Established in 1988, Unisurge International are a leading manufacturer and supplier of medical provisions to healthcare professionals, these range from dressing packs, surgical instruments, medical disposables including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), together with all essential supplementary items.
They have been distributing products globally for over 30 years with a vast range of products from some of the world’s leading manufacturers and are currently heavily committed in supplying and supporting the NHS through the COVID-19 crisis.
Due to the critical nature of their business and their clients growing demands, Unisurge have to maintain a comprehensive range of products in stock ready for fast-track picking, packing and delivery.
To meet the demands Unisurge embarked on a large capital investment program to meet the projected growth which included a need to upgrade the operation by way of a new single level mezzanine floor coupled with a more automated picking and packing system to increase its production capacity by over 50%.
The brief, was to find a solution to replace the old technology currently moving the product between production and warehouse areas located over 2 independent levels. CSL were tasked to provide a reliable, robust and efficient solution, besides allowing for future expansion, was to increase pick/pack volumes on both floors whilst feeding tote bins to/from a positive pressure clean room environment on the ground floor with the capability of reversing for stock replenishment up to the upper floor level.
As CSL have considerable experience in providing conveyor and lift solutions across multi-floor applications and installed many types of conveyor systems across the UK for a diverse range of customers, CSL were the obvious choice.
An automated conveyor system was proposed which included a means of easily accessing/connecting the upper floor order picking area with the ground floor clean room while keeping the conveyor footprint to a minimum.
The Qimarox MK1 vertical elevator proved to be the most space efficient and cost effective solution without compromising the capacity requirements. Working in tandem with a flexible conveyor solution, a 24v DC motorised roller non-contact queueing system, provided the level of control and accumulation which suited the clients demands.
Also, the equipment specified was suitable for use in an unclassified clean room environment.
The intelligent roller conveyor system allows products to transit, index and accumulate on demand, allowing the operators to simply place the totes onto the conveyor, which are controlled and automatically feed to/from the lift.
In the event of a build back and the conveyor line becomes full, the product is simply arrested within its own self contained powered zone, until the upstream area is free. The lift and conveyor all move in complete harmony.
This functionality allows the operators to feed and unload the totes in a controlled and safe manner, with no complication separation devices required.
The system was designed to be fully reversible to enable not only finished / packed totes to be removed from the production area, but a replenishment of empty totes to be provided on demand to feed to the production area.
A fully interlocked safety fence arrangement around the lift allowed for safe entry/exit of the totes.
An touch screen HMI provides simple and easy to use operational instructions as well as basic diagnostics, to complete a well finished solution.
A Unisurge spokesperson commented “… the new conveyor and elevator system makes order picking and dispatching orders much more efficient with faster turnaround times particularly for critical surgical products which means we can deal with higher demands and peaks, whilst also providing a very compact and space saving solution. We worked closely with CSL on this project and found the process from concept to installation and beyond, a smooth and professional experience”
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