Drying system enhances efficiencies for NHS

The Problem

At its 130,000 ft2 depot in Bridgwater, NHS Supply Chain stores, stock controls, and picks products for distribution around the South West region to hospitals and health centres. This mammoth task involves handling around 540,000 tote boxes a year.  An essential part of performing this service is ensuring that the tote boxes are cleaned on their return before being reintroduced into the order picking operation.

To fulfill the cleaning requirement, NHS Supply Chain had installed a purpose-built washing and drying line. This installation is effective for cleaning the tote boxes but the drying was leaving residual water in difficult to access moisture traps in the angular moulded outer rims and handles.

The Solution

A blower-based system comprising air knives, adjustable nozzles and flexible nozzles complete with all the required ducting. This configuration permits air to be delivered close to the tote boxes, even into awkward angular recesses and moisture retaining scratches, to ensure maximum drying efficiency.

The Outcome

Benefits resulting directly from the ACI installation are the time saved by eliminating manual final drying, reduced use of paper towels and the prevention of damage/contamination of the medical supplies shipped in the tote boxes. In addition any potential Health and Safety implications from residual water dripping onto the warehouse floor are eliminated. Remembering that the depot handles 540,000 units a year for delivering products to NHS hospitals and health centres these operational improvements have helped improve productivity leading to financial savings.

“We are really pleased with the ACI drying system.  It has remedied our Health and Safety issues by ensuring effective drying whilst at the same time improving operation efficiencies. Also, the fact ACI could demonstrate the system’s ‘fit for purpose’ capabilities before installation was a major confidence booster before placing the order. The advice and support we have had throughout has been first class.” Robert Thyer, Facilities Engineer, NHS Supply Chain.


Visit the NHS Supply Chain website