Case study: NGF (Europe) Ltd


The Problem

NGF EUROPE Limited is a manufacturer of reinforced glass cord predominately used in the automotive industry. The cord is plied together and wound onto plastic bobbins using traditional textile machinery.

Each bobbin produced weighs approximately 18kgs and involves manual intervention for removal from each machine after manufacture.

Under the existing system production, operators were expected to bend down and pull each bobbin from a spindle, carry it to an adjacent pallet/trolley resulting in quite significant strains and injuries. We needed to reduce this injury rate by adopting a safe and proper method of bobbin removal without slowing down the production process. Therefore, we had to provide the lift necessary to render a bobbin “weightless” for transfer from machine to pallet/trolley.

The Solution
Prior to the installation of any handling equipment, specific lifting techniques were introduced by a specialist training company for all staff likely to be involved in the movement
of bobbins. In conjunction with this, Handling Concepts Ltd was chosen to provide a solution, which, not only incorporated a bobbin gripper complete with hoist, but also integrated a rail support structure to form part of the machine creel assembly.

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The Outcome
The system was installed over three phases and all aspects of work from concept design through to final installation were implemented in an efficient and professional manner with minimum disruption to production.

Statistics before specialist training and installation:

• 11 Lost Time Accidents
• 198 Days Lost

After training and installation:

• 1 Lost Time Accident
• 18 Days Lost

Total improvement 91%.