Case Studies: Bisley

The Customer

Bisley Office Furniture is the largest manufacturer of office storage solutions in the UK and one of the largest in Europe. With a history dating back to the 1930s, the company is based in Bisley, Surrey, and Newport, South Wales, having a combined footprint of 64,000 square metres and employing over 700 staff.

The factory in Newport produces over 20,000 pieces of furniture each week. With a focus on modern design and precision engineering, Bisley is renowned for its advanced manufacturing processes including CAD techniques and robotic production cells. Exports have been key to the company’s growth over the years; Bisley has sales offices in France, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Dubai and its products are sold to clients in over 60 countries worldwide.

The Challenge

Bisley decided to build a new storage and distribution centre adjacent to its site in Newport. However, with the new facility separated from the existing factory by a public highway, Bisley needed a solution to transport finished goods from the production plant to the new warehouse.

The solution was to construct a bridge through which pallet loads could be transported by conveyor. As the 80m-long bridge was to be built some 8m above ground to allow for passing traffic, Bisley needed to be able to raise pallet loads from ground level to the bridge and then lower them again on the other side.

The Nerak Wiese hoists were delivered on time and to budget. They were up-and-running with a minimum of commissioning and uptime on the hoists is excellent.
Martyn Walters, Senior Production Engineer

The Solution

Nerak Wiese supplied two hoists, one for each side of the bridge, in order to lift and lower the pallet loads of finished products traversing the bridge. Nerak Wiese specified counterbalanced reciprocating hoists to elevate and lower the goods, which were to be transported on wooden pallets 1.6m wide by 1.2m deep, with a maximum load height of 2.5m andwith a maximum weight of 500kg.

The speed of delivery required was one pallet every 60 seconds, although the solution delivered achieves a rate of one load every 45 seconds in practice.


The Benefits

The hoists supplied to Bisley Office Furniture have been extremely reliable despite intensive use. They are also remarkably energy efficient. With the counterbalance being equal to the average weight – between full and empty – of the pallet lift section of the hoist, a counterbalanced hoist has the advantage of needing smaller electrical motors, which are more energy efficient. Considering the throughput of the system at Bisley’s Newport site – with one pallet load every 45 seconds crossing the bridge throughout a full shift – this adds up to a considerable saving in energy.

In addition, the counterbalanced hoists feature rubber chain technology, with rubber being moulded around pre-stretched, high-tensile steel cables in a high-pressure vulcanizing process. Use of these lubrication-free, low-friction rubber chains lowers the energy consumption of the hoists even further, making additional cost savings in terms of electrical power.

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