Wakefield’s Atkin Automation eliminates manual handling for Hull cladding company


Atkin Automation has designed and built a solution that completely eliminates manual handling in Hull-based Eltherington’s production process.

Eltherington makes aluminium cladding for the leisure Industry, and was looking for a solution which enables them to maintain a quick turnaround between coil changes. The ‘A’ frame style de-coiling mandrels designed and manufactured by Atkin Automation mean Eltherington’s production staff can now carry out these regular changes to the coil without operator input, therefore reducing the need for manual handling and enhancing health and safety.

The solution developed by Atkin Automation, part of Wakefield-based Group Rhodes, involved replacing all 13 of Eltherington’s existing ‘A’ frame type decoiling mandrels with the addition of Atkin’s standard two stage mechanical gearbox. When used in conjunction with a torque limited battery or pneumatic hand tool this allows quick change-overs with no physical input from the operators.

Craig Dunn, Eltherington’s Group MD, said: “Our operators are delighted with the new mandrels, which have made our changeovers far simpler and improved overall efficiency in our processes. Atkin Automation has met our requirements exactly and we expect to see production output and efficiency increase as a result.”

Geoff Barker, Sales Manager at Atkin Automation, said: “This project is testament to our design and production expertise in creating bespoke solutions to customer issues.  There is a need to reduce manual handling in many industrial production processes for enhanced health and wellbeing of the workforce, and this solution for Eltherington shows how we can do this whilst also increasing efficiency.”

Atkin Automation’s units, which have a capacity of up to 2000Kg x 1600mm long, are also balanced so that the lifting points are in the correct position when at rest for transport and loading via a fork lift tine.