CHEP unveils a state-of-the-art service centre at Severnside near Bristol
CHEP, the world's leading provider of pallet and
container pooling solutions, announced today the opening of
a state-of-the-art pallet repair facility at Severnside, near
Bristol in the UK. The service centre at the eight-acre location on
the new Central Park development represents an investment of £4.6
million, and replaces CHEP's service centre nearby in Avonmouth.
The facility is equipped with the most advanced automatic
fault-detection and repair equipment available.
The Severnside facility is manned by 95 full-time CHEP employees
working across a three shift pattern, ensuring a 24-hour, seven-day
operation. It can process approximately 100,000 pallets a week with
most of the inspection, repair and repainting process occurring
automatically. The service centre features the latest laser system,
which checks the pallets for damage while an automatic cutter
identifies and removes broken pallet components. A robot then fits
new pallet components as required and nails them securely in
CHEP Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Howard Wigham, said:
"As a business, CHEP helps its customers to move, store and protect
their goods through the supply chain in a cost-effective,
safe and environmentally sound way. This new site
strongly reflects our overall business ethos and will improve
platform consistency and quality for our customers."
While CHEP's site in Manchester has the automatic inspection
system, Severnside is the first to combine it with the repair
technology. The new system has additional capabilities, such as
being able to automatically remove and replace top and bottom
boards and is also able to remove the internal support "stringer"
components that hold the top and bottom decks of the pallet
together pallet, a process that was previously manual. The stringer
is the board in the centre of the pallet between the top boards and
the blocks and which are difficult and time consuming to repair
manually. Through the use of the latest equipment the Severnside
plant is capable of running at very high speeds, processing up to
1,200 pallets per hour at its peak.
Further improvements at Severnside include reduced turnaround
time for vehicles providing collections and returns, as a result of
three extra lanes, which improve segregation of vehicles entering
and exiting the site. In addition, drivers can exchange paperwork
with the service office without leaving the cab, reducing queuing
times while improving driver safety.
The new building has been designed to minimise its carbon
footprint and reduce operating costs. Rainwater is collected and
used to wash pallets as well as to flush toilets onsite, while
thermal panels on the building's roof are used to heat the water.
Motion-sensitive passive infrared lights ensure electricity
consumption is kept to a minimum, while 12% of roof space provides
natural light, further reducing energy consumption while creating a
more pleasant working environment.
The increased use of automation will minimise manual handling
and repetitive operations while improving health and safety.
Segregation of people and vehicles inside and outside the building
also contributes to a safer working environment.
Kevin Galvin, Program Manager for CHEP UK, Ireland &
Benelux, said: "This site clearly leads the field technically, and
includes many features to improve both the performance and welfare
of our staff. In addition, the whole pallet inspection and repair
process is quicker as all the work takes place on a continuous
production line, whereas previously batches of pallets would have
to be moved from one line to another. The site is also one of the
first in the UK to comply with BREEAM's tough 2011 environmental accreditation
scheme for industrial buildings."
 BREEAM: Building Research Establishment
Environmental Assessment Method
BREEAM, the most widely used international environmental
assessment methodology, has been applied to over 1,000 buildings in
Europe, Asia, and America. Its success is largely a result of a
benchmarking approach; comprehensive coverage of issues related to
energy, environmental impact, and health and productivity; and the
identification of realistic opportunities for improvement as well
as potential additional financial rewards.