Specialist airport baggage handling business Daifuku Logan is a company at the forefront of innovative manufacturing, developing and producing luggage conveying systems used in airports worldwide. The company was first established in 1956 under the name of the Manufacturers Equipment Co. Ltd and began as an outlet for products of the Fenner Group. Premises for the business were acquired on a six acre site on Sutton Road, Hull where they are still based today, although the site has undergone expansions, the first of which taking place in 1961.
Previously owned by American and French companies, in 2011 they became part of the Japanese material handling giants Daifuku, whilst retaining the Logan name from when they were known previously as Logan Teleflex.
Today, Daifuku Logan has sales, design and manufacturing facilities, as well as customer service and support locations based in the north and south of England, France, Asia and China. They are also the sister firm of Daifuku Webb, a company in the USA with an annual turnover of 500 million USD and capabilities in every aspect of baggage and materials handling. The Daifuku Group currently has affiliate companies and offices operating in over 20 countries and regions worldwide.
With 110 employees and an annual turnover of £20m, Daifuku Logan has been at the forefront of airport baggage handling for over 50 years and has succeeded in designing, producing and implementing over 500 baggage handling solutions, including more than one hundred ‘Airport Hold Baggage Security - 100% X-ray Screening Systems’.
Daifuku Logan can lay claim to the fact that they were the first company in the UK to design, manufacture and install a complete baggage handling system and has since become one of the major suppliers of conveyors and sortation systems worldwide. To this day, Daifuku Logan are one of the very few companies in the world able to provide a complete service for all aspects of a baggage system solution, from initial system design to production, commissioning and installation, as well as operations and maintenance post project support.
How has the aviation industry changed over the years? General Manager, Ian Buffey explains; “There has been a huge focus on airport baggage handling systems since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, when 270 people died on a Pan Am flight from Heathrow to New York, from a terrorist bomb explosion. This resulted in stringent airport security operations, as well as worldwide effective screening systems for passengers and their carry-on luggage. With new Government legislation coming into force in 2017, all automated baggage inspection equipment systems installed in Europe will have to be compliant with Standard 3, a new framework operated by the European Civil Aviation authorities that regulates and certifies the minimum required levels of explosive detection. Airport security is paramount and Daifuku Logan will be the leader for developing and implementing better airport security”.
Daifuku Logan, with its wide range of ground-breaking innovative products, has undoubtedly helped improve the technology available to airport security, even from its early days – initially developing electronic scanners and now being able to detect explosive materials.
With on-site niche manufacturing facilities, Daifuku Logan can offer specialist resources that can be adapted to meet the requirements of airports around the world. Operations run seamlessly at Daifuku Logan in Hull and they pride themselves on their in-house technical expertise, enabling them
to continually develop their extensive range of products. Daifuku Logan offers the widest range of state-of-the-art systems, and is the most experienced supplier of this type of technology in the aviation sector. The company has produced tilt tray sorters for over 30 years; however, it is only in recent years that this product has undergone significant advanced development to its current high-spec model. The new model has simplified and reduced maintenance requirements, is non-contact in design, uses a linear motor drive and has a radio frequency linked control system, making it leading edge technology.
General Manager, Ian Buffey said; “We are pioneers in our field because we have a strong infrastructure for learning and development. Daifuku Logan is leading the way in developing our young, local talent, to become the future experts and leaders in their chosen fields. Many of our achievements have been made possible through the employment of young local people, whose talent has been recognized, nurtured and enhanced through the introduction of a structured Apprentice Training Programme which we have been developing for the last 20 years”.
In fact, 20% of the Daifuku Logan workforces are currently undertaking NVQ level 3 courses and further education in the form of a BTEC, or Foundation degrees. Jonathan Haldenby, is just one example of Daifuku Logan’s promising young engineers, now an Operations Engineer, Jonathan graduated in 2015 from the University of Hull and has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Hull Association of Engineering Cup.
In the past 20 years, the UKs’ manufacturing sector has shrunk by over two-thirds, yet Daifuku Logan has remained resilient in the industry. They are currently close to completing their largest contract to date at Gatwick airport, worth £20m, as well as a further £6.5m contract at China’s Kunming airport, a £10m contract at Birmingham airport and a £3m contract at Poland’s Krakow airport. During one week alone in December 2015, the company successful won a further 3 contracts; Birmingham airport, Wu Han airport in China and the Paris Orly airport – a fantastic early Christmas present for the team!
General Manager, Ian Buffey said; “British manufacturing is outstanding, we are the world’s second biggest aerospace manufacturer. Manufacturing can be the driving force behind the Humber region’s economic growth, as long as our workforce has the skills necessary to embrace new technologies, all we need to do is to continue to develop talent in specific manufacturing expertise. There are 50 airports in the UK and we are on their doorstep to provide all aspects of airport baggage handling systems. When there are pioneering businesses like our own, right here in the UK, there’s surely no need to look elsewhere”.