An engineered solution from TES Communication Solutions is helping a leading chemicals manufacturer to improve operational efficiencies and reduce waste.
Total UK Bitumen, a division of TotalEnergies, which produces road and construction bitumen from its UK headquarters in Preston, approached radio systems experts TES Communication Solutions to help reduce the wastage from its hand-held two-way radios being damaged or lost while being used to load and unload vehicles.
Due to the high volume of loading taking place, up to 15 times per day at three separate loading points during peak activity, the company’s previous hand-held radios were regularly damaged, costing time and money to source and replace the radio systems. Many radios were being damaged beyond repair, resulting in a significant cost at £600 per unit and additional time on sourcing replacements.
Despite the problem carrying on for many years, it wasn’t until TES Communication Systems were contracted as a new radio supplier that a solution was found.
Having discussed the situation with Total and heard the thoughts of the team there, radio solutions experts at TES Communication Solutions designed a two-way call box which could allow for loading and unloading instructions to take place at a fixed location – eliminating the need for the hand-held radios which were being damaged.
The weatherproof callbox would also allow for supervisors to liaise with multiple cabs at any one time from the Central Control Room (CCR) to the fixed boxes at loading points, allowing for a more efficient process, in addition helping the division operate safely within an ATEX environment. A total of six callboxes have now been installed across the Preston site.
Rob Slater, Production Manager at Total UK Bitumen Division, said: “The hand-held radios we relied on for loading were problematic as any lost or damaged devices needed to be replaced almost instantly so they didn’t impact on loading. We didn’t have the time or expertise to solve the problems ourselves so we relied on our radio suppliers to provide us with the best solutions.
“Within three months of working together, TES have managed to find this excellent solution to solve our problem. We have now signed a service agreement with them and they will manage our radio system for the next three years and hopefully longer. Since we have started this partnership with TES the level of service has been exceptional throughout with the lines of communication always open to discuss issues or solve problems. We look forward to a long term and fruitful relationship with TES going forward.”
Steve Smith, Managing Director of TES, said: “This challenge provided the opportunity to work with a valued customer, with whom we are keen to build a long standing relationship, to create a solution to a problem which was previously costing both time and money.
“We were able to work alongside Total to find a solution which will reduce the need to replace damaged or broken hand-helds and make the company’s loading operations more efficient.
“It also gave our engineers the opportunity to come up with a bespoke solution which they developed as a team, and one which we believe will benefit many other industries.”
TES Communication Solutions analyses and upgrades radio networks across oil, gas and chemical sectors, where it can also supply ATEX radio solutions, including sourcing hardware, installation and repairs.
TES Communication Solutions’ radio systems have been installed in infrastructure systems around the world where there is a need for dedicated communications including: Taiwan, Guatemala, Gibraltar, Portugal and United Kingdom, as well as working with leading businesses in transport, oil and gas, banking, and pharmaceutical sectors.