Union Industries open the door to innovative efficiency gains

Martin-Brower UK Ltd, part of The Martin-Brower Company, L.L.C., has continued a long and successful relationship with Leeds-based Union Industries by becoming one of the first companies to take advantage of its innovative Ice-Pic freezer door.

17603-2After identifying a procedure that cost the company valuable production time and often resulted in heat ingress into the freezer, Martin-Brower UK called in Union to help drive greater efficiency at its Heywood distribution centre.

Prior to the installation, employees had to walk out of the freezer area to the chilled loading dock via a large external door in order to take labels from a printing machine, then walk back into the freezer to continue the process. Now, with the help of Union’s Ice-Pic Door, much time is saved as operatives no longer need to exit the freezer to collect their printed labels – they simply push a button on the wall in the freezer and the fast acting door, which is positioned over a waist high 600mm x 600mm hatch, opens up quickly to allow workers to reach through and pick the labels from the printer. The door then closes automatically when operatives leave the vicinity of the opening.

Union’s patented Ice-Pic Door is a hybrid of Union’s ground breaking Eiger Door and its most recent innovation, the Picadoor. By combining features from both, the company has created a fast acting door which is capable of operating on small internal openings between chilled areas and freezers with temperatures as low as -30 degree Celsius.

Safety is paramount at Martin-Brower UK. The Ice-Pic Door, which is perfect for small hatches such as at Heywood, pedestrian use doorways and potentially for small conveyor openings from chill to freezer environments, includes one safety photocell as standard and a wireless contact safety edge to reverse the door back to the open position should it come into contact with an object within the opening. The door at Martin-Brower’s distribution centre also has an active infra-red (AIR) sensor positioned above the opening on the cold store side which ensures additional safety for operatives using the Ice-Pic Door.

Martin-Brower UK is part of The Martin-Brower Company, L.L.C. – a global supply chain solutions provider to the food service sector and a strategic distribution partner for some of the world’s most successful quick service restaurant chains. With 67 distribution centres in 19 countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, South America, and Asia Pacific regions, they have been serving major fast food companies since 1956 and are renowned for creating innovative and efficient solutions for delivering products to customers.

Alan Hirst, Sales Director at Union Industries, said: “The Ice-Pic Door is a great addition to Union’s extensive range of high speed doors. We are always evolving to meet our clients’ needs and I’m sure that this door in particular will meet quite a few.

“It’s great that a company such as Martin-Brower UK has decided to once again opt for a Union door; it speaks volumes for the quality and durability of our products as well as the after-care support we provide.”

Ian Robertson, Process Improvement Manager at Martin-Brower UK, commented: “We already use a number of Union doors across our UK sites and had no hesitation in calling to enquire about another. When we explained our challenge, Union were already in the process of developing their new Ice-Pic Door which turned out to provide the ideal solution.

“Union has made this a hassle-free process from day one and ensured that the installation caused minimal disruption, allowing us to be fully operational throughout. An added bonus is that we are also saving energy as well as making big efficiency improvements; the installation of the Ice-Pic Door is not only saving us around 7 minutes picking time per man hour but also means our operatives no longer need to leave the freezer through a large door just to pick labels!”

www.unionindustries.co.uk