York Container Tipper Description
The following is a technical specification for a York Container Tipper that was developed to eliminate the Health & Safety issues surrounding the manual unloading of York Containers and at the same time vastly improving the productivity involved in this task. In particular the system prevents operator fatigue and potential strains from continuous lifting of the mail and parcels and dramatically improves the ergonomics of the work preventing all lifting, bending, twisting and repetitive operations. The York Container Tipper lifts and tips a Royal Mail York Container full of mail or parcels onto a Conveyor Sorting System in a controlled manner and conforms to all UK & European Legislation.
The mechanical York Container Tipper is designed to lift and tip the Royal Mail York Container at a discharge height of 1000mm generally as per our Layout Drawing BP4013-1. The machine is a fully welded steel construction and is designed to be bolted to the floor. The York Container Tipper is powered via a Helical Bevel gearbox and tips the York Containers to an angle of 170 degrees. The York Container is wheeled into the lift frame and raised by the rotation of the lifting carriage by the motor gearbox. As the York Container is tipped over, the discharge of mail and parcels will be in a controlled manner to a full tip angle of 170 degrees. The York Container is securely retained in the lift carriage in the fully tipped position.
Current York Container Tipper Features
The current York Container Tipper has been developed over time to take into account many features deemed necessary to meet Mail Processing requirements and those of all other stakeholders.
These features include the following:-
- The system has been PUWER assessed by many different individuals and has passed their very stringent assessments
- The loading and unloading of the York Container is very simple and ergonomically friendly and constitutes no more of an effort than wheeling the container around any other part of a Mail Processing Centre
- The system operation is a very simple, safe, semi-automated operation in that once the York is loaded and the safety guard door is closed the tipping and return operation is one single continuous process
- The whole York Container Tipper is contained within a Safety Guard that meets the guidelines of the PD 5304 Safety of Machinery Specification
- The Guard gate is electrically and mechanically interlocked to ensure that there can never be access beneath the York Container when it is raised
- The machine structure is subjected to Examination using Finite Element Professional Stress Analysis Software that ensures that no part of the machine is subjected to excessive loading or stress
- The machine is subjected to a Safe Working Load Test at our factory with the test load being in excess of the Safe Working Load by 25%
- The York Container is positively retained in the lifting carriage by retaining members and can never fall out
- The control panel is fitted with a Safety Relay which monitors all safety switches at all times to a Performance Level D.
- The York Container Tipper is fitted with various Emergency Stop Buttons which are generally interfaced with all other associated process equipment
- The Safety Circuit is split into multiple Safety Circuit Zones to allow the guard gates to be opened and closed on the tipper without stopping the Sortation Conveyor
- The York Container Tipper Electrical Control System is built to the International Standard IE 60204-1 and includes both a PLC and Inverter to allow complete flexibility of all aspects of the tipping cycle and machine operation
- The Tipper operation is interfaced to ensure that it only discharges when the Conveyor System is running
- The System uses a Rotary Position Sensor to control the Full Up and Tipper Full Down functions with Proximity Sensors to detect over travel in either direction
- The Safety Guard Door through which the York Container is loaded is fitted with a solenoid operated Safety Guard Switch which mechanically locks the Guard Door shut during the tipping operation. At the end of cycle this gate can be released by operation of the Guard Release Push Button Station
- There are various illuminated push buttons and indicators to conform with the Royal Mail specifications
- To retrieve any parcels or mail that accidentally enter the area around the base of the tipping system, there is an approved Safe System using an Engineer controlled Key Switch to enter the safety enclosure
- The Safety Guarding has alternative interlocked safety gates to allow bagged mail to be emptied onto the sortation conveyor or for cleaning and maintenance purposes
- The maximum noise at the tipper operation position is less than 70dBA
- Base Handling Products carry out LOLER Inspection & Servicing of all our equipment on an annual basis
- We also offer comprehensive operator and engineer training on installation of new systems with appropriate Training Certificates being issued
Safety Guard to PD 5304 Safety of Machinery
The safety guard is constructed from 40 x 40 x 3mm box section and 3mm wire, 40mm aperture weld mesh to meet the guidelines of PD 5304 Safety of Machinery. It encloses the York Container Tipper to a height of 2200mm on two sides with a pair of interlocked hinged guard doors through which the York Container is loaded. The guard doors are electrically and mechanically interlocked to prevent the York Container Tipper from operating if either door is open. Additionally, the guard doors can only be opened when the lift carriage is at the full down position to prevent access whilst a load is raised. There are a further pair of electrically interlocked safety guard doors that will allow access into the side of the safety guard at the tipping area to retrieve any parcels that may fall out at this position and also to allow access for cleaning and maintenance.
Inclined Infeed Conveyor
The York Container Tipper discharges onto an Inclined Infeed Conveyor that feeds the parcels into the rest of the Primary and Secondary Sortation System.
Guarded Machine Electrical Control
The York Container Tipper is fitted with an IP65 Control Panel which is mounted on the safety guard and incorporates all of the controls for the York Container Tipper and the Inclined Infeed Conveyor. Both the York Container Tipper and the Conveyor Control include Inverters to allow for speed control.
The York Container Tipper uses a Rotary Position Sensor to stop at the full up and full down positions. It also uses Over Travel Proximity Sensors which are independent of the Rotary Sensor. The Control Panel is fitted with a HMI that also allows certain new features including:-
- Adjustment of the Full Up position
- Adjustment of the Full Down position
- A Tipper Counter
- Selection of the Mail Sweep Mode
The York Container Tipper control sequence is as follows:-
- The York Container is loaded into the York Container Tipper and the Guard Door closed
- There is a photo sensor inside the safety enclosure that senses that the York Container is loaded correctly before the container can be tipped
- The Control On button is pressed followed by the System Start button which would cause the York Container Tipper to lift and tip
- The tipping cycle is automated so that once the full up position is reached and all of the mail is tipped out, the York Container Tipper will return to the full down position to allow the empty York to be replaced
- The guard gate interlock switch is released via a ‘Guard Release’ push button which allows the safety guard door to be opened
- The empty container can then be removed and replaced with a full container and the whole cycle repeated
The York Container Tipper has a safe method of entering the safety enclosure to retrieve any mail that may have dropped to the floor within the enclosure. The procedure is as follows:-
- An Engineer will select the Mail Sweep mode using the HMI and then drive the lift carriage to the full up position using a hold to run key switch
- Once the York Container Tipper activates both the Full Up position on the Rotary Sensor and then the Over Travel Proximity Switch, the machine will stop and the motor gearbox brake will automatically engage preventing the machine from moving
- The Engineer can now use the Guard Release Button to open the Safety Guard Gate
- As soon as the Interlock is released, the York Container Tipper safety circuit is disabled preventing the machine from operating
- With the safety circuited disabled it is now safe to enter the safety enclosure and retrieve any mail
- Once the mail is retrieved, the safety guard door is closed and the Engineer uses the key switch to drive the machine to the full down or home position
- Once at this position, normal operation can be resumed
York Container Lift Application Story
The York Container Tipper has been developed within the Mail Processing Industry over a number of years and has been hugely successful in increasing the productivity in handling mail and at the same time improves the ergonomics of the work preventing all lifting, bending, twisting and repetitive operations.
The York Container Tipper has been widely well received by employees, unions and management alike and the earlier applications have now seen over 2 million York Containers being tipped. Our initial contract back in 2012 was to supply 6 off York Container Tippers to work in pairs to feed parcels onto a parcel sorting system. This was a very labour intensive job with onerous manual handling tasks involving lifting parcels from the York Container, then turning and twisting to place the parcel on the conveyor belt. The original task required 6 operators to load the conveyor and they would empty approximately 20 York Containers per hour. The dual York Container Tipper Systems tipped the whole York Container onto the conveyor and the machines were interfaced to only allow one to discharge at any time, thereby not overloading the conveyor. The process now only required 2 operators to load the tippers and between them they could discharge up to 80 containers per hour.
At an average parcel fill of 130 parcels per York Container, this equates to 260,000,000 parcels that are no longer manually handled. We have since installed machines at multiple other Mail Centres and the performance of recent systems has been developed and improved to the extent that we can now discharge between 60 – 65 containers per hour.
The York Container Tipper has gone through a stringent design process and has been tested under intense operational conditions, passing with flying colours. They have been PUWER assessed on multiple occasions and the Technical Evaluation and Design File is exceptionally comprehensive. Ultimately, the York Container Tipper is a reliable, robust tipper design that will significantly improve the productivity associated with emptying mail from containers whilst completely removing all detrimental ergonomic tasks associated with this process. The bottom line is that the York Container Tipper will save any mail handling company significant amounts of money by offering a drastic productivity improvement.
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