Preston bitumen firm tunes in to help from radio specialist

The bitumen manufacturing plant at Preston Dock has been helped by a Leyland communications firm to cut waste.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 12:30 pm

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.

TES Communication Solutions, which has its headquarters on Bow Lane, Leyland, 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.

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.

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One of the radio call-boxes that Total UK Bitumen has had installed at its Chain Caul Way site at Preston Dock

Many were being damaged beyond repair, resulting in a significant cost at £600 each.

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.

The six weatherproof callboxes now allow for supervisors to liaise with multiple cabs at any one time from the Central Control Room to the fixed boxes at loading points, allowing for a more efficient process.

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 have now signed a service agreement with them and they will manage our radio system for the next three years and hopefully longer.”

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 costing both time and money.”

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