tankers simultaneously with sustainable edible oil. The site was in early stages of construction and it would be a fast track project. The client had two very important objectives to meet:
- To ensure absolute safety while working on tanker tops and that the tanker would not need to be moved to locate the loading arm in any one of six manholes
- To safeguard food safety integrity so the tanker bays were to be inside a sealed building, and it was imperative that the doors could be closed to assist hygiene
NBO provided a very clear brief, which formed a key part of the project. Most clients demand a solution to make a certain problem go away. If the first supplier they approach has a range of basic or minimal solutions, they may opt for that because they are not made aware of the potential range of problems.
Conversely, a supplier with a broad range can present an array of solutions to meet the client’s needs. Jim and his team had a clear vision of what they wanted and what their constraints were. They wanted to load through a heated arm over a length of 10 metres along the tanker.
The feed line size is 4” so that made for a very heavy arm. NBO also wanted a cover to prevent debris from entering the open manhole. Given the nature of the liquid transferred, the arms needed heating and insulation as well.
Given that this was to be a state-of-the-art industry-leading refining plant, great care was taken to ensure that any design would be utilised for long-term efficiency and reliability. The Carbis Loadtec solution had to combine that ethos with fool-proof safety and assurance that any operator could step into the task and not jeopardise themselves or the integrity of the plant. It had to be designed so that one man could operate all three bays effectively, thus giving a payback.
The Carbis Loadtec team took NBO to visit a couple of sites locally that utilised different types of tanker access combined with long range loading arms. It quickly became apparent that what NBO needed was a system that combined the simplicity of a large cage, but with the assurance of top-of-the-range elevating platforms.
The Carbis Loadtec engineering team took these unique requirements and developed a hybrid system to fit. This was novel in that it provides aluminium 10m long platform with flip-up floor panels plus a permanent walkway, powered by air cylinders which have a vertical range of 1.5m; thus allowing safe access to any tanker between 3.2 and 4.2 metres high, without risk of falls.
This was coupled with a very long range loading arm that provided fingertip control throughout the working range to facilitate loading along the tanker length.
The system was installed smoothly by the site construction team with Carbis Loadtec providing supervisory support. The site has now operated for four years with the systems providing reliable and safe access and loading.
The physical and logistical challenges were not unique to NBO. Most clients have the same issues. NBO were receptive to adoption of innovation and so the upselling of technology and its benefits was not such an issue. It was clear that alternative designs would not have met their needs and they did not seek to compromise on their values of both safety and cleanliness.
The system that was designed as a hybrid has gone on to be Carbis Loadtec’s biggest selling tanker access system globally.
In fact Carbis Loadtec now produces hybrid versions of the system to suit rail loading stations. The NBO project is used as a shining example of the benefits that forward-thinking client management can bring. Carbis Loadtec has also worn out Jim’s doormat, taking customers from many parts of Europe to see how this system works and, more importantly how well it has endured in a 24/7 environment. Most have gone on to buy the system or a derivative of it.
Overhearing two drivers chatting on day while on a site survey for another customer, the Carbis Loadtec team heard one saying how the best system he had ever worked with in Europe was the one at NBO. That was the best recommendation one could ever hope to hear.
The Carbis Loadtec Advantage
Carbis Loadtec works very closely with our clients to provide a clear project scope; this may mean numerous tweaks to the project outline in order to meet each customer’s specific needs. Some clients come to Carbis Loadtec knowing exactly what they want and Carbis Loadtec is happy to work to that. With years of experience of working with a huge range of customers across all industries, Carbis Loadtec has developed tools to help customers decide what they want based on usage, and dangers involved.
"When we found out that our local terminal was closing down we needed a simple loading solution to keep our operation going. Last summer, we told Carbis Loadtec our challenge and they came back to us with a solution that ticked all the boxes. They were flexible when we wanted to tweak the specification then worked closely with us to ensure smooth delivery and installation before Christmas."