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Van den Bosch has signed an agreement with Etec for the development and supply of ground-level controlled manhole covers. This new generation of manhole covers has been developed for the transport of dry bulk goods and is unique in the market. “We’re combining innovation with safety to set a new standard in the supply chain”, says Barry Gruijters, Operations Director division Dry Bulk.
Increasing safety in the supply chain has the highest priority for Van den Bosch. “When it comes to equipment innovation, we are always looking for new ways to work smarter and safer”, says Gruijters. “For example, we have made a lot of progress in recent years with the introduction of ground-level controlled trailers and containers within the liquid bulk segment, which cut out unnecessary work at height. Now we are also introducing this way of working in the dry bulk market.”
Prevent work at height
With the introduction of the ground-level controlled manhole cover, Van den Bosch is taking the next step in the field of safety. “Together with development partner Etec, we went in search of a safer alternative to the manhole cover on top of a silo trailer or container”, says Gruijters. “Many loading locations already have facilities to work safely at heights, but this is not always the case at the unloading locations. As a result, a driver still has to climb on top of the trailer or container several times a day to open, close and seal the covers – and face all the associated risks.”
The new manhole cover prevents unnecessary work at height. The cover is completely ground-level accessible and pneumatically operated (by air pressure). It is therefore quicker and easier to open and close than the regular version. This not only improves user-friendliness, but also lessens the time that the cover is open which improves product safety. Leaks are also prevented because the cover can only be closed in one way. Moreover, the cover cannot be opened without accessing the controls which further enhances product safety.
Unique in the market
Gruijters has high expectations: “With this new generation of manhole covers, we are taking the next step in the field of safe working and increasing product safety. In this way we’re meeting the needs of our customers and partners. I am proud of the result we have achieved in collaboration with Etec. This manhole cover is unique in the market and will therefore initially be delivered exclusively to Van den Bosch.”
The first silo trailer equipped with the new manhole covers is ready now. Van den Bosch has made an initial order of one hundred covers. In parallel to this, the technology is being further developed for use on silo containers. A prototype is already on display at the new Van den Bosch Academy in Erp.