Bulk handling forces combine to shake up unloading specification


Two bulk handling specialists have joined forces to combine their sixty years of experience to offer the sector a total-solution combining industry design expertise and established manufacturing skills.

Specialist hydraulic manufacturer, Advanced Actuators and engineering designers, Ashton Bulk, have already fulfilled two multi-million pound contracts together for major clients in the bulk handling industry. They are now specialising in wagon tippling technology offering a full consultation and design service, along with the manufacturing facilities, creating a turnkey service solution.

Mechanical, hydraulic and electrical design, intelligence and control systems can now be provided under one contract making customers’ projects much easier to manage.

Managing director of Advanced Actuators, Chris Woodhead, explains: “We have found from working together in the past that we offer complimentary services and work really well together. We’re aware of a gap in the market for a one-stop-shop where consultants can find experts to deliver their entire bulk handling projects from consultation, delivery and installation through to testing and commissioning. In short, we’re offering the brains and the muscle under one roof.

“We’re seeing a growing trend towards the use of tipplers over bottom dumpers in industries such as power, steel and ports, wherever unloading and stockyard equipment is used. It can be very costly to buy and maintain a fleet of bottom dumping wagons and tipplers tend to be more cost-effective and able to handle trickier loads such as outsized, frozen or sticky materials. We’re now able to service that market from end-to-end.”

The two companies first worked together in 2017 to deliver high-capacity train unloading systems for projects in South Africa and Guinea.

Joe Dudman, projects director at Ashton Bulk, adds: “Since teaming up with Advanced Actuators, we can provide all the expertise that engineering consultants need in one place. By carefully selecting a supplier at specification stage, it’s possible to save significant amounts of money, simplify the process with less suppliers, and ensure longer lifespan of plant.

“Well-made and maintained equipment designed to recognised design standards should last for up to 40 years, but those who have chosen to buy cheaper products from China and India in recent years will find that they will be replacing them much sooner than they should and any downtime is going to be incredibly expensive. Therefore, it’s recommended quality plant is specified from the very beginning of a project to avoid delays and expenses associated with repairs and replacements.

“We’re a smaller partnership than some of the big players, and that allows us greater flexibility and we’re much more willing to travel globally and to remote locations to provide a truly personal service and reaction times you are less likely to receive from larger organisations.”

Advanced Actuators has clients in the oil and gas, bulk handling, power, water and nuclear sectors such as Shell, Petronas, EDF Energy and BP, supplying standard and bespoke hydraulic engineering and servicing across the globe, including Europe, India the Middle and Far East.

Ashton Bulk provides engineering design and project management solutions to the bulk materials handling industries throughout the world and have engineers with experience dating back 50 years.

For more information, visit www.advanced-actuators.com.