Pallet Conveyor for Long Clawson Dairy

The Client

Long Clawson Dairy, Melton Mowbray site

Long Clawson Dairy have been making award winning quality cheeses for over a century from their Melton Mowbray facility. Famous for blue stilton, Clawson also produce a variety of other cheeses which can be found in most supermarkets, restaurants and delicatessens.   

The Brief

Clawsons required 2 separate solutions for 2 different parts of their operation.  The first system was to handle 300kg pallet stillages, double stacked, of unprepared stilton cheese wheels. The brief was to design a lift system to handle the unique stillages and needed to be capable of being reversible between the floors. The start of the process sees the cheese stillages loaded at ground floor level and elevated up to a production area on a mezzanine floor, where the stillages are emptied.  Once emptied, the system runs in reverse to deliver empty stillages back to the ground floor. This area is chilled.

The second system is located in a separate part of the factory, for the start point, which handles the cheese at the end of line once packed and palletised. The completed pallets are required to transit away from the end of line production over to the storage/dispatch area in another building which is connected via a purpose built covered bridge over a road way. The pallets will then lower down to the ground floor ready to be unloaded by a forklift truck at an outfeed point.

Our Solution

For the pre-production system CSL designed a custom pallet elevator capable of handling the specially designed cheese stillages, with a reverse function in mind. For the system to work it had to be designed using double strand chain pallet modules.  Clawson loaded the stillages on at a designated load point protected by custom made forklift bump stops. The stillages then index into the lift infeed. This area is secured using both mesh fencing and light guards sensors.

The lift elevates the product onto the production mezzanine where it outfeeds onto a pallet turntable, this then discharges through a light guard and transits to the offload point ready for removal with a forklift truck. 

The empty stillages can be sent back down by simply reversing the system when empty and delivering to ground floor.  

The post production system works in a similar way, the portioned and wrapped cheeses are packed in cartons and loaded onto a conventional wooden pallet. The full pallets are loaded onto the pallet roller conveyor in the production area, these transit across the covered bridge over to the warehouse/dispatch building. Where the new and old buildings meet, the conveyor had to interact with a floor to ceiling fire shutter and to ensure this works correctly there is a gap between 2 conveyor modules that allow the shutter to completely shut. The fire shutter system was integrated within the CSL conveyor software, to ensure that a pallet can never block the shutter in case of an emergency.

After the transit section the pallet arrives at the lift area, if the cell is clear the pallet progresses through the light guards and into the guarded area, it then turns 90 degrees using a pallet turntable and in-feeds onto the lift platform.

Once the pallet has lowered to the ground floor, it outfeeds to a forklift offload point for either bulk warehouse storage or preparation for dispatch.

Long Clawson Quote. “We Found CSL to be very professional at all times, from the solution to completion of the project. The pallet system was completed on time ready for our peak seasonal period and performed extremely well throughout”.

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