45-75 million tea bags a week - Read the case study about Twinings & Co. and why the company needs the best dust extraction equipment

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Put the kettle on… Dustcontrol UK will do the rest…


For Twinings, tea is more than just a drink. For over 300 years it has become a part of people’s daily lives and has satisfied generations of tea lovers, now providing a total of 330 varieties. Over the years the company have had some notable historical moments, including Queen Victoria making Twinings an official Royal Warrant holder in 1837 and then becoming the first company to win the Queen’s Award for Export in 1972.

In 2011 Twinings closed their North Shields factory in Newcastle to open a new, more efficient factory in Poland. This move didn’t affect the UK market as the flagship factory in Andover continues to produce all of the Twinings tea that is sold within the UK; the factory simply had the bonus of inheriting all of the equipment from the Newcastle factory, thereby enabling it to consolidate its processes.

Allan Rose has been with the company for 14 years through a variety of roles and is now ‘Continuous Improvement Engineer,’ assisting with any improvements that need to be made to the Andover factory, ensuring that everything is done to the highest of standards. Allan said: “We currently have 13 machines producing tea bags. When the machines are at full capacity 9 of these can produce 2,000 tea bags per minute, with the other four producing 1,000 tea bags per minute.

He continued: “We typically produce anywhere between 45 million and 75 million tea bags per week. With production numbers being so high, we need to ensure we have the very best equipment in our factory. Particularly as the factory is working 24 hours, 5 days a week - this is extended to weekends when additional production is required.”

Bloom dust is created throughout the tea bag production process, and with between 45 and 75 million tea bags being produced a week the dust levels can be very high. Up until four years ago the cleaning process was to sweep up the dust at the end of each shift – there are a total of three shifts per day. The company made the decision to invest in high quality dust extraction equipment for general cleaning and came across Dustcontrol UK.

Allan explained: “No doubt Twinings would’ve had to meet with at least two other dust extraction suppliers to get an idea of what was on the market and what would work best within the factory. The decision was made to go with Dustcontrol UK simply because they provide the best systems on the market. The installation process is much easier than other companies described, everything is neatly tucked away and all of the tools are easily useable. There is no cabling requirement to the vac points which saved a fortune in installation costs and the system runs on the Dustcontrol Green System controls featuring an inverter for electricity saving since the system runs for long periods with a varying number of users. The systems themselves are very simple to use, taking no more than five minutes to get the hang of – all our technicians & operators have to do is pull down a flap, plug in the dust hose and use the necessary accessories as needed. This means that cleaning can be done by the machine operators on an ad hoc basis during production to keep the tea production machines running effectively, thereby creating a leaner process”

The first dust extraction unit from Dustcontrol UK was purchased by Twinings four years ago and is fitted on the ‘Dream Line.’ It’s currently not in use whilst part of the factory is being refurbished, but is shortly due to be up and running once more.

The second dust extraction unit that Twinings have purchased is fitted on the ‘Transfer Line.’ Allan said: “We were so pleased with the system we previously had with Dustcontrol UK that we didn’t see the need to look elsewhere for alternatives when we wanted another system, we went straight to Dustcontrol UK, explained what we needed and purchased a large centralised vac cleaning system. This system has now been in use for one year and it’s done exactly what we’ve needed it to. The Transfer line has a total of 20 plug in points about 8 metres apart, with four in use at any given time to ensure the machine works at it’s optimum.”

Allan continued: “Both vac systems have self-cleaning filters. The filters are set to self-clean between shifts throughout the day so as not to interfere with workloads, taking around 10 minutes. All collected material ends up outside of the main hall in the warehouse in an easy to change bag connected to the cyclone that is easily accessible by the technicians. This system has created a better working environment; technicians and operators no longer risk falling over mobile vacuum units and electric cables, the air is cleaner, their jobs are that that bit easier and also the environment they are now working in is a lot healthier and tidier, which has ultimately improved morale.”

Twinings are currently in the process of trying to raise the capital to further grow their factory, therefore expanding on their Transfer Line. Allan concluded: “With the expansion, we’re hoping to increase the Transfer Line by adding five plug in cleaning points on spring retractable hose reels, adding in a new shredding machine that will allow recycling of any paper waste. We’ve used Dustcontrol UK for two main projects now and they are without a doubt our chosen company for all our high vac dust extraction needs.”