Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Fork trucks – Explosion proof

Pyroban is an international group of companies trusted to provide a range of safety critical solutions to some of the most well-known global consumer and industrial brands. The explosion proof conversion of forklift trucks for use in hazardous areas is one of Pyroban’s principal activities and this year, the company expects to convert in the region of 800 units in this sector.

matthew_shirkie[3]Leading forklift truck manufacturers authorize Pyroban to convert their latest models for use in manufacturing and storage areas where an explosive atmosphere could occur. Superior safety is critical where the risks are high for industries including chemical, paint, food, drink, waste, coatings, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, bottled gas and logistics.

With headquarters in West Sussex, UK, Pyroban delivers complex engineering solutions from manufacturing facilities in the UK, the Netherlands, China and Singapore. With the benefit of being part of an organisation on America’s Fortune 500 list, Pyroban offers its customers and their customers the lowest possible risk in high risk industries. Pyroban remains fully independent of truck manufacturers and by explosion proofing all brands of forklift trucks, provides end users with the opportunity to choose their preferred supplier.

Matthew Shirkie, Head of Industrial Division spoke to Warehouse Logistics News.

WLN – First of all, what does your role involve day to day? Has it changed since last year?

I am responsible for managing the global business strategy for Pyroban’s Industrial Division. This means that on a day to day basis I am communicating with Pyroban teams across the world to make sure we are achieving our business goals, and delivering quality products and services to our customers globally.

Pyroban provides explosion prevention systems for all brands of forklift trucks and other mobile industrial vehicles such as access and cleaning equipment. My role therefore involves working directly with the equipment manufacturers and suppliers whose customers operate with high risk operations where flammable materials are manufactured or stored. These ‘end users’ may also need hazardous area consultancy and training from Pyroban and a variety of other solutions which I am also involved with.

I am based in Horsham in West Sussex, UK, and travel regularly to all Pyroban facilities in Europe, China and South East Asia. Last year I was regional General Manager (EMEA)for the Industrial Division, so my role has grown significantly.

WLN – 2013 – How was it for you?

In 2012, we reported a record year with approximately 800 explosion proof conversions undertaken for businesses across the world. This year has been challenging as the global economy continues to struggle, but we expect volumes to be in a similar region.

These are strong sales figures in a difficult market, so it shows that companies are placing great importance on the safety of their people, brand image and security of their supply chain. They are also continuing to place their trust in the Pyroban brand.

WLN – How has the Explosion Proofing category been performing this year? What do you see as the most significant recent developments?

We are finding that many companies are still delaying investments in capital equipment expenditure, which is a global phenomenon. For us, it can be said that Europe has been better than most regions, and the UK has been better than most countries in Europe, but generally the market is flat.  We have however seen growth in China and other parts of Asia.

One of the biggest developments for us is diesel technology, which has been getting more complex each year. DPFs, turbochargers and SCR to get the emissions down proves difficult when making machines explosion proof. The requirements of customers are also ever increasing, but that is the same for every business.

It seems that towards the end of this year, businesses are becoming more financially stable and those who delayed purchasing new equipment are now moving forward with making decisions.

Businesses operating old equipment with high service costs are making replacements and some businesses seem to be increasing safety in areas where previously they had done little or nothing. Just because an area is not formally classified under ATEX, DSEAR etc. there may still be a risk of explosion driving demand for our Gascheka duo™ systems, particularly into the third party logistics sector.


WLN – Have you moved into any new business areas in the last 12 months?

As a group, we have had deeper engagement with our primary markets such as oil and gas, industrial and mining with our existing product portfolio and services.

WLN – What was your biggest investment to improve your business this year? What else have you done?

Pyroban is committed to the continuous improvement of the products, services and aftermarket support it offers its customers on a global basis.

In 2013, due to continued high demand, our commitment has led us to invest over £2m in a new manufacturing facility in Shoreham by Sea, UK. As a result we are now offering customers reduced lead times for systems and products supplied through both our Industrial and Oil and Gas divisions.

At the beginning of 2013, we also made further investments in our facilities and staffing levels in China to help meet existing and anticipated domestic Chinese demand.

With recent investments and double the space we now operate a 2,600 square metre facility in Suzhou that has helped to increase capacity and reduce lead times. We have also improved productivity, optimised our quality control systems and reduced waste as a result.

WLN – How are your existing products and services doing? Have you developed or upgraded your existing products and services recently?

We work with all brands of forklift trucks and convert all types of equipment from VNA, reach or pallet trucks to diesel cranes and access platforms which are forever changing and different. Product development is therefore part of everyday life for us at Pyroban.

system6000™ remains the very latest Zone 2 ATEX and internationally compliant system for the explosion protection of forklifts. Launched in Europe in 2011 we are still in the process of informing the market, particularly in Germany, the many benefits of “Active” Zone 2 protection and the importance of having the choice of infrared or pellistor sensing technologies to ensure the most appropriate technology for any given site.

For lower risk applications, often involving the storage and distribution of finished goods, we can offer the increasingly popularGascheka duo system. Gascheka duo, together with a robust risk management procedure, allows for the controlled use of material handling equipment in non classified areas.

Pyroban_logo[5]WLN – What’s been your company’s single biggest achievement in business this year?

I believe our biggest achievement has been the development of even stronger relationships with OEMs and dealers across the world. By working as an independent supplier, we have provided explosion proof safety solutions to some of the biggest companies in the world and helped keep their staff safe from the risk of explosion.

WLN – What was your favourite business moment in 2013?

Traditionally at most of the trade shows, Pyroban is seen as a forklift truck company, but this year at IMHX, I believe Pyroban expressed itself with its full breadth of services and products. From hazardous area consulting and training services right through to equipment conversion and related support services, I was proud to represent Pyroban on the stand and show how we support the industrial sectors with a complete explosion prevention solution. The message was so powerful that we didn’t even have a converted truck on the stand.

WLN – Do you operate in any other countries besides the UK? How are you getting on there? Have you gone into any new territories recently?

Pyroban operates globally with customers all over the world. We do have manufacturing bases in the UK, Netherlands, Singapore and China with local representation in many other countries. Most recently we have increased our presence in Scandinavia, Germany, Iberia and France.

WLN – Can you tell us about your major projects this year, and what they involved?

This year we have been involved in explosion proof conversions spanning the chemical, coatings, food, drink, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, military, oil and gas, bottled gas and logistics industries. Many of these orders are part of a large truck fleet. For example, in China we converted 15 Nichiyu forklift trucks for international paint and coatings brand, Valspar, and 16 Toyota forklift trucks for Bauhinia Shanghai, another large coatings manufacturer. There is a story and complex risk assessment behind each project.

WLN – Can you tell us about your plans for 2014? Where do you see your business going?

We are expecting similar sales figures for 2014 but we will be making some major operational changes in Europe to make our customer experience even better.

We are being challenged by the ever increasing technical complexity of new models of material handling equipment, electronically controlled engines, progressive emission standards and an impending new European standard for the explosion protection of industrial trucks. To meet these challenges we will be restructuring our business so that all future Ex conversions of electrical trucks will be undertaken at our “Electrical Centre of Excellence” in the Pyroban BV Netherlands factory in Hendrik Ido Ambacht and all future Ex conversions of IC engine trucks will be undertaken at our “Diesel Centre of Excellence” in the Pyroban Ltd UK factory in Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex.

Each factory will be equipped with the very latest test facilities to ensure all Ex conversions fully comply with the ATEX 94/9/EC directive and all appropriate European standards. Trucks will be tested in accordance with the EN1755 duty cycle and issued with relevant certification and manuals. Our engineering, operations and QA teams will continue to work closely with the industrial truck OEMs to ensure all trucks are converted to explosion proof standards without any compromise to their continued compliance with the European Machinery directive and ISO 3691.1.

The new manufacturing facility, the introduction of the “Centres of Excellence” and a focus on developing a range of Ex systems for both diesel and electric trucks will help ensure reduced factory lead times and reduced truck conversion times. We will continue to receive enquiries, process orders and support systems in the aftermarket through our Sales Teams, Product Managers and Customer Service Centres in the UK, France and the Netherlands.

WLN – Are you looking at taking on more staff or expanding your premises next year?

We will be expanding our Headquarters in the UK and taking on more staff across the world. To meet the demands expected by our market and to meet shipping dates, quality and ISO14001 requirements, and in pursuit of business excellence, we need to invest in the right resources.

WLN – Are you exhibiting at any major trade shows in 2014?

We will be presenting our industrial offering at CEMAT.

WLN – What other headline news from Pyroban can our readers look forward to reading about in Warehouse Logistics News next year?

We will be continuing our pursuit of excellence in product/service and customer satisfaction and driving our number one priority of safety forward.

Phone: 01273 466200

France: +33 (0)

Netherlands: +31 (0) 78 684 5570



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