Unilever has improved their base soap powder shipping efficiency by 80% and reduced their handling stage and cost by 50%.
Unilever Australasia challenged A-Ward to design and build a fully customized container unloader into an existing factory to enable Unilever to switch from one cubic meter bag transport of base soap powder into bulk single lined 20ft containers. A-Ward set up both the loading factory in Thailand and two unloading factories in Australia and New Zealand. The customized 20ft container unloader system had to incorporate a special unloading hopper, with set angles, maximum discharge system with safety procedure. The design also had to enable fully remote locking and movement of all functions and once fully tilted discharge into an above ground factory feeding conveyor. Unilever wanted a “Solution Finder” and not a “Problem Finder”.
A-Ward’s team worked with the Unilever engineers, safety management and operation teams to compile a design which meet their standards, which achieved minimum particle segregation of the base powder. A-Ward built an easy to operate but technically advanced customized “Tilt and Raise” style Unloader for a 20ft container, with a special 3.2 meter long stainless steel track mounted hopper. The “Tilt and Raise model lifts the container up to a set height above the ground, allowing an area for the hopper to handle the full container load when at a 70 degree tilt angle. This system doesn’t require special transportation and could hold the fully loaded container in an elevated position for extended periods, while incorporating a weigh scale system. The container doors are manually unlatched and easy access was provided to open the internal container liner, when in the horizontal position. The complete system is controlled by a specially designed PLC, safety sensor system with self diagnostics. This was coupled with the hydraulic locking system to achieve the highest level of safety.
Unilever improve transport efficiency by 80%, with container transport weight going from 11mt to 19mt. A-Ward removed several material handling steps with inherent product risk, including storage and handling. By using a customized A-Ward container unloader, Unilever has been able to maximize operator safety, reduce labor and unload as fast or slow as they desire without incurring additional cost. Unilever was focused on keeping perfect particle distribution through the transport and unloading process, which was achieved by collaboration with A-Ward.