Better by DesignRepeat orders normally operate in life cycles of somewhat less than 12 years but Shropshire-based Syspal view the long wait as a testament to its emphasis on design and quality.

It was back in 1996 when senior personnel from a leading infant food plant first explored ways to improve its intermediate handling of infant and dry cereal foods from its spray dryer.

Research visits to Australia and New Zealand – acknowledged as world leaders in the process – provided valuable insight into the way ahead. But in one area in particular, they knew they could improve on the Australian model: once spray dried, ingredients are stored before being dry blended. Our customer was convinced that using cardboard crates (each containing 600Kg of dry ingredients) was not the best storage solution.

They had a long established relationship with Shropshire-based Syspal who had supplied hygiene and washroom equipment for the factory, and confident of Syspal’s reputation for build quality and design, we worked closely together to develop a better alternative.

The solution was stainless steel stillages which accommodate replaceable protective cardboard liners. “The solution looks very straightforward but the old cliché holds true, that the best designs are often the most simple – and the Syspal stillages delivered exactly what we needed: they are easy to clean, they are robust and are very safe and easy to stack up to ceiling height. The stillages save a huge amount of labour and furthermore, they mean that we can store intermediate produce for longer and that means improving efficiency, consistency and quality” explains the Engineering Manager.

One further equation where the stillages have out-performed expectation is in that of sustainability. Cardboard crates have a life expectancy of maybe 15 cycles whereas the Syspal stillages look as good today as they did 12 years ago.

Increased production at the factory has resulted in a recent order for an additional 80 stillages with all of the original 200 ordered 12 years ago still going strong. It seems that built-in obsolescence is one concept that hasn’t yet reached Syspal.